People are more than five times more likely to do the right thing when they have some time to think about the matter than when they have to make a snap decision, according to a recent study from the Academy of Management.
Unfortunately, as PR professionals, too often we don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to making a decision. Like many of you, I rarely encounter a situation where clients say “take the time you need.”
I strongly encourage a methodical, data-based approach to decision-making; whenever possible professionals should look at all sides of a knotty problem. This is particularly important when it comes to an ethical issue, as there are often varying shades of grey in the question.
But PR people often face their ethical dilemmas when a reporter is calling and asking a question, or the client presents an idea, asks “Any objections?” or simply tells them what is happening. It that case, the luxury of time doesn’t exist, so we don’t have the time benefit the study recommends.
Does that mean we throw up our hands, trust our gut and settle for less ethical decision making? No.