Wag the Dog

February 16, 2009

1. Of the three basic value orientations (discussed in Chapter 3 of your textbook), what basic value orientation does the PR practitioner embody? Provide at least one example.
The PR practitioner in the movie called “Wag the Dog” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wag_the_Dog) beliefs in the absolute value orientation. An absolutist views every decision to be either right or wrong regardless of the consequences. This belief is stated throughout the movie. Neither the producer nor the PR practitioner evaluates or estimates whether their manipulative and dishonest behavior is acceptable and ethical correct. They decide that the right decision is to distract the electorate from the presidential sex scandal by faking a war in Albania and they do not think of the possible consequences of their actions.
2. According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, how is the PR practitioner unethical?
The PR practitioner is not being honest and faithful to the public and is defiantly not serving their interests. Because the PR practitioner is so unethical, the public is ignorant of the sex scandal and are manipulated to think there is a war in Albania.
3. What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?
The phrase refers to making a situation seem like something it is not. E.g. when looking at a wagging dog; is it then the tail that wags the dog or is it vice versa. When connecting this phrase to the movie the PR practitioner is the one making a situation seem like something it is not.
4. In your opinion, what positive or negative stereotypes has the PR practitioner confirmed in his role in this movie?
The PR practitioner works to satisfy and stand up to his client. As to the negative stereotypes the PR practitioner has confirmed that they are more focused on achieving the interests and positive feedback from the public than being honest and serving the public interests.

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