Our debate topic was about “ PR agency consultants should always do what the agency's clients want them to do.” [Opposition Team]
Below is be a short summary of what I put forward during the debate as the second speaker representing the Opposition team that the team stands against the notion that PR agency consultants should always do what the agency's clients want them to do.
Splitting the two words, Public and Relations, the Oxford dictionary( Homby 1995, p. 936 & 985) states that Public means “ Concerning people in general.” and Relations means “ Links, contacts or deals between people.” Therefore, having so much concerns with the public, PR consultants have to be SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE (emphasize these two words) towards educating the public.
For example, smoking, littering, racism and despising of certain religion. Are these being socially and morally acceptable? In our opinion, if consultants were to go with the clients' idea of promoting any of the above examples, it is indicating to the public that IT IS OKAY TO SOME, IT IS OKAY TO BE RACIST ( emphasize words)
The next example depicts that in the long run, this will happen if we educate the public wrongly about social and morale views. Not only will the public find themselves getting involve in legal issues, the PR agency will have the risk of being sued too.
Eg 1: SINGAPORE: Blogger arrested for racist post. May 22 2008. It stated that “ Singapore law penalizes anyone who “deliberately wounds the religious or racial feelings of another” with up to three years of jail and a fine.
Eg 2: Youtube user, Nigahiga, Peter Chao.
In conclusion, the opposition team stand against the statement that PR consultants should always do what the agency's clients want them to do. Moreover they are consultants. They provide advice professionally, therefore, they will provide advices that will benefit the society, the PR agency and most importantly maintaining the best possible image of their clients.
Being the first group to kick of the weekly debate, we definitely have a huge amount of stress as we are the ones that set the benchmark. During the rebuttal section, I felt that the Affirmative team drifted a little from the topic and could not understand that the internet has been and is the leading platform for PR consultants to showcase their projects and how many people from the public are able to have access to it, such example will be the Great Schlep. It is a great example of using new media to broadcast to the public about the “how to win over the Jewish voters” campaign for now President of the United States, Mr Obama.