Research in Public Relations and Organisational Communication
Responsible Advocacy? Reflections on the History, System, and Codes of Public Relations Ethics, with Comments on Education and Research
Reflections on the History, System, and Codes of Public Relations Ethics, with Comments on Education and Research
University of Leipzig, Germany1
Questions and problems of an ethics of public communication, especially a public relations ethics, seem to get more attention, both in academic and in the professional field of public relations. Ethical issues of corporate communication, appropriate guidelines, codes, policies and procedures to solve problems are getting more relevant for the top management too. After discussing and defining important basic concepts of PR ethics, the present contribution discusses some aspects of the historical development of public relations ethics. As an example, a norm with an outstanding importance, the norm of truth in public communication, especially public relations communication, is discussed. It is argued that public relations ethics can be understood and analysed as a subsystem of public relations, which itself can be understood as a social system. The analyses can be systematical and historical. Some challenges of public relations ethics in education and scientific research are finally discussed.
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