CHAPTER 1

Why Does Ethics Matter in Public Relations?

Both public relations employers and educators rank ethics among the most essential competencies for aspiring professionals to master (DiStaso, Stacks, and Botan 2009; Todd 2009). Many senior public relations executives even describe ethics as the foundation of effective public relations. For Anthony D’Angelo, 2017 Chair-Elect for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), ethics are essential to the practice:

As the late Patrick Jackson wisely noted, the currency of public relations is relationships. I think, essential to that currency, in order to make it work, the bedrock has to be trust…built on an ethical foundation and once trust is broken, you can’t have effective public relations, ...

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