Chapter 7   Leave a comment

Chapter 7 fittingly described the legal implications of being a public relations professional, after chapter 6 discusses the ethical implications.  This was a shorter chapter than most, weighing in at a mere 17 pages.  The chapter is filled with real world scenarios which help Seitel argue the importance of following the law to the letter.  Seitel is the first to agree that the law can be very vague, and it can be interpreted in many ways, but that does not stop him from pointing out the embarrassing mistakes made by dozens of prominent members of society.  The chapter opens with a summary of the general working relationship between lawyers and public relations professionals.  While both professions serve to protect the image of their client, I feel as if the lawyer has a more important job.  If a client looses a case, than more often than not, that individual will be serving hard time whereas if a public relations professional fails at his job, one of the worst things that can result from it is a loss of profits.  While this thought process might not be entirely correct, I would much rather loose the public approval than serve hard time in a federal penitentiary.  However, it is interesting how similar the jobs of both public relations professionals and lawyers are.  Especially when you take Seitel’s advice in to consideration which urges anyone working in a specific field to have a working knowledge of the laws pertaining to that field.  This is just common sense, as a public relation professional, your entire job is to make sure that the public has the highest opinion of the organization or the client that you represent.  Sometimes, big companies may fall into the gray area that is known today as breaking the law.  How could you possibly do an effective job if you were say representing an international shipping company like FedEx if you didn’t posses a fundamental understanding on the regulations of international trade?  As Seitel reiterates again and again, it is imparative of public relations officials to tell the truth.  Should the individual not realize that there are certain tariffs and taxes that must be paid, or some kind of regulations on minimum wage than how could they be expected to honestly represent the company?  Their ignorance could potentially cause them to base an entire ad campaign around a lie, which would be catastrophic for the executives involved.  While the chapter itself might not have discusses as many topics than others, this chapter certainly holds a significance that warrants it as one of the more important in the entire book.

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Posted June 4, 2011 by Big Man in Reading Notes

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