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This page is a work in progress, so a) please bear with us as we add more content and b) get involved: your contributions are sought and welcomed.

This ethics research page has been created to document the progress of the Ethics Pyramid research project (see below or click here), and provide links to any other current research projects into public relations ethics. The mission of this page is toserve, support, and progress the research and discussion of public relations and communication ethics in any way it can. We are happy to do this through providing resources and links, facilitating discussion, hosting materials or templates from ethics research projects so that they can be shared in the public domain, or any other way you can think of, so let us know what you need. At present, only one research project is included, but we hope to add to this material over time, so that students approaching ethics in public relations can see possible ways that research can proceed.

Acknowledgement: Thank you to the Arthur W Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication for seed funding which helped support the initial creation of this page and to the Massey University Research Fund for supporting its expansion and maintenance.

Berg, K. T. & Gibson, K. (2011). Hired guns and moral torpedoes: Balancing the competing moral duties of the public relations professional. PRism 8(1):

Fountaine, S. (2005). Communication ethics. In F.Sligo & R.Bathurst (Eds.), Communication in the New Zealand workplace (pp. 29-42). Wellington: Software Technology.

Harrison, J. (2004) Conflicts of duty and the virtues of Aristotle in public relations ethics: Continuing the conversation commenced by Monica Walle. PRism 2(1).

Harrison, K., & Galloway, C. (2005). Public relations ethics: A simpler (but not simplistic) approach to the complexities. PRism 3(1).

Hollings, J. (2006). Gathering visual images of the 2004 tsunami: Journalists challenges and ethical issues. PRism 4(3). Available at:

Lubbers, C., Bourland-Davis, P., & Rawlins, B. (2007/8). Public relations interns and ethical issues at work: Perceptions of student interns from three different universities. PRism 5(1&2):

Pike, D., & Jackson, N. (2006). Ethics and the promotion of consumer brands to children: Marketing public relations in the UK toy industry.  PRism 4(1):

Tilley, E., Fredricks, S., & Hornett, A. (2011). What are we teaching them? The impact of study level and age upon ethical decision-making by tertiary communication students from the United States and Aotearoa/New Zealand. In Henderson, A. (Ed.), Refereed proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Communication Association Conference 2011, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 6-8 July.

Tilley, E. (2010). Ethics and gender at the point of decision-making: An exploration of intervention and kinship. PRism 7(4): 

Tilley, E. (2008). Seeking the sweet spot: Observations from a workplace praxis intervention programme on public relations and professional communication ethics. Power & Place: Refereed Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Communication Association Conference, Wellington, July 9-11. ISSN 1179-0199. Available at: 

Tilley, E. (2005). Responding to terrorism using ethical means; The propaganda index. Communication Research Reports 22(1), 69-77.

Walle, M. (2003). What happened to public responsibility? The lack of  society in public relations codes of ethics. PRism 1(1):

Please note, links were current at time of posting but may have shifted or broken (in which case we'd love you to let us know: please email us).  We hope these links are helpful to your own research and practice but we make no endorsement whatsoever of their content.


    If you have other useful communication ethics links, especially research-related ones, please email us.

The Ethics Pyramid(Click link for more information on the research, a copy of the pyramid graphic, publications, etc.)


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