Guidelines 11 through 15

  1. Verify sources and data: When using collected data about users or customers, ensuring that it is accurate helps avoid confusion and frustration from the public when messages are not relevant to their lives or interests.
  2. Establish responsibility: As noted in the definition of ethics, this guideline asks practitioners to consider if a campaign “does the right thing?” Is it ethically helping a cause or organization? Who does it benefit? Bowen suggests that campaigns should benefit the public.
  3. Examine intention: Similar to the responsibility guideline, Bowen encourages practitioners to be reflexive in their intentions to create a campaign or message. By reflecting on the development process as well as the motivations behind a public relations initiative, practitioners can consider the benefits and harms of their actions.
  4. Encourage the good: Specifically, Bowen considers campaigns that build “connectedness, engagement and community” as ethical ones because of their larger attempt to include a diverse public group. These connections are considered “pro-social” because they foster communication and inclusivity within the public.
  5. Consistency builds trust: Finally, although all messages, strategies and practices can be evaluated individually, being consistent in the ethical nature of each message helps build trust and a positive public opinion. Demonstrating ethics across many digital campaigns can help an organization’s reputation flourish.
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