Thursday, February 11, 2010

Week 6

This is week 6, but lesson 5... And as promised, inside the course schedule at least, today is the organizational briefing for our final project. I think the project's pretty cool- kinda getting hands-on, on what a public relations (PR) practitioner would do. Oh, the organization that "hired" us is OCD, which stands for Organizing Chaos Daily and not Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It's a company that helps to organize you home or workplace. Pretty neat. Oh, you can check out this organization's website by clicking here.

Finally, lo & behold, the long awaited book is here! And I mean it! It's on sale at PSB's Popular... Yes, Ladies & Gentlemen, An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice by Joy Chia & Gae Synnott is here!

Anyway, this week's reading is actually on chapter 11: Engaging with the Media. But I'll respond to the readings that were for the last few weeks. I'll start with Chapter 4: Public Relation Ethics. In week 4 I mentioned that I was curious about ethics and a chapter of ethics is here.

After going through the chapter, I knew that Ivy Ledbetter Lee was said to be the
"founding father" of PR ethics, if I interpreted it correctly (Tilley, 2009). Lee thinks that it PR practitioners to assist organization in the "externalities" that they inflict on socially & environmentally. That's Mr. Ivy Ledbetter Lee on the right.

Before I begin my take on ethics, what is ethics, anyway? Ethics were also covered in a lecture in IRHR 1001: Managing the Organization. Ethics came from the Greek word "ethikos". It speaks about the concern for "good" behaviour and taking into account of how our (whether individual or the organization) behaviour affects others. It involves our conscience and values. If we try to behave ethically, it means we think about our morals and values before we act on anything.

- Tutorial is over, will continue when I get home. Totally forgotten about an unfinished blog post again. My bad.

Anyway, here's my take on ethics.

It is interesting to know from Tilley (2009) that no 2 people, even if they are from the same culture would have exactly the same morals and values or would actually place the same level of priority on their beliefs. So that is why she concludes by saying that when a PR practitioner works with other people, the practitioner will encounter challenges; and those challenges are in fact their own colleagues and subordinates. Because they will present their point of view and the practitioner would have to evaluate those points to see what’s best for both the organisation and the society at large.

This then brings me to the next part brought up by Tilley (2009), which I find most fascinating throughout all of this week’s reading.

She writes a little about a gentleman: William Gudykunst, a cross-culture communication theorist. Gudykunst shared a term in application to describing PR being practised ethically. The term is “mindful”. To be mindful means to aware and alert. Gudykunst developed a three-part approach to communication competence.

And the key words in his approach are:

  1. Willingness
  2. Knowledge
  3. Skill

  • The willingness to view ethics as a vital part in PR practice
  • Increasing their knowledge on ethics, when PR practitioners recognize that behaving ethically in their practice is a challenge
  • Regularly assessing on their ethical skills and improving them

In my opinion, it is difficult to behave ethically, even in school, what more is there to mention at work. Although with Gudykunst model to communication competence, I feel that there is another area to look at, and that is effort.

It takes effort to for people to be willing to take ethics as important as it would cause them inconvenience- say if the director asks you to do a task that would be of breach of ethics, it's either you do it to keep your job but your conscience disturbed or don't do it and lose your job.

And from there, if people are willing to take up the challenge, then they would have the enthusiasm, the want to know more about behaving ethically.

And finally, with the knowledge, application of it would make them have the skill or capability to decide or act ethically; always checking on themselves to see their own behaviour.

That's about it from me for this week.

1 comment:

  1. Hey I learnt a new word: hiatus, and the whole detailed concept of PRM (PR Management) :p
    Looks like an interesting learning experience that you got there, too bad I can’t have a slice of it.
    Thanks for sharing.

    I think the last 3 points are really applicable and impactful: be proactive, keep good records, and get good budget for it.