SAM Seminar: Bad barrels: public relations and professional ethics

When:26 Aug 2014, 5pm - 6:30pm
Venue:Robert Webster building, lecture theatre 327
Who:Johanna Fawkes (Charles Sturt University)
SAM Seminar - Fawkes

This seminar will explore professional ethics in the communication industries, with particular attention to public relations (PR).

Introducing a Jungian perspective to professional ethics, it is suggested that emerging professions, such as PR, create ethical statements and codes predicated on idealized self-images and fail to engage with the shadow aspects of the occupational group. As a result, they are too partial to be ethical in any deep sense.

A Jungian approach calls for reflexive engagement with the hidden aspects of the individual or collective. In the case of public relations’ ethics, the dominant discourse emphasizes excellence while critics level charges of distorting democracy.

Confronting the shadow of communication professions opens a new kind of ethical discussion.


Dr Johanna Fawkes is Senior Lecturer in Public Relations at Charles Sturt University, NSW Australia, where she runs the Doctor of Communication, among other things. After fifteen years as a public sector campaigner, from 1990-2004, Johanna devised and delivered some of the first PR degree and professional courses in the UK. She has also been Chief Examiner for the UK’s professional body, undertaken consultancy and research projects, and completed her PhD shortly before joining Charles Sturt in 2011. Johanna has written numerous papers for international journals, presented keynote and plenary addresses at international conferences, and contributed several chapters to leading PR textbooks. Her new book, Public Relations, Ethics and Professionalism: The Shadow of Excellence, was published in July 2014 by Routledge.


SAM Seminar Series 2014
Convenor, Collin Chua – c.chua@unsw.edu.au

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