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Responsible Advocacy Fitzpatrick and Gauthier(2001)

This theory of public relations proposes that the best way to practice public relations ethics is through the ideal of professional responsibility. The key points of this theory of ethics are:

  • Practitioners greatest need for ethical guidance is in the reconciling of their conflicting roles of professional advocate and social conscience.
  • Public relations professionals best serve society by serving the special interests of his or her client or employer.
  • First loyalty is always to client, but also have a responsibility to voice the opinions of organizational stakeholders.

This theory is espoused in the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics. In the code's statement of values, it defines advocacy as:

"We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent."


Responsible Advocacy

Enlightened Self Interest
Two-Way Communication
Attorney/ Adversary