What Does Ethics Have to do With Anything Anyways?

Pub·lic Re·la·tions

The professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.

  • The state of the relationship between the public and a company or other organization or a famous person. “Companies justify the cost in terms of improved public relations”


Moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior.

  • The branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. “Your so-called newspaper is clearly not burdened by a sense of ethics”

Ethics is all around us and it is surely connected with Public Relations. To break this concept down…

The practice of public relations is about earning credibility ➔ Credibility begins with telling the truth ➔ Public relations, then, must be based on “doing the right thing” ➔ or, in other words, acting ethically.

However, there are some issues that come along when PR professionals put their right to freedom of speech before what is ethically right. What is important for all to consider is that what is ethical, may or may not be legal – as well as what is unethical may or may not be illegal.

An example of an unethical comment made by a PR pro…

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Justine Sacco was a senior public relations chief employed at IAC until she was fired after this tweet she posted on Twitter. Granted everyone has freedom of speech, it is important to think before we speak… or post. Justine Sacco who has plenty of experience in the field of PR, should know better than to post a comment that is so offensive.

“While her account was a personal one, it’s a reminder that on public platforms like Twitter, our actions remain tied to our employers, especially if they’re mentioned in your bio. As head of PR, Sacco’s job was to decide how IAC communicates its message to the world, and likely to look at the public social media of her colleagues to make sure they’re not saying anything that could come back to haunt the company.”

The quote was taken from Forbes article, “Justine Sacco’s Nightmare Before Christmas, Twitter-Version“.

According to an article from The New York Times Magazine, Sacco states…

“To me it was so insane of a comment for anyone to make,” she said. “I thought there was no way that anyone could possibly think it was literal.

Social media can spread like wildfire. The more offensive the content is… the faster it will go around. This tweet may be no worse than countless racist or offensive posts seen on Twitter, but the fact that she had public relation credentials and experience gives IAC every right to do what they did. Although it was Sacco’s personal account, since she was employed with IAC, it made the company look bad which hurts their reputation and the public’s trust.

Do you think it was right for IAC to fire Justine Sacco for her tweet? 


The Fight for Love, Peace & Equality

On June 26, 2015, the United States made history. This was the day that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. This has been an ongoing issue that people across the nation have been fighting for. One of the many reasons this right was given to the United States, started with the public’s opinion. There are three major factors that the public opinion is determined by.


Attitudes are evaluations that people make about specific problems or issues.
Attitudes are based on many characteristics: Personal, Culture, Educational, Family, Religious, Social Class, Race.

There are people for and against same-sex marriages in the United States, the way they present themselves and the words they speak shows the attitudes of these individuals.


“Protestors clashed with attorney Gloria Allred, who supports same-sex marriage, outside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday morning shouting, “Shame on you….wicked Gloria. You’ll have to answer to God’s supreme court.” Allred shouted back, “The Supreme Court is going to decide this issue, not you.”

This is a quote posted by Wood TV8 in an article talking about the legalization of same-sex marriages.


Opinion is a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. Not everyone is going to agree with each other. This relates back to behavior because our opinions that we form, come from our evaluations and behaviors.

This image is a great example that relates to people’s opinions. The religion you believe in may not be the same that someone else believes in. Therefore, what you see is wrong and against your beliefs may not be true for them.


Action is the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

Over the years, gay rights advocates have fought for their right to equality in terms of same-sex marriage. As time went on, some states were slowly accepting and legalizing this marriage. However, these people didn’t stop there. They kept on fighting with the goal to achieve same-sex marriages in all 50 states. After all of their behaviors and opinions that led to actions, the court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriages, giving gay rights advocates their biggest victory yet.

“In the 5-4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority with the four liberal justices. Each of the four conservative justices wrote their own dissent.

Nearly 46 years to the day after a riot at New York’s Stonewall Inn ushered in the modern gay rights movement, the decision could settle one of the major civil rights fights of this era. The language of Kennedy’s opinion spoke eloquently of the most fundamental values of family, love and liberty.”