Finally, the lecture series closed by bringing us all together for the Ben Bronstien Lecture on Ethics and Public Relations. The speaker for this lecture was Patricia Whalen of DePaul University. She is a member of the Board of Ethics for PRSA.
She discussed the debate of whether or not it is up to PR to have the “corporate conscience.” The main argument against this is that it is the CEO’s job to decide corporate conscience. However, according to PRSA, it is important that PR professionals always remain ethical. If this becomes a problem, explain that it is important to build trust with the media and the community. The most important thing a company can do when they are wrong is to apologize to the public. The court of public opinion is just as important as the court of law. Additionally it is important to have “enlightened self-interest” as a corporation.
Overall, Patricia’s perspective was pretty interesting. It was something I have not thought about. It was a good end to the day.