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PUR3000: Ch.12 PR and the law

by: Anna Cappelli

PUR3000: Ch.12 PR and the law PUR3000

Marketplace > University of Florida > PUR3000 > PUR3000 Ch 12 PR and the law
Anna Cappelli
GPA 3.85

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About this Document

these notes cover both the lecture and textbook for ch.12
Principles of Public Relations
Class Notes
Public, relations
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Anna Cappelli on Wednesday September 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PUR3000 at University of Florida taught by Kong in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 21 views.


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Date Created: 09/14/16
Ch.12 Public Relations and The Law Lecture Guidelines for reducing legal risks View legal counsel as a resource Analyze legal trends/learn from others’ mistakes Anticipate litigation in development of documents Spokespersons trained in both law and public relations Work with legal counsel to institute a compliance program Promote ethical guidelines Avoid litigation through communication Conspiracy To provide advice or tacitly support an illegal activity of client or employer Participate in illegal action such as a bribery or cover up information Counsel policy behind illegal action Cooperate in any other way to further an illegal action Defamation Libel – printed falsehood slander – false oral statement Defamation – any false statement about a person or organization that creates public hatred, contempt, ridicule or inflicts injury or reputation (collective term for both) Person making statement was malicious or negligent Private individuals more success winning defamation suits, public figures have an extra test with actual malice (NYT vs. Sullivan) Corporations are increasingly considered “public figures” Avoiding Lawsuits for Defamation Accompany opinion with supporting facts Clearly label statements of opinion review context of language Truth is traditional defense against defamation Control words spoken in anger Fair comment and criticism allowed Invasion of Privacy Places limits on what information can be collected about citizens and who has access to the information For example, organization newsletters:  Keep the focus on organization-related activities  Have employees submit “personals” in writing  Double check all information for accuracy  Check to see if there is someone embarrassed  Do not rely on second hand information  Do not included racial, ethical or age designations of employees Copyright Copyright protects specific expression of an idea, not an idea in general Can copyright written, musical, dramatic, pictorial, graphic and sculptures works and motion pictures Cannot copyright ideas raw (databases), methods of operations, concepts, utilitarian objects such as lamps or typefaces Copyright protection is life plus 70 years for individual works and 95 years for corporations from publication Fair Use vs. Infringement 2 Fair use allows partial use of copyrighted material with source attribution Permission is required if used in advertisements or promotional brochures Fair use is allowed for criticism, comment, or research, particularly without multiple copies produces Quantity – likely to infringe copyright Government documents cannot by copyrighted Photography and artwork – retain ownership of work, sell use of Freelance writers – depends on negotiation and contracted agreement, but does have right to their own work Copyright on internet, similar to hard copies, difference with uploading materials by third parties First Amendment & PR Protects freedom of expression from governmental control – federal and state Adopted in 1791, not interpreted by the supreme court until the 20 Ch Court has ruled that it applies to most media, thus publishers and broadcasters have constitutionally protected right of expression just as do individuals Not all content comes under 1 amendment, such as fighting words that provoke violence or symbolic actions that interfere with government Also, persons or corporations whose expressions defame, invade privacy or disturb peace may have to pay damages Generally, a person will be held accountable for speech that damages another only after he expresses it: prior restraints on expression are presumptively unconstitutional 3 1992 court ruling, hate speech cannot be banned simply because its content is offensive to some Government Agencies Regulations Federal trade Commission (FTC) – the Langham act provides power to prosecute for distributing false or misleading information (advertising, marketing or PR) Protects consumer rights Violators typically sign consent decree, no wrongdoing acknowledged but change promotion can be fined Information accurate, substantiated, not hyped, celebrities actually use product, government agencies don’t endorse products, describe research in enough detail, product not new if more than 6 months old or just repackaged, avoid misleading product demos Securities and exchange commission (SEC) monitors the financial affairs of publicly traded companies, protects interest of stockholders Covers public disclosure and insider trading, misleading info and failure of timely disclosure; can be Ch.12 Public Relations and The Law Textbook Libel and Defamation Libel and slander are often collectively referred to as defamation Defamation involves a false and malicious communication with an identifiable subject who is 4 injured by loss of money, loss of reputation, or mental suffering Libel suits can be avoided through careful use of language Some offensive communications, such as negative reviews by a theatre critic, fall under the “fair comment” defense Invasion of Privacy When publishing newsletters, companies cannot assume that a person waives his or her right to privacy just because of his or her status as an employee Companies must get written permission to publish photos or use employees in advertising materials, and they must be cautious in releasing personal information about employees to the media. Copyright Law Copyright is the protection of creative work from unauthorized users Published works are by definition copyrighted, and permission must be obtained to reprint such material The “fair use” doctrine allows limited quotation, as in a book review Unless a company has a specific contract with a free-lance writer, photographer, or artist to produce work that will be exclusively owned by that company, the freelancer owns his or her work New copyright issue have been raised by the popularity of the internet and the ease of downloading, uploading, and dissemination images and information Trademark Law A trademark is a word, symbol, or slogan identifying a product’s origin that can be registered with the US patent and trademark office 5 Trademarks are always capitalized and used as adjectives rather than nouns or verbs Companies vigorously protect trademarks to prevent their becoming common nouns One for of trademark infringement may be “misappropriation of personality” the use of a celebrity’s name or image for advertising purposes without permission Regulations by Government Agencies Commercial speech is regulated by the government in the interest pf public health and safety, and consumer protection Corporate Speech Organizations have the right to express their opinions and views about a number of public issues Federal election rules now allow direct corporate support of candidates for office However, there is still some blurring of lines between what is considered “commercial speech” and “free speech” as illustrate by the Nike case Employee Speech in the Digital Age Employees are limited in expressing their opinions within the corporate environment Employee e-mail and surfing the internet are subject to monitoring Employees can be fired for revealing trade secrets or harassing fellow employees companies can set guidelines for keeping a blog and for participating in virtual online communities such as second life. 6


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