Fair Value and Ethics in Public Relation

Fair value is a rationale for determining the outcome or the result of activities in organizations. It does not really border or concern the nature of benefit gained at the very moment but the relative result that accompanies the gain. Fair value in public relations entails that, practitioners deliver on their mandate without compromise in negative ways. Every profession has an ethical purpose. Ethics is practiced in different professions to ensure quality service to the people. In a competitive business environment, organizations can create and maintain their reputational capital by practicing an ethical behavior. Ethics is important to public relations for gaining or maintaining its status as a profession and for the reputation of the public relations profession by doing the right thing. For public relations to function as public relations ought to function, ethics will be an inherent part of the public relations function as this will encourage its practitioners to value the profession. Ethics is the 10th principle of public relations excellence. While personal and professional ethics are of great importance, what may be of greater importance is the role of public relations in the ethical decision-making of an organization. They clearly stated, “public relations is the function that introduces the values and problems of stakeholders into strategic decisions and that introduces a moral element to those decisions”.

Ethics plays an important role in human life because it determines the behavior of the people. It plays different roles in different areas of our life. Personal ethics determines personal behavior and professional ethics determines the behavior in the working environment. Ethics refers to the value system by which a person determines what is right or wrong, fair or unfair, just or unjust. It is expressed through moral behavior in specific situations. An individual’s conduct is measured not only against his or her conscience but also against some norm of acceptability that has been societal, or organizationally determined. However, ethics is not only the basis of guidance by which we evaluate the behavior accordingly. We consider the behavior as correct if it does not contradict the law, convention of the society, codes of conduct in different professions, religious beliefs, artistic taste, political affairs and realism.

It is based on a value system that guides decision making indicating which actions have moral worth or which actions are right or wrong. People refer to codes of ethics as a large class of guidelines to moral behavior. Let’s examine four different sources-employees, company codes, global codes of ethics, and business ethics literature- and identified six universal elements of ethics statements: (1) trust worthiness (including the notions of respect of honesty, integrity, reliability, and loyalty), (2) respect (including the notions of respect for human rights), (3) responsibility (including the notion of accountability), (4) fairness (including the notion of process, impartiality, and equity), (5) caring (including the notion of avoiding unnecessary harm), and (6) citizenship (including the notions of obeying laws and protecting the environment.

When public relations is practiced with ethics and responsibility, it offers a significant communication role for organizations, nations and even the world. Ethical considerations comprise a basic part of public relations. Sound ethical conduct is an important component of public relations. In public relations discipline, ethics includes values such as honesty, openness, loyalty, fair-mindedness, respect, integrity, and forthright communication. The five principles for ethical advocacy which they call the TARES test proposed by Baker and Martinson’s are truthfulness, authenticity, respect, equity and social responsibility.

Codes of ethics have been referred to as codes of conduct, codes of practices, values statements, mission statements, or corporate credos. By using textual analysis to review the ethics statement of 12 public relations agencies, Fisher identified the following six categories typically addressed in the codes: (1) work environment (including the notions of team work, service, partnerships, creativity, and challenge), (2) goals (including the notions of growth, results, excellence, and social responsibility), (3) behavior (including the nations of honesty, fairness, openness, and honour), (4) professionalism (including the notions of accountability, responsibility, dedication, and hard work), (5)fulfillment (including the notion of balance, fun, and recognition and (6) respect (including the notions of respect for the firm, co-workers, clients, and society). The core value of Public Relations is social harmony. Public relations practitioners uphold shared understanding and peaceful coexistence among individuals and organizations.

Any decision begins with a question whether an organization (business) created by a state (or a different someone) can have social responsibilities. Companies are not rational beings but they are established by someone, and their actions are determined by rational beings. Therefore, officer of corporations must ultimately assume responsibilities for corporation actions. Ethics on the work place or within a whole organizational ethics is dictated by management, and most of its employees will accept the pattern if it is followed by reward.

Individuals will also react under the influence of their own values that have been formed under the influence of cultural, political, economical facts. The way that individual was has a great influence on the way he/she will react as a grown up person. It is important that ethical norms in organizations are defined in written form. The ethical codes must exist to protect individual rights, and to enhance the greater good for the majority of people. The existence of the code itself does not guarantee ethical behavior.

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