A Question of Ethics

Sunday evening I went to see the new Mel Gibson movie, Edge of Darkness. My boyfriend and I went without much of an idea of what it was about, but it definitely met my expectations. In fact it was actually better. Not only was it entertaining, but it posed a myriad of ethical questions. Without going into too much detail, the movie basically dealt with dirty business deals. This peaked my ethical radar, thanks to my Media Ethics class. In fact just today in class we were discussing the concept of loyalty.

So after thinking about the concept of loyalty in conjunction with employment, it made me think about what PR people do. They essentially go to work for a client and pledge loyalty to them. They present them in a positive light in the public eye and take care of any negative business they may generate for themselves. So what do they do when the client they work for is doing something unethical? For instance in the movie Edge of Darkness the major company was basically doing a slew of illegal acts. They of course had a PR person in their corner.

So what do we as PR students do? What if we are desperate for a job and go to work for a company or a client who is unethical? I think the first thing we should do is evaluate the situation. We should check the job’s history and see if they have been involved in messy business before. Afterall research is part of our business. We should also make sure we are taking the job for the right reasons. Money, unfortunately isn’t a good enough reason. Next, in my particular case, I should put my studies in Media Ethics to good use and complete a Potter Box. After all of this, we should consider simply being honest with the prospective employer and asking them if the position would require any sort of unethical behavior. Now, I know this all sounds like it would be a lot of work, but I think before any PR person decides to take a job they should consider what scenarios they could possibly be put in.

This blog was basically just stuff floating around in my head. I think a lot about the “real world” because I’m going to be entering into it soon and I want to make sure I’m very prepared for any major decision I may have coming my way.


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