While Public Relations professionals have a certain ethical code that ought to be followed, the more important thing they have to deal with would be legal issues. PR professionals have to be careful not to break any of the laws regarding defamation, privacy, copyright, infringement, trademark, liabilities, and government regulations.
Each of the above issues is very important in the PR world. Any person who works in public relations ought to be well versed in the areas above as to avoid any conflict or legal issue. A PR department or firm can suffer greatly from just one legal case; their reputation could be tarnished forever.
I feel that the most important laws would be the law against defamation and the law against privacy.
Defamation is when a person or a company’s name and reputation are harmed due to some printed material that slanders the name or due to spoken words that are harmful. I feel like this is an important law to follow because no one should be allowed to knowingly print or speak material that is false with the sole purpose to harm. And once an act like this is committed, even if the information released is false, it is extremely difficult for the innocent but attacked person or company to reassure their clients and customers that the information was false. Once trust is lost, it is very difficult to regain it.
The second issue I feel is very important to PR professionals is the issue of privacy. No one deserves to have his or her public life on display for the whole world to criticize. I feel like it is extremely untactful for a person to purposefully harm someone by broadcasting private information for the sake of getting ahead.
A PR professional had better be well versed in all the laws regarding his or her profession because lawsuits look bad for a company and cost a great deal of money.