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Gini Dietrich

Ethics in PR: It Should Be a Given!

By: Gini Dietrich | June 30, 2008 | 
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It’s been everything I can do not to comment on Scott McClellan’s book, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception.” 

It’s been everything I can do not to comment on legal analyst, Andrew Cohen (yes, an attorney), when he went on CBS and said, “Show me a PR person who is “accurate” and “truthful,” and I’ll show you a PR person who is unemployed.”

But rather than comment on either (until I’ve had the chance to read the book), I am commenting on ethics in PR.  Like Matt Kucharski, I think a profession that was built around creating and sustaining positive reputations would have fewer ethical dilemmas or critics, such as attorneys.  Turns out, our profession is in the same league as personal injury attorneys, corporate raiders, and politicians.

This article by PRNews is based on surveys with members of the PRSA Counselors Academy, and points to some fairly interesting divergence in opinions on the role and importance of ethics in the field.

Personally, I take great affront to this survey, and to the comparison to ambulance chasers.  If a client were to ask us to “spin” a story or leave certain facts out in order to get better coverage, we’d resign that business immediately.  But then, I guess without unethical people in our profession (thanks Scott McClellan!), we wouldn’t have this blog, would we?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

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