Ethics Case #1

You are the director of public relations for a snowboard manufacturer, a Minneapolis-based Fortune 500 Company. Your company has experienced recent decline in sales and frequent negative news stories due to problems with defectives. The research and design department just created a new design certain to revolutionize the industry. In order to gain positive publicity, your vice president of communication has asked you to send a free snowboard to an influential reporter for his personal use.

1.  What provision was broken?

2.  What is the right action? Justify.

 

 

 

 

Ethics Case #2

You’re a PR director for a mining company and you’ve hired an outside counseling firm to help you win a government contract to build a new mining operation. An executive of the counseling firm you hired tells the reporter of a local daily newspaper that a competing client “may be” engaged in some underhanded tactics. These underhanded tactics may help the client gain government approval of a plan to begin a new mining operation. The specific tactics included paying off elected officials. That exaggerated “tip” results in a front-page feature accusing the company of planning to “buy” approval by paying off local government officials.

1.  What provision was broken?

2.  What is the right action? Justify.

 

Ethics Case #3

As you and the executive director of your non-profit organization are going through a fairly casual communication audit of all the company’s promotional material, you notice an error in the balance sheet shown in the annual report online. The typo accidentally shines a more positive light on your finances than is real. Your executive director says not to worry about it because nobody really looks at it anyway. You look into it further and find that these numbers were used in previous press releases.

1.  What provision was broken?

2.  What is the right action? Justify.

 

 

 

Ethics Case #4

The Worldwide Widget Company (WWC) hired your PR firm, making you and all your client executives sign a non-disclosure policy. Three weeks after working for the new client, your team is giving a briefing about a new product that will revolutionize the widget market. After a month of working on a new, dynamic PR program, your team is invited to a celebration party a week before the actual product kickoff. During the party, food and wine are flowing. One of your junior staffers lets the wine flow too much and he tells the editor of the state’s largest newspaper everything. You overhear the final piece of information given to the editor. As the owner of the firm, what do you do?

1.  What provision was broken?

2.  What is the right action? Justify.

 

 

Ethics Case #5

You head the PR department for the state’s largest bank. You’re responsible for putting together a quality service recognition program and you’ve asked your external PR agency to design and manage the specialty advertising components that will target the bank’s 10,000 employees. Your spouse owns Big Promo Company (BPC), the largest specialty advertising firm in the state. Your PR agency does not know that your spouse owns BPC. You have not suggested that they use BPC. Your PR agency has made its recommendations to you, including use of BPC as the vendor for the quality service recognition program.

1.  What provision was broken?

2.  What is the right action? Justify.

 

 

  

Ethics Case #6

You are the PR professional for a housing developer. Your company’s next project is multi-family housing for middle-income families. In gathering information related to the project, you find that the land for the complex was the site of a landfill. An EPA report shows very low levels of contaminants that are not life-threatening hazards. You discuss this information with your supervising boss, who is not a PR professional. You recommend ways to explain the landfill history in promotional material. Your boss tells you that the landfill information is not to be included in the materials; he does not want this issue proactively discussed.

1.  What provision was broken?

2.  What is the right action? Justify.

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