EUPRERA Annual Congress 2014

Communication Ethics in a Connected World

Public relations, strategic communication and organizational communication have always had an important and complex relation with ethics: the work on opinion and reputation puts communication professionals directly in touch with all sorts of ethical issues, and this reality is even more evident today. Data collected in the European Communication Monitor (2012 edition) are a clear sign of this situation. A majority of communication professionals in Europe are confronted with one or more ethical challenges each year in their work, and the amount of this kind of issues increases in time. The international and intercultural nature of contemporary PR and communication practice, together with the increase of social media, make the ethical dimension of communication more and more evident and demanding.


Many different professional associations around the world have proposed deontological principles and charts. Transparency is often evoked as a necessity for nowadays organizational and communication practices. On the other side, the reputation of communication professionals has been continually under scrutiny and submitted to heavy criticism. The reputation of the professionals in charge of companies’ reputation is at stake.


Many questions can indeed be raised about the relation between PR and ethics today, from different points of view. What is the place ethics has in today’s communication practice? What is the relation between ethical issues, power, (different forms of) capital distribution and rhetorical construction of communication and discourse? How is ethics evoked in PR campaigns and discourses, which are the semiotic and rhetorical forms of its presence in communication documents and situations? Which ethics, which principles can be identified as universal references for PR practice? How to develop ethical forms of communication? We propose here below a list of different areas in which these questions arise.


  • PR, new medias and ethics
  • PR ethical issues in a multi-cultural world
  • Ethical aspects of PR profession and professionalization
  • Public affairs, lobbying, and ethics
  • Sustainable Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and PR
  • Open session: Public relations, communication and society


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