I value “to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”

9 Dec

Have you ever thought of what you value most of all? Ever thought why?

Since birth we have been brought up to distinguish between right and wrong.  The fact of the matter is, what’s wrong to someone might be right to someone else  no one is the same! and wouldn’t it be a boring world if we were. Our personal values are what make us think, feel and do. If you are a regular reader of my blogs you are probably  more than aware that PR is about building and maintaining relationships with stakeholders and therefore understanding what makes people tick is extremely important.

Allow me to present my top 10 values

Take a few moments to think about what you most value but read this first…

“You are in a stable career which you enjoy, however it has been decided that your company are to outsource labour to India, they will pay employees close to nothing and the working conditions will be horrendous in order to keep out going costs at a minimum”

Where would your loyalties lie at this particular moment? Would it be with yourself, Your employer, or with the labourers?

I believe that values are constantly interchangeable. Using the above example, at this moment in time I value fairness and I wouldn’t be happy to shop at Primark for example because of the issues surrounding them and these types of ‘Sweatshops.’ However what’s to say that in 10 years when I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay that my values might change? If I worked for an organisation who was going to start outsourcing cheap labour maybe I wouldn’t be so quick to shout my values from the roof tops as lets face it I wouldn’t be able to risk losing the job.

“What about Celebrities?”

She’s the human version of Marmite, “You either love her, or you hate her”. Yes I’m talking about Katie Price.

She’s constantly slapped on the front of celebrity magazines, but the question I’m dying to know is “What do you value Katie Price?”

“Ethics means the formal study and codification of moral principles into systematic frameworks so that decisions can be made about what is right and wrong in a reasoned and structured way”. (Tench and Yeomans,2009, p.276)

It’s no surprise to hear Alister Campbell saying that “the media allows the public to hate or like celebrities, who want to be in the magazines, some of them do, some don’t theres no distinctions”

Celebrity magazines are constantly churning ‘stories’ surrounding celebs like Katie Price,  like Marina Hyde I believe they too should be under ‘ethical’ scrutiny. However like Campbell said, some celebrities want to be in the magazines, there is no distinction therefore how do you regulate a media which is supported by those it is offending? because at the end of the day isn’t any news good news?


 “The Five pillars of Ethics”

  • Veracity– Telling the truth
  • Non-Malfeasance– Doing no harm
  • Beneficence– Doing good
  • Confidentiality Respecting Privacy
  • Fairness- Being fair and socially responsible

The five pillar approach to ethics is a great concept as to me it connotes the entrance wall of a building which without it would fall down….

“I promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth”

Although I wouldn’t blame you for thinking otherwise, PR is all about ‘truth and trust’. At the end of the day PR is all about building and maintaining relationships through communication, if there was no trust there would be no relationship. Members of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) constantly have to adhere to their codes of conduct which are…

In order to ‘trust’ I feel we must know the whole story! The question is, do the public value stories which are in the public interest such as, the news of the world phone hacking scandal or the war in Iraq. Or do we prefer stories which are of interest, like the story surrounding Imogen Thomas and a certain footballer?

Moral Panic- 

Its been done many a time but are we consciously aware? There are certain stories, past and present where we ask “are we getting the whole story here?” and the answer to that is, probably not! Believe it or not the media can sometimes grab hold of an issue and in effect create a moral panic , where our response is influenced by the media.

Stories which become interesting to the public are often those involving celebrities. Lets think back to the ‘Imogen Thomas and Ryan Giggs affair’, maybe it was the secrecy of Ryan’s identity all I know is we were enthralled. The injunction taken out to silence Thomas wasn’t enough to stop the media, there was so much interest surrounding this story that it took an MP to announce the footballers name in parliament, with his argument being we live in a democracy! Maybe the fact that we live in a democracy and the fact Twitter is now on the scene helps in finding out the whole truth and nothing but the truth….


2 Responses to “I value “to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth””

  1. Mwalshh December 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi Michaela, I think you tackle this from exactly the right angle.. the big quesiton that i think a lot of want to know is…WHY?! why are we as a society so interested in the lives of others. Im not sure we will ever get a definite answer to this, however it think it is a sign which shows the way in which society is heading. Even in my lifetime (Only 20!) i can remember a time where people didnt become fascinated with the daily routines of celebrties and programmes such as “Im a celebrity get me out of here” (Are they even celebrities?!?!) and “The life of Peter Andre” were non existant dots on our television screens.

    I think the main point that we can pull from all of this, is that as a PR practitioner you should ensure the key values or your organisation or your client is appropriately displayed…maybe if this was done correctly, we wouldnt need to criticise the world of PR! All too often peopel are assuming they are showing us programmes that we want to watch. When in reality if they didnt exist we would notice no difference.

    • michomoom December 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Hi Maddie,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I wish I could answer your question to why we as a society are so interested in the lives of others and in particular, those of celebrities. Maybe like you said it’s the fact that they are constantly rammed down our throats and we have just become accustomed. Maybe it’s watching the lives we aspire to have, wealth and popularity?

      I really like your comment, that as a PR practitioner we must display the key values of either the client or organisation. However how far would you agree with that the problem PR’s are faced with all too often is ‘Money’, everything seems to relay on the value of something, just like ‘The life of Peter Andre’ and Kerry Katona. Although these programmes gave the public great insights into their lives, at the end of the day were they done for money? Just like people entering the ‘celebrity’ jungle and big brother to pay off debts etc?

      Thanks again


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