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Client and Publicist dilemma

June 13, 2011

I know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t you just start your publicist position? What could possibly be wrong now?”

Nothing, actually. This is more of a commentary on ethical dilemmas I’ve already experienced versus what they tell you in school about ethical dilemmas you’ll experience.

First of all, let me be clear when I say, I love being a publicist. Although still very new, it’s an exciting adventure.  But, already it’s taken a turn I’d only read/heard about.

As a journalism student in my ethics class, we frequently discussed what happens when you represent a company or brand you can’t possibly stand behind with your personal moral and ethical beliefs. They make it sound so easy to “do what you believe in” and to “stand your ground”. But, as a senior, there was another story to be told. I remember listening to students tell about their summer internships where they ghost-blogged for a top-tier executive, and would quote them frequently standing behind the companies mission statement. The ethics class gasped in horror at the thought of impersonation.  The real fact of the matter is that ghost-blogging (while not ethical in school) happens in the real world.

Or, say you firmly don’t believe you could work for a company that promotes smoking, or rap music.  In school, they’ll teach you that this job may not particularly be the one for you and you should open your job search immediately.

In the real world, that’s not always the easiest thing to do. A bad economy and a good salary may keep you in your spot.

Now let’s get to the point, the book I’m working on today. My superior let me choose my books since I’d come such a long way from coordinator. I chose the Politics. Then it was erotica or religion. I assumed (in my haste) that it was about finding God. Unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. The author is an atheist and thinks searching for God is silly. Fortunately he’s not the type of author to firmly stand his ground, and understands that there are different beliefs out there, and if I want to search for God and it gives me hope, then I should do so.

But I’m finding it increasingly difficult to stand behind him, put my own beliefs aside and promote a book I so radically disbelieve in. They didn’t teach me this in school. Ouch.

Don’t worry guys, I’m going to pray every night about this one.  I learned a great moral. Never underestimate a book title.


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