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Public relations is something that
everyone has.
 Public relations fosters the
improvement of public relationships
through specific activities and policies.
 Public relations is the cornerstone of a
democratic society.
Every person and organization has a
◦ Good, bad or neutral
◦ People form opinions without even
thinking about how or why
Public relations techniques can be
applied to any social, cultural or
political situation.
◦ Publics can be big or small
◦ The principles are the same
◦ The scale changes the appropriate tactics
The “hacks”
 Propaganda
 Truth not essential
 One-way
 Sports, theatre, product promotion
The “pros”
 Information dissemination
 Truth is important
 Reputation Management
Public Relations as a profession
◦ Applies generally accepted techniques,
strategies, structures and tactics
◦ Similar to “law,” “medicine,” etc.
What it yields are desirable public
relationships and positive reputations
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Standardized educational preparation
◦ Unique knowledge and skills
◦ Based on a body of theory developed through research
Recognition by the community of a unique and
essential service
Autonomy in practice and acceptance of personal
responsibility by practitioners
Codes of ethics and standards of performance
enforced by a self-governing association of
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Self-policing protects the profession
◦ Defines PR practitioners as a group
◦ Protects the professional franchise
Serves our clients
◦ Maintains public trust
◦ Provides basis and support for professional
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Professional ethics
◦ Doing the right thing
Imperative of trust
◦ Placing your client’s interests above your own
Professional privileges
◦ Access to information, strategy, financials, etc.
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Formal codes of ethics and professional conduct.
◦ Guide professional practice
◦ Provide the basis for enforcement and sanctions.
Professional conduct
◦ Generally accepted virtuous motives
◦ Monitored and assessed against established codes of
◦ Enforced through concrete interpretation for those who
deviate from accepted standards of performance
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Gains advantages for and promotes special
interests, sometimes at the cost of the public wellbeing.
Clutters already choked channels of
communication with pseudoevents and phony
phrases that confuse rather than clarify.
Corrodes our channels of communication with
cynicism and credibility gaps.
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Adversarial in nature, but…
Mutually dependent and mutually beneficial.
Reporters and editors play a crucial
gatekeeping role in all media.
◦ Practitioners must earn and keep the respect of
journalists in the news media.
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008
Some basic rules:
◦ Shoot squarely -- Honesty is the best policy.
◦ Give service by respecting media deadlines and by
being available to the media.
◦ Don’t beg or carp, especially by asking for special
treatment. (Hint: You won’t get any.)
◦ Don’t ask media to kill a story.
◦ Don’t flood the media with information with no
news value.
JPG, PUB475, Spring 2008