A SuPeRvisor’s ethics

In this new age of “alternative facts,” the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Code of Ethics has taken on far greater importance for those who care about our profession’s reputation. Public relations, like journalism, isn’t regulated by the government, nor are its practitioners licensed by any professional body, so we’ve established codes of ethics to help guide our activities. PRSA’s code encourages honesty, confidentiality, fair competition, avoiding conflicts of interest, transparency, and other essential values.

Last week my PR Fundamentals students and I looked at several case studies in which I posed hypothetical ethical situations and asked how they would react. For example, we talked about what they might do if they were asked to exaggerate facts within a press release, how they’d approach a CEO who won’t let them talk to the media for fear of lawsuits, and pondered how they’d respond to a reporter who suggests a bribe in exchange for covering a client’s story. Some of these events actually happened to me in my quarter-century as a PR practitioner; they’re the kinds of situations in which we could–but hopefully won’t–find ourselves.

One real-life ethical question came to me after I began teaching at Hofstra University. A student of mine (I’ll call her Betsy) was doing a summer internship at a Manhattan PR agency that represented various entertainment venues including restaurants. One particular establishment was getting negative reviews on Yelp and wanted the agency to fix them. Betsy’s supervisor ordered her to write several positive reviews of the restaurant; she was to use a fake name for each so the negative comments would be pushed down and become harder to see. Betsy called me and suggested that she wasn’t comfortable doing this, but wondered if she should anyway. Besides, her supervisor at the agency told her this kind of thing is done all the time in the industry, and paying clients’ needs come first.

What should Betsy have done? What would you have advised her regarding her supervisor’s directive, and how should she have responded to him? Is the ethical answer obvious here? Your thoughts?

49 thoughts on “A SuPeRvisor’s ethics

  1. Gabby Sully

    I think Betsy should have countered with a different approach to her supervisor. Rather her create the posts, she could have suggested that they send out an email blast to their patrons to review them on Yelp about their experiences, and mention after every visit.
    Doing this would enable feedback from actual customers, and giving an incentive may also help them like $5 off their next purchase or something like that.
    Creating false reviews can actually be tracked by Yelp, and reviews cannot be deleted by business owners, only by Yelp themselves, so if they suspect something is fishy, they will delete the suspected false reviews.

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  2. Tyler Weatherly

    I think Betsy should have trusted her moral compass and let her supervisor know she was not comfortable using a lie for a better reputation online. There are many things she could have done: she could have gone to the restaurant and written an honest review but it still would have been biased. Personally, if my supervisor persisted, I would have had to ask if I could do something else or leave the opportunity as a whole. For me, I would not be able to work for an organization that is not ethically sound.

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  3. Grace Finlayson

    There are always different ways to approach negative comments about your client especially with social media and things like Yelp. These platforms are a blessing and a curse because the public can be more involved with your clients, but it is also a platform for your clients to be more involved with the public. I think Betsy’s situation is unethical and it is not the proper way to deal with negative comments. Your client can address each concern with a quick comment back addressing the problems individually. This might take longer, but that is why they hired a public relations firm. I have had terrible service before in the past and I take my complaints to twitter, and I have received replies from companies in the past to make sure that my experiences will not happen again.

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  4. Haley Moffatt

    There should be a fine line in someone’s head about what is ethical and what is not. It is obvious in this situation that the right answer would be to not write the positive reviews. However, if her boss had said to her go to this restaurant, and then write an honest review of it after, that would be more acceptable.

    I think in the world of PR reputation is everything and if you or the firm you represent is found out to be practicing unethical methods, they may never get another client again. It’s important to realize that while Betsy only had an internship, some people are asked to do this for their job. If someone isn’t willing to lose their job while standing up for what is right, the unethical behavior won’t end.

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  5. Jenna Morace

    I personally feel like in life we should never do something we are uncomfortable doing and this is especially important when it comes to our moral values. As a student we learn all of the do’s and don’ts of the majors we chose. At the end of the day we learn all of this stuff for a reason and if we aren’t going to put what we learned at school to work, then whats the point of even learning it in the first place? I am not saying that this situation is easy to handle but, the answer to me is clear as day. Contact your internship professor and tell them whats going on. I feel like betsy did the correct thing in the end.

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  6. Sydney Seligman

    Being an intern comes with a lot of unlisted/unwritten job requirements. Unfortunately, employers like to take advantage of the free labor for the benefit of their client, often meaning doing work which does nothing for the intern. It is important to stand up for yourself, your morals, and PR ethics. If you feel uncomfortable doing something for your boss or client, say no and explain why.

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  7. Awilda Pena Luna

    Well this scenario, unfortunately has probably happened to most public relations interns. As of today, I can say that I have not been put in this situation. I am very familiar with these situations happening to other students, or professionals already working in the field. In one of my journalism classes, we reviewed stories and discussed whether or not the solution was ethical, and what we ourselves would have done. In this situation, personally I don’t think I would have followed through. Whether or not other companies do write their own reviews, I