J 350 Reading Notes, Ch. 9
J 350 Reading Notes, Ch. 9 J 350
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaitlyn Endo on Monday August 24, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to J 350 at University of Oregon taught by Chandler C in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see Princ Public Relations in Social Science at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 08/24/15
j350 Reading Notes Ch 9 Ethics and the Law 0 What is Ethics 0 To some traditional ethics prohibits a person from assuming an advocacy role because in that role a person is quotbiaedquot and trying to manipulate people David L Martison makes the point that the concept of role differentiation is importantl society expects PR people to be advocates just as they expect advertising copywriters to make a product sound attractive journalists to be objective and attorneys to defend someone in court PR practitioners are justi ed in disseminating persuasive info so long as objective and reasonable persons would view those persuasive efforts as thankful Pure advocacy unwavering support for the organization s or client s position unethical Suggest most ethical way to practice PR is to consider accommodating the needs of both orgs and their publics Contingency Theory PR practitioners sometimes face categorical imperative moral obligation to advocate purely for the org s position ProfessionalGuidelines O O 0 Professional orgs can play a key and powerful role in advancing ethical practice Code of Conduct Most national orgs place heavy emphasis on educating members on professional standards rather than having a high structured grievance process in place They do exercise right to censure or expel members who violate the org s code or who are convicted of a crime in a court of law IABC code is based on principle that professional communication should be not only legal and ethical but also in good taste and sensitive to cultural values and beliefs Critics complain that such codes of ethics have no teeth no punishment for being unethical and unprofessional Even if practitioner is expelled from org heshe can continue to work in the PR eld Voluntary orgs lack legal authority to ban members from eld because no license is required to practice Most professional groups believe that primary purpose of establishing codes of ethics is not enforcement but rather education and info seek enunciate standards of conduct that will guide members in their professional lives Ethics in Individual Practice lf employers make suggestion that involves questionable ethics PR person often can talk them out of the idea by citing the possible consequences of such an action adverse media pubHc y 0 Dealing with the News Media 0 0 Major selling point of PR work is the 3rd party credibility of reporters and editors Public trusts journalists to be objective and to be basically impartial in the dissemination of info If public loses trust because they believe media can be bought info provided by PR sources also becomes less trusted Public Relations and the Law 0 O 0 And oftentimes ethical and legal dilemmas go hand in hand Globalization adds to the complexity of dealing with these demands In all elds of practice public relations professionals often nd themselves dealing with legal questions regarding copyright privacy liability and other related issues PR rms have legal responsibility to practice quotdue diligencequot in the type of info and documentation supplied by a client Defamation PR professionals must be thoroughly familiar with concepts of libel and slander Crucial if an organization s internal and external communications are to meet legal and regulatory standards with a minimum of legal complications are to meet leal and regulatory standards with a minimum of legal complications quotlibelquot term used for printed falsehood and slander term used for an oral statemtn that was false quotdefamationquot collective term for 3 types of offenses Essentially defamation is making false statement about a person that creates public hatred contempt or ridicule or in icts injury on reputation quotactual malicequot l de ned by US Supreme Court as making libelous statement while knowing info is false or publishing info with quotreckless disregardquot as to whether it is false Corps considered quotpublic guresquot by courts for three reasons 0 engage in advertising and promotion offering products and services to the public 0 often involved in matters of public controversy and public policy 0 have some degree of access to the media thru reg advertising and news releases enables them to respond and rebut defamatory charges made against them increasingly corporations are also ling defamation suits against bloggers and even individuals who tweet about their business Avoiding Libel Suits Libel suits can be led against org of cials who make libelous accusations during a media interview send out news releases that make false statements or injure someone s reputation Common for news release to state that an executive has left company for personal reasons even if heshe may have been red for incompetence or violation of company policies Potentially dangerous practice is making un attering comments about the competition s products 0 Companies walk thin line between comparison and quottrade libelquot or quotproduct disparagementquot o Statements should be truthful with factual evidence and scienti c data available to substantiate them 0 Employee Communications 0 Public relations staff must be particularly sensitive to the issue of employee privacy and have good understanding of employee rights and responsibilities as these topics relate to number of legal and ethical issues Product Publicity and Advertising An org must have signed release on le if it wants to use photographs or comments of tis employees and other individuals in product publicity sales brochures and advertising Financial compensation to make more binding contract Employee Free Speech Modern progressive org encourages employee comments and even criticisms Trend is toward increased monitoring of employee email by employers Employers are concerned about being held liable if an employee posts a racial slur engages in sexual harassment online and even transmits sexually explicit jokes that might cause another employee to perceive the workplace as a hostile environment Emails produced by a public employee on a governmentowned computer are considered request able documents under the FOIA trade secrets State and federal laws generally protect the right of employees to quotblow the whistlequot if an organization is guilty of illegal activity Copy