August 2018 e-Report

  • President's Pen
  • Chief Executive's Report
  • Partner News
  • New Members

President's Pen

Ethics in Public Relations and Communications

I’ve always understood ethics to be about doing the right thing. But “doing the right thing” can vary between individuals and at times I have to admit I’ve been surprised how many people think the right thing is something I’d feel wasn’t right at all.

Usually there is a voice in your head telling you what’s right - and usually that little voice is worth listening to.

It’s not right though if your rationale is “well everyone else does it”. That doesn’t make it okay. For example, if your client thinks it’s okay to pay a blogger to say something nice about them because that’s what everyone does these days. Or pay for a good review online. Or refuse to advertise with a media outlet unless they agree to print his press release.

And it’s not right if you get an uncomfortable feeling about it – for example if there’s a clear conflict of interest, or you’ve written a press release that you know isn’t really true, that you know embellishes the truth or deliberately leaves out an important fact.

Doing the right thing is vital for anyone in communications and public relations. It’s what makes us the trusted advisors for our clients and our bosses. If we don’t give the right advice – about what is the right thing to do – then we risk losing that trusted advisor role.

Think of these two things each time you feel compromised:

-  Truth – is it a lie, a deception or a deliberate twisting or omission of the truth?

-  Fairness – is it fair to others?

You’re bound to come across instances calling your ethics into question in your career if you haven’t already where you know something you’re being asked to do isn’t right, and you face a crunch point: do you refuse to do it and risk losing your job or your client? Or do you do it anyway and hope like hell no one finds out?

This week PRINZ has a focus on ethics with its ‘Ethics, Reputation and Risk Management’ course and webinar ‘Ethics – it’s not always black and white’. Plus there are ethics related resources on the PRINZ website.

Felicity Price, FPRINZ, ONZM

Twitter: @onlineauthor, #PRINZPresident


Chief Executive's Report

Senior Professionals Event: ‘How to use Behavioural Insight to solve PR challenges: the science behind our pre-programming’

When it comes to approaching public relations challenges - whether it’s building engagement, changing perceptions, or influencing behaviour - we often gravitate toward instinctive solutions. Yet from the beginning we might be working from a false premise. That’s because our brains are processing the world in ways we are not aware of. Every day hundreds of psychological principles that have been pre-programmed into our brains govern our decision making and behaviour in unexpected ways.

While behavioural science might sound like a ‘shadowy art’ used to nudge innocent citizens or consumers towards particular choices, it can be used to inform solutions that have a better chance of working. Effective communication means overcoming people’s inherent biases - and to do this we must first understand these biases, and then how to apply this understanding to our communications strategies and tactics.

Dan Bennett, Senior Behavioural Strategist at Ogilvy Change in the UK will be presenting two interactive seminars on ‘How to use Behavioural Insight to solve PR challenges: the science behind our pre-programming’.

Dan will provide a foundation in behavioural science as well as cover the MINDSPACE principles and how to add them to your PR toolbox. The day will be highly interactive with break out case study sessions applying the MINDSPACE principles to specific public relations challenges.

Events will be held in Auckland on 10 October and in Wellington on 12 October. Book now to secure the earlybird price.

Elaine Koller

Twitter: @PRINZ_Events


Partner News

PRINZ warmly thanks its valued partners. Click here to read more.

  • Isentia: Who will win – journalists, influencers or something else
  • Research First: More despatches on why our intuitions are so often wrong
  • AON: Professional Indemnity insurance

New Members

Brendan Manning, Auckland Council

Cass Hesom-Williams, Wellington City Council

Courtney Pitcher, AUT University - student group

Debbie Caterer, Land Information New Zealand (LINZ)

Elsa Bredenkamp, Panuku Development Auckland

Elysha Taylor, AUT University - student group

Georgina Bond, Thames-Coromandel District Council

Grace Chicken, Auckland Motorway Alliance

Hayley Twort, AUT University - student group

Heather Byrne, Wellington City Council

Hema Prashar

Jeanie Watson, Canterbury District Health Board

Kara Tait, Kiwibank

Krystle Field, Wellington City Council

Leah Purves, AUT University - student group

Maree Wilson, Baldwin Boyle Group

Nick Hirst, Department of Conservation

Sarah Bramhall, Dunedin City Council

Sophie Hoult, DB Breweries Limited

Victoria Barton-Chapple, Wellington City Council

Vivette Bradley