Public Relations and Persuasion
Read the case carefully and make notes.
Peruse the case: Read through the facts, discussion and commentary.
Make a brief outline: Who is involved in the case? What ethical dilemmas do they face? Are there any special circumstances that would influence the outcome?
Apply an ethical decision-making tool (e.g. the Potter Box (first case study), Doing Ethics or SAD Formula): What are the ethical issues involved? The values? How can those values be applied as principles? What are the loyalties? Who are the stakeholders involved? How would the decision play in the court of public opinion?
The ethical decision: Do you agree with the ethical decision, if one was made? What would you have done? What ethical theories can you use to justify your decision?
Reformulate the problem: What is the case really about? What ethical issues are central to the problem? What conflicts between ideas, perspectives, or values are involved in deciding what action to take? Whose interests (e.g. public, subject, client, company, journalist, advertiser, PR practitioner) are really at stake? What are the alternatives? What would you have done differently if you were in charge? Did they act in a responsible and ethical manner?
Make thoughtful assumptions about the information not available in the case.
2. Now you are ready to write your analysis – two to three typed double-spaced pages minimum. Include answers to the above questions, as well as your own insights.
Some questions do not have a right or wrong answer. Credit will be given for answers that demonstrate thoughtful, careful reading of the case, originality, analysis, good writing and neatness.
Essays will be evaluated on the basis of both substance and style. Essays should be well organized; written in clear, coherent sentences and paragraphs; follow the common canons of good grammar (complete sentences, no split infinitives, appropriate use of commas, etc.); use only correctly spelled words.
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