Ethics in public relationsJanuary 2010
Patricia Parsons. Kogan Page. 187 pages. Paperback. £19.95
Working in the world of public relations opens your eyes to both the power of communications and the daily ethical challenges faced by its practitioners.
Patricia Parsons’ new book delivers a valuable framework for those in the industry to help maintain high ethical standards. Although targeting the PR community, it is just as relevant to corporate communications departments, and I would even recommend it for internal communicators. In fact, her decision-making models should be read by every communicator, in the voluntary as well as corporate sector.
Providing a ‘how-to’ understanding of ethical public relations as well as an insight into the latest theoretical thinking, Parsons emphasizes the need for practitioners to back their own decision-making and respect their own morality. Rather than listing an answer for every dilemma, she encourages readers to find their own solutions.
This slim volume does, however, become rather too philosophical at times. As a PR professional I needed more real world examples and specific tactics to help me along the way.
The models and conceptual arguments are absorbing for anyone fascinated by the dark arts of PR. But for a hard-pressed executive under pressure to get results, this book is too academic – and the voice of the teacher often drowns out the voice of the practitioner.
As a background and base for further reading this is an excellent start, but any PR practitioner who stops here would be in a precarious position.
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