The Ethical (Or Unethical) Issues in Government PR

More than any other organization, governments use public relations as a way to reach out to and share information with their citizens. “Public relations’ central value to government is its ability to engender a more informed society through ethical, transparent, and honest communications between the government and its citizens” (Corbett). Although the United States government does utilize public relations methods to make citizens aware of valuable services like Food Stamps, WIC, and services that protect victims of abuse, a good portion of tax payer funds that the government uses for public relations purposes is used unethically. As early as 1913, special interest groups have expressed concern over the appropriateness of government use of public relations. Political activists have promoted “vague and general fears that a government relations activity could be perverted into a propaganda machine that would manipulate public opinion” (Turney).

In November of 2008, the Albany Times Union reported … Read More