Focus on Ethics and Public Relations Practice in a University Classroom

Document Type


SoTL Discipline


Publication Date



Courses: Intermediate and advanced public relations courses. Can also be modified for graduate courses.

Objectives: The following objectives, based on Fink's (2005) recommendations for writing learning objectives, focus on what students should learn about ethics in the practice of public relations: •

Understand basic notions of the philosophical basis for ethical decision making. •

Relate their intuitive senses of ethics to ethical decision making in public relations. •

Understand the social implications of ethical public relations practice. •

Use the Public Relations Society of America's (PRSA) code of ethics on in-class case examples and for all subsequent case analyses for the semester. •

Value ethics as an important dimension of effectiveness and professionalism. •

See ways to build on ethical understanding now and in their careers.


This article was published in Communication Teacher. Vol. 25, Issue 3. (2011). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2011.579907