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Planning For Ethics


Take a consultative/consensus approach to ethics (the process itself is an ethics of inclusion) ... checks into program planning using a tool such as pyramid ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Planning For Ethics

Planning For Ethics
  • Dr Elspeth Tilley
  • Massey University

Most strategic comms plans have a similar format.
  • RACE
  • ROPE
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we need to get to?
  • How will we get there?
  • How will we know when weve arrived?

(Freitag, 1998)
Whats ethics???
  • Doing the right thing.
  • BUT (and its a big BUT).
  • Whose right thing?

Ethics schools of thought
Virtue Ethics Deontology Consequentialism
The key questions each approach asks.
Virtue Ethics what kind of person ought I to
be? Deontology what are my duties?
Consequentialism how ought the world to be?
See Temkin, 2004, p. 354, and Tilley, 2005.
The problems.
  • All three (values, rules, and outcomes) are
    important for comprehensive ethical consideration
  • No two people have the same ideas about what
    values, rules, or outcomes are most ethical or
  • Where/how do they fit in practice????

The ethics pyramid aims to
  • Include all three major ethics approaches plus
    any others that you could choose
  • Take a consultative/consensus approach to ethics
    (the process itself is an ethics of inclusion)
  • Transform principles into practical campaign
    components by matching to strategy steps
  • Make ethics measurable
  • Allow flexibility for variable or multiple values

(No Transcript)
Why is this helpful?
  • Cuts through welter of conflicting ethics ideas
  • Enables cultural and personal customisation
  • Four sequential steps
  • Integrates with existing campaign strategy
  • Encourages ethics measurement and reporting as a
    value-added proposition

Putting ethics on the agenda
  • Have a personal ethical reflection time each
  • Have regular, informal ethical reflection
    sessions with colleagues
  • Formally write ethics checks into program
    planning using a tool such as pyramid
  • Invite speakers to workplace to talk about ethics
  • Make it a lively, not onerous, topic
  • Read ethics cartoons!!!

Thank you to Journal of Mass Media Ethics for
valuable feedback, the Arthur W. Page Center for
Integrity in Public Communication for seed
funding to commence workplace testing, Doug
Savage ( for the great
chickens, and colleagues for valuable
insights. Please contact me any time with your
feedback or questions about the ethics
pyramid. Phone 64 4 801
5799 ext. 6598
References Resources
  • Center, A. H., Jackson, P. (2003) Public
    relations practices Managerial case studies
    problems. N.J. Pearson Education.
  • Freitag, A. R. (1998, Spring) PR planning primer
    Bite-sized morsels make it simple. Public
    Relations Quarterly, 14-17.
  • Hendrix, J.A. (2001). Public relations cases. 5th
    ed. Stamford Wadsworth.
  • Macnamara, J. (2002). PR metrics Research for
    planning and evaluation of PR and corporate
    communication. Chippendale, NSW MASS
    Communication Group. Retrieved August 31, 2004,
    from http//
  • McElreath, M. (1997) Managing systematic and
    ethical public relations campaigns. Madison
    Brown Benchmark
  • Patterson, J. (1999). Ethics still count. Vital
    Speeches, 65, p. 731.
  • Seib, P., Fitzpatrick, K. (1995) Public
    relations ethics. Fort Worth Harcourt Brace.
  • Temkin, L. S. (2004). Thinking about the needy,
    justice, and international organizations. The
    Journal of Ethics, 8, 349-395.
  • Tilley, E. (2005). The ethics pyramid Making
    ethics unavoidable in the public relations
    process. Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 20 (4),