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Introduction to Public Relations Ethics

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Ethics in Crisis Management
Module Nine | Lesson two
Overview: AccessTo Information During A Crisis
Significant Choice Ethical FrameworkChallenge of Information Uncertainty in CrisesCommunication Ambiguity in CrisesEthics Of Withholding InformationA Dialogic Approach In Addressing The Public’s Concerns
LessonTwo
Significant Choice Ethical Framework
choice based on the best information available when the decision must bemadechoice making that is voluntary, free from physical or mentalcoercionwhen a group has vital information the publicneeds,that information must be disseminated as completely and accurately as possible
LessonTwo
Five Standards For Significant Choice
Stakeholders are free from physical or mental coercion.The choice is made based on all the information available.All reasonable alternatives are included in the discussion.Both short-term and long-term consequences are disclosed and discussed.Both senders and receivers of messages are open abouttheirpersonal motives
LessonTwo
Challenge of Information Uncertainty in Crises
Uncertainty is the inability to determine the present or predict the future.Organizationsexperience uncertainty--dueto lack ofinformation--dueto the complexity of theinformation--dueto questions about the quality of the information
LessonTwo
Communication Ambiguity in Crises
defined as multiple interpretations of an eventvarious groups may have communication goals and viewpoints that potentially conflict with each otherThe consistency of message is one important benchmark of effectivecrisis communication

LessonTwo
Ethics Of WithholdingInformation
Stonewalling, offering only selected disclosures, creating ambiguity, etc. in crisisis generally considered unethicalThere may be legitimate reasons to withhold information temporarily
LessonTwo
Types of Sensitive Information—Potential Consequence if Released
Might jeopardizesnational security or an ongoing policeinvestigationMight unnecessarily violatesprivacymightlead to undue stigmatization of individualsor groupsmightlead to behaviors that would resultinincreased spread of disease
LessonTwo
A Dialogic Approach In Addressing The Public’s Concerns
The public has the right to know what risks it facesPublicconcerns about risk should be accepted as legitimate.Thepublic can serve as a resource, rather than a burden, in risk and crisis managementMaintaining information transparency isimportant inbuilding risk communication capacity to support all phases of emergency management
LessonTwo

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Introduction to Public Relations Ethics