Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Communications Law and PR

Last week in Principles of PR we discussed communications law along with privacy and how it applies to the public relations practice. Some of the issues that can arise for example, would be using a person's name without permission. Privacy laws directly affect the PR practitioner when producing employee newsletters, photo releases, product publicity and advertising, media inquiries about employees, and Web site production. It is extremely important for the practitioner to understand these privacy laws in order to protect their work.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) sets regulations to make sure that you are informed about the intent to collect and use your personal information, and obtain your consent. As a class we discussed how this often happens in retail when we leave our name or email address behind. Retailers have to tell you why they are asking for this information, and we can chose not to leave any of our information if we don't feel comfortable doing so. Ethics also plays a role when using people's information or name, as a PR practitioner it is important to include only what is necessary, and treat everyone equally. You never want to embarass someone or print something that isn't factual. Lastly, it is important to always get a legal opinion if you aren't sure whether or not information is allowed to be shared with others.

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