Disliking public relations: democratic ideals and the habits of ethical communicators

Peter Simmons, Barbara Walsh

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Public relations is broadly consistent with concepts of freedom of expression and access to information, but there is an enduring dislike of public relations in democratic societies where it is widely practised. The paper uses the theories relating to the ‘habits of ethical communicators’ (Rubin and Yoder 1985) to reflect on public relations practice, using public relations advice offered to a high profile footballer facing public scrutiny over an incident involving group sex with a 19-year-old girl as a point of discussion. The paper aims to contribute to the debate on the poor public image of public relations, arguing that public relations practice frequently violates notions of ethical communication, and that privileging the interests of those represented by public relations ahead of a greater good is antithetical to core democratic values.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-19
    Number of pages7
    JournalEthical Space
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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