The Law Essay

670 WordsApr 15, 20143 Pages
Chapter 7- “The Law” Jour 212-Public Communications April 25, 2013 “The Law” Public relations and the law both begin with the First Amendment to the constitution that guarantees freedom of speech in our society. But in the 21st century, ensuring freedom of speech is not as easy as it sounds. One question is, “Where does one’s freedom of start and another’s end?” Another question is, “How much freedom of speech is appropriate, or advisable, in any given situation?” Such are the dilemmas in the relationship between public relations principles and the law. The legal and public relations professions have historically shared an uneasy alliance. Public relations practitioners must always understand the legal implications of any issue with which they become involved, and a firm’s legal position must always be the first consideration. From a public relations standpoint, though, it may often make sense to go public early on, especially if the organization’s integrity or credibility is being called into public question. This paper examines the relationship between the law and public relations and the more prominent role the law plays in public relations practice and vice versa. The paper introduces the legal concerns of public relations professionals today: first amendment considerations, insider trading, disclosure law, ethics law, privacy law, and copyright law. The first amendment is the cornerstone of free speech in our society. This is what distinguishes democratic nations from many others. Interpreting the First amendment, especially in the internet age, is no simple matter. One person’s definition of obscenity or divulging state secrets may be someone else’s definition of art or freedom of expression. Because the First Amendment lies are the heart of the communications business, defending it is a front-line responsibility of the public profession. The laws

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