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Existing public relations ethics literature often proves inadequate when applied to social movement campaigns, considering the special communication challenges activists face as marginalized moral visionaries in a commercial public sphere. The communications of counter-hegemonic movements is distinct enough from corporate, nonprofit, and governmental organizations to warrant its own ethical guidelines. The unique communication guidelines most relevant to social movement organizations include promoting asymmetrical advocacy to a greater extent than is required for more powerful organizations and building flexibility into the TARES principles to privilege social responsibility over respect for audience values in activist campaigns serving as ideological critique.


This article was published in The Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

Copyright © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. The pre-print version is posted here with the permission of the author.