Law 0 O Copyright protection of a creative work from unauthorized use Two perspectives Which org materials should be copyrighted How the copyrighted materials of others may be used correctly Copyright doesn t protect ideas but only speci c ways in which those ideas are expressed Law presumes that material produced in some tangible form is copyrighted from moment it is created ths presumption of copyright is often sufficient to discourage unauthorized use and writer or creator of material has some legal protection if he or she has prove that material was created before another person claims it Formal step providing full elgal protection official registration of copyrighted work within 3 months after creation Process depositing two copies of manuscript recording artwork with Copyright Office of Library of Congress Copyright Term Extension Act 1998 protects original material for life of creator plus 70 years for individual works and 95 years from publication for copyrights held by corporations Fair Use Versus infringement O O O 0 Important to know where fair use ends and infringement begins Fair use part of copyrighted article may be quoted directly but quoted material must be brief in relation to length of original work Concept of fair use has distinct limitations if part of copyrighted material is to be used in advertisements and promotional brochures Permission from copyright holder to reuse original material requird Quote taken out of context often runs into legal trouble if it implies endorsement of a product or service The rights of photographers and articles Copyright law makes it clear that freelance and commercial photographers retain ownership of their work Freelance photographers generally charge for pic on the basis of its use fee is low Computer manipulation of original artwork can also violate copyright provisions The Rights of Freelance Writers Community for Creative Non Violence v Reid US Supreme Courte 1989 ruled writers retained ownership of work and purchasers of it simply gained a quotlicensequot to reproduce the copyrighted work Freelance writers won major victory in 2001 when Supreme Court ruled publishers by making articles accessible through electronic database infringed on copyrights of freelance contributors All agreements with freelance writer must be documented in writing and use of material must be clearly stated Trademark Law 0 Trademark word symbol or slogan used singly or in combination that identi es a product s origin 0 The Protection of Trademarks Never used as nous Always used as adjectives modifying nouns Trade names that have become generic include aspirin thermos corn akes nylon cellophane and yoyo Means that any company can now use these names to describe a product 0 Trademark Infringement Finding a trademark not already in use is extremely difficult o Misappropriation of personality Form of trademark infringement also can result from the unauthorized use of wellknown entertainers professional athletes and other public gures in an organization s publicity and advertising materials Deceased celebrities are also protected from exploitation by others To use likeness or actual photo of a personality such as Elvis Presley user pay a licensing fee to an agent representating the family studio or estate of the deceased Legal doctrine is right of publicity which gives entertainers athletes and other celebrities the sole ability to cash in on their fame 0 Regulations by Government Agencies The promotion of products and services whether through advertising product publicity or other techniques is not protected by the First Amendment Both state and federal government have passed legislation that regulates commercial speech and even restricts it if standards of disclosure truth and accuracy are violated Federal Trade Commission 0 Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction to determine if advertisements are deceptive or misleading Commission ha jurisdiction over product news release and other forms of product publicity such as videos and brochures o FTC investigators are always on the lookout for unsubstantiated claims and various forms of misleading or deceptive information 0 Some of the terms in promotional materials that trigger FTC interests are 0 Authentic CERTIFIED MAIL cure Custom made Germ free Natural Unbreakable Perfect First class Exclusive 0 Reliable The Securities and Exchange Commission 0 SEC closely monitors the nancial affairs of publicly traded companies and protects the interests of stockholders guidelines on public disclosure and insider trading are particularly relevant to corporate public relations staff members who must meet these requirements 0 distribution of misleading information or failure to make a timely disclosure of material information may be the basis of liability under SEC code 0 three concepts most pertinent to public relations personnel are as follower 0 full information must be given on anything that might materially affect the compnay s stock 0 timely disclosure is essential o insider trading is illegal SEC issued another regulation related to fair disclosure known as Reg FD New regulation expanded the concept by requiring publicly traded companies to broadly disseminate material information via a news release webcast or SEC lling o Intended to ensure that all investors not just brokerage rms and analysts receive nancial info from a company at the same time Other Regulatory Agencies 0 FDA oversees the advertising and promotion of presctiption drugs over the counter medicines cosmetics and food 0 Who causes the misbranding of products through the dissemination of false and misleading information may be held liable under provisions of the law OOOOOOOO Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Federal Communications Commissions Liability for Sponsored Events Must also take steps to protect their organizations from liability and possible lawsuits associated with those activites Wellmarked tour route is essential it is equally important to have trained escort staff and tour guides Added problem with open houses is having the presence of large numbers of people on the plant site at the same time Liability insurance is a necssty when any such events are planned Against accidents that might result in lawsuits chargin g negligence The need for liability insurance also applies to chartable organizations 0 Working with Lawyers 0 Public relations personnel must be aware of legal pitfalls but they are not lawyers o The relationship between lawyers and PR practitioners is such as important issue that both professions regularly deal with it in publications and seminars