When a PR professional is considering whether or not to record a conversation, it’s critically important to know you are within the law. This is not as easy as it appears as different states have quite different approaches to what constitutes illegal behavior and what is necessary to do to make the recording legal.
What is legally accepted in one state may be contrary to the laws in another state. And when different participants to a conference call, media interview or any other audio communications are in different states, the thorny issue of what is and is not a legally permissible recording becomes particularly complex.
Further complicating matters is the rising use of “gotcha” journalism to expose CEOs, activists and other leaders in supposedly nefarious acts or remarks. (See: NRP’s recent fund-raising debacle at the hands of James O’Keefe’s surreptitiously-placed recorder.)
Professional Standards Advisory PS-18 is designed to help PR practitioners better understand this confusing matter. It offers best practices to help PR pros avoid committing an illegal act that could destroy a career or open up a civil claim for damages.