Is There Such a Thing as PR Ethics?

In “Ethics and Public Relations,” Shannon A. Bowen, asks: “Is there such a thing as public relations ethics?” Granted, the words “public relations” and “ethics” aren’t frequently used in the same sentence, but is it because PR ethics is an oxymoron?Dr. Bowen notes that there is a historical trend of associating public relations with all things unethical—lying, spin-doctoring, even espionage. Others have compared public relations to manipulation and propaganda. It is common today to use “smoke and mirrors” as methods to hide deception.Questions for you: After reading this article, explain whether ethics and PR are mutually exclusive. Provide reasons and evidence, including at least three examples. You might enliven our discussion and enhance your PR toolkit by putting your answer in the form of an infographic, using Piktochart,,,, Canva, or some other free internet software.
Ethics and Public Relations – Institute for Public Relations (