I found the first reading this week very hard to take in. There was a lot of legal aspects that I found difficult to understand and had to read the text twice to make more sense of it. It made me realise how important it is to understand all the legal aspects associated with public relations and to not only recognise such aspects but also advise and manage legal situations that arise. There were many key points in this reading, including the importance of public relations practitioners having a good relationship with their legal advisers; public relations practitioners can easily fall prey to acts of defamation, sometimes without even realising it; public relations practitioners, therefore, need to be mindful of the way they communicate and what they communicate ensuring that they are not being misleading or deceptive. The diversity of legal aspects related to public relations was quite daunting, and made me realise how much we need to be aware of before embarking into the PR workplace.
They key points I learnt from the chapter 5 reading was the importance of being ethical in public relations and the need to move towards 'genuine professionalism.' It states that since public relations can create an influence over people, then what they do needs to be ethical. I found the Potter Box quite an interesting analytical tool for looking at four factors that individuals base ethical decisions on; the situation and the person's values, principles and loyalties. It also highlighted the importance of building honest relationships between practitioners and organisations that they work for. This then gives a good impression to society of the honesty, and
reliability of public relations and their organisations.
My learning from both readings this week builds upon previous learnings about public relations in that public relations practitioners need to be in constant communication with CEO's and senior management to not only ensure the organisation runs smoothly, but to create effective legal and ethical strategies to adopt to the organisation. It also highlighted how public relations practitioners are continuously accused of being 'spin doctors' and twisting meaning for their own intentions. Hopefully in time, public relations will be able to develop strategic ethical considerations to adopt to their work and improve the negative impression that some are still associating with them.