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Analyze an ethical issue faced by an organisation from a PR/communications perspective.

In a formal essay format, identify and analyse an ethical issue faced by an organisation from a PR/communications perspective. The essay must demonstrate a clear understanding of ethics in PR, the role for PR/communications specialists, and a critical evaluation of examples in PR activity involving this ethical issue. Use concepts and theories introduced in class and readings as a framework.

The essay will be assessed on structure and logical development of argument through the assignment, and a high grammatical standard is expected. You must include a list of references at the end of your paper – Chicago referenced
(a minimum of six references, including scholarly/academic journals). Individual Essay Topic: Abbot Point port expansion and dredging

Base story reference:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-08/abbot-point-dredge-material-to-be-dumped-inland/5727960

http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/news/climate/Abbot-Point-Dredging–Whos-really-to-blame/

Three other references that may be useful include:

http://www.greenpeace.org/australia/en/news/climate/Abbot-Point-Wetlands-why-put-this-beauty-at-risk-for-coal/

http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/about-us/consultation/current-proposals-completed-assessment/abbot-point-capital-dredging-project

http://greghunt.com.au/Home/LatestNews/tabid/133/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2687/Abbot-Point-and-Curtis-Island-projects-approved–new-safeguards-to-protect-the-long-term-future-of-the-Great-Barrier-Reef.aspx

Put yourself in a professional PR position. Select an organisation that is affected by this topical issue in which you would work as PR/communications manager.

You are free to choose any primary organisation involved in this issue directly e.g. Queensland government, Australian Federal government, Greenpeace, Corporation that will take on port expansion contract (please define in essay which Corporation ie North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, World Wildlife Fund or another affected organisation of your choosing.

Your assignment should specifically address the following points in an academic essay:

Preface: develop a 100 word background description of your organisation.

Develop your own statement about ethical responsibility in PR practice as it relates to your organisation and aspects within definitions of public relations.

Identify and analyse ethical issues faced by your organisation in communicating on this topic. Why is this topic an issue for your organisation and what is your position on this issue? What do you think are your organisation’s responsibilities?

Who would you identify as your key publics in communicating on this topic? Classify these publics and give reasons for your answers.

Is ethics important to your organisation’s best practice PR? What ethical practices can your organisation adopt as part of its PR strategy? What are the responsibilities of your role as PR/communications manager? Give reasons and provide examples:

Research a range of public relations activities conducted by different organisations concerning the same or a similar ethical issue. Summarise two examples/case studies including one best practice and one poor practice example of negative PR activities involving ethical issues. Use these examples as rationale to provide advice on what ethical practices your organisation can adopt as part of its PR strategy.
Marking criteria will be as much on writing skills and clarity of argument as on demonstration of understanding in PR ethics.


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