Even if you do not work in communications, you have likely been asked at some point in your career to prepare a presentation, a speech, or a corporate memo that you disagreed with.
The difference if you work in communications or public relations is that you are often asked to be the public face of a proposed change or policy decision.
So the question becomes, where do you draw the line, or when do you decide to take a stand and say that you will not support a proposed policy or statement by your company?
This can be a really tricky question, especially when your employer is the reason why you have a roof over your head and groceries in your fridge.
So what do you do?
- The first thing to remember is that you are your own person and you know in your heart what is right and what is wrong, you also know the lines you are willing cross and those you are not. Bottom line, you should always trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.
- In addition, if you know your company is being unethical or immoral, you should express your concerns even if you may be fired. There are two really important reasons for why you should bring your concerns forward:
- A business with unethical communication practices will be less effective than one with ethical communication practices.
- If you do not come forward with your concerns or your objections, then you are complicit in the unethical behavior.
What if it’s not unethical, but you vehemently disagree?
- If the proposed communication is not illegal or unethical then it is simply a matter of choice as to whether you as a person can support or promote the proposed policy.
- In a situation such as this, you can also disassociate yourself with the views of your company. You can also take comfort in the fact that the views of the company will not follow you if you decide to leave and pursue another opportunity.
Here is a good example as to why you should always question authority:
Also, remember that the excuse that you were just following orders will not work:
This is an extreme example, but have a listen to the trial of Adolf Eichmann, who proclaimed his innocence by stating that he was just following orders. Learn more about Adolf Eichmann by clicking here.