Her Voice Blog

    #MsInterPReted #EthicsWashing: The New Authenticity Fail?

    2.26.20 S2_Epi5_Kelly_MBW_light text

    #MsInterPReted Co-Host Mary Beth West made history in February 2020, by being officially banned by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA) – a move the GA admonished Mary Beth in its written reprimand to her as being unprecedented.

    And why the ban?... Mary Beth revealed on an #EthicsMatter Twitter thread that she had directly asked ethical-compliance policy questions -- which the GA had failed (or refused) to answer for months.

    In the wake of this intimidation tactic by the GA’s nearly all-male Executive Committee, Kelly and Mary Beth break down the ethical hypocrisies and #PRfails of #EthicsWashing . . . a.k.a., when industry authorities tout codes of conduct that they themselves reject and fail in practice.

    Kelly and Mary Beth discuss transparency and authenticity issues that plague the public relations profession and how industry groups like the GA and PRSA let down their stakeholders through censorship, secrecy and obstructed channels of communication, when they refuse to disclose basic information that their own members rightfully request and should receive.

    The GA’s and PRSA’s stonewalling (including PRSA’s recent policy decision to start concealing the members of its own Audit Committee) stands in stark contrast to their joint-campaign in 2018 that touted the virtues of “a free press” and the right to “speak honestly and fearlessly on behalf of ourselves…”

    What are the implications of the GA’s and PRSA’s credibility and leadership posture in the PR industry? Will the GA or PRSA accept Kelly’s and Mary Beth’s invitation to appear on a future episode of #MsInterPReted, to clarify their viewpoints? Stay tuned!

    Kelly and Mary Beth have a candid chat about #EthicsWashing and how it’s damaging the public relations industry – particularly when PR industry associations are the ones doing it. Included in the discussion:

    • How the #MeToo movement’s authenticity demands have changed some aspects of the automotive industry; How #Greenwashing, #Pinkwashing and #Gaywashing have joined the line-up of authenticity fails under public scrutiny… and why walking-the-talk is so essential;
    • How some simple questions Mary Beth asked the Global Alliance – originally in December 2019 – snowballed into an “international incident” when she revealed the unanswered questions on an #EthicsMatter Twitter thread;
    • Background of what the Global Alliance is and confusion about its mission versus known deliverables / impacts;
    • What other kinds of non-transparency behaviors by PRSA are transpiring that undermine member trust (and PRSA’s own ability to lead its U.S.-based membership in a credible manner);
    • What values systems of accountability are supposed to look like … and how certain leaderships have drifted away from that mandate;

    Fletcher, PR, public relations, #MsInterPReted, PRethics, EthicsMatter, EthicsWashing

    Her Voice

    The Fletcher Blog

    This is Her Voice, the Fletcher blog. Here you can find posts about marketing, public relations, recent news and other marketing-related topics. Our blog is written to help inform, advise and analyze.

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