There are many things PR practitioners need to be aware of when it comes the law because sooner or later, every practitioner will encounter a lawful issue. PR people generally deal with blogging, online publication, news releases and print publication, and the reputation of clients – all of which will more than likely have an encounter with the law.
One big issue that PR practitioners need to be aware of is copyright infringement. Copyright laws are intense and very commonly disobeyed. Learning how to avoid copyright infringement is very important for PR people that blog and write news releases and any type of online or print publication. Another issue concerning blogging and publication is privacy laws.
Privacy laws are extremely important for any PR person that produces published work. Especially in News Releases, the writers need to be aware of whether the issue is newsworthy and if all the facts were obtained publicly and ethically.
Like I said before, many PR practitioners work to maintain a client’s reputation, so those practitioners need to be aware of defamation laws. How useful would a PR rep be if their clients couldn’t trust their reputation to be taken care of and defended due to a lack of defamation knowledge? Not useful at all.
With these being said, here are tips for striving PR practitioners to gain some awareness of the law:
- Research past defamation, libel, copyright infringement and privacy lawsuits that were taken to court and why
- Practice an ethical blog now – no copyright infringement or slander, etc.
- Watch the news – see how PR practitioners are doing their jobs and if they are doing them well – get ideas from them
- Watch E! News, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, etc. – This will give you an idea of how celebrity PR reps handle their clients’ reputations
So if you are a striving, up-and-coming PR practitioner (like myself) these are important issues you should work on becoming more aware of.