DILEMMA To jump-start a new product launch, a junior AE on your team suggests some “viral marketing.” He says that for $500 he can get a team of college students to post favorable comments about the product in chat rooms and online forums—anonymously. Do you go for it?
Every day, at public relations agencies large and small, account reps and senior management are faced with ethical challenges. How they address those issues reflects on clients and supervisors. An ethical lapse can result in embarrassing media scrutiny… maybe even litigation.
While you spend a lot of time training PR staffers how to use technology, how to pitch, and how to write, what training do you give them on ethics? How can you expect your team to “do the right thing” without continual training and direction?
Jim Cameron’s Socratic Approach to PR Ethics
Building on a 20-year award-winning career in journalism and public relations, Jim Cameron has designed “The PR Ethics Workshop” to address those challenges. The PR Ethics Workshop is not a lecture. It’s a lively role-playing session where staffers are confronted with issues they’re likely to face in their day-to-day PR work.
DILEMMA After a business lunch at a nice restaurant, your client picks up the tab…and she gives you a blank receipt, suggesting that you submit it for reimbursement as client entertainment. “Nobody will find out… I do it all the time,” she says, adding: “Anyhow, they don’t pay you enough.” What do you say?
Playing through these scenarios and using the Socratic method of teaching, Jim pokes and prods, pushing participants to explain what they’d do and why. He doesn’t preach about “the right way” to do things, but stimulates participants to think ethically by watching and listening to each other as they creatively solve professional and personal dilemmas.
FAQ on PR Ethics Training
Q: My staff is too busy handling client work. How can we make time for workshops?
A: Our PR Ethics Workshop takes only 60 to 90 minutes. We can run it before or after the normal business day or as a working luncheon. We’ll work with you and your staff’s harried schedule. You can find one hour to invest in your staff’s development, can’t you?
Q: Does my staff really need this kind of training? They’re experienced and savvy.
A: Are you sure? With today’s competitive pressures, how do you know that some well-intentioned account executive might not take an ethical shortcut that loses a client? Use our workshops to diagnose your staff’s ethical decision-making. Then you’ll know for sure.
Q: Who is Jim Cameron to be teaching this course? What makes him the expert?
A: Jim doesn’t pretend to have a PhD in Ethics… just 30+ years experience in public relations as a media trainer and another 15 years prior experience as an award-winning journalist. He doesn’t have all the answers…who does? But he knows the questions that will get your staff thinking ethically!
Q: Where do I find budget for this kind of training?
A: The PR Ethics Workshop is a high-impact investment in your staff and your organization’s future. Participants will appreciate that you’re investing in their professional development. The PR Ethics Workshop is affordable. And the expense is but a fraction of the cost of a lost client or bad media coverage.