Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published as an op-ed in CommPro.biz.
Can a public relations professional represent a dictator or an authoritarian government and remain faithful to the PRSA Code of Ethics? Asked another way: Do all clients and organizations deserve representation in the court of public opinion, as long as their behavior is legal?
Gideon Spanier, writing for the London Evening Standard, notes that “critics claim that London has turned into the global capital of reputation laundering.” Spanier also quotes Lord Bell, chairman of Chime Communications, as saying, “No amount of media harassment or sensationalism is going to stop me representing clients that have a legitimate right to tell their story.”
To put it more directly, does Libyna dictator Muammar Gaddafi deserve professional PR counsel?