Disliking public relations: Democratic ideals and the habits of ethical communicators

Peter Denyer-Simmons, Barbara Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Public relations is broadly consistent with concepts of freedom of expression and access to information, but there is an enduring dislike of public relations in democratic societies where it is widely practised. The paper uses the 'habits of ethical communicators' (Rubin & Yoder 1985) to reflect on public relations practice, using public relations advice offered to a high profile footballer facing public scrutiny over an incident involving group sex with a 19-year-old girl as a point of discussion The paper aims to contribute to debate on the poor public image of public relations, arguing that public relations practice frequently violates notions of ethical communication, and that privileging the interests of those represented by public relations ahead of a greater good is antithetical to core democratic values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalEthical Space: the international journal of communication ethics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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