Posted tagged ‘votes’

What not to say!


“…Never promote yourself at Another’s expense…”

Line from a humanist code of ethics by Arthur Dobrin

Communicators are often faced with ethical dilemmas. Indeed there are many who trade in promoting products and services and pedalling messages that are dubious in the least. Of course the judgement is often down to personal values and probably influenced by multiple considerations.

I was confronted by such an ethical dilemma this week. A man seeking advice through a network I subscribe to requested advice related to key messaging.

In his home country of Kenya it is commonplace for voters to be paid to vote for one of the parties. He wanted to run a key message that encouraged people to take the money but to vote for the opposite party.

For my part, I declined to offer advice actually saying that I felt that no professional communicator could participate in such an exercise and that free democracy could not be exercised by righting a wrong with a wrong.
Interestingly his question on a discussion forum has drawn very little response when normally the forums are very healthy full of contributions and debate. This leads me to think that communicators are constantly struggling with their personal ethics in relation to the messages they deliver.

The recent public flagellation in British politics has shown that corruption is a many-headed beast but I cannot and will not overstep a line – and that line is my personal values. These are values that I am privileged, as a company owner, to be able to deliver as an individual and as a business. I also think it is imperative that all communicators operate to highest ethical and moral standards.

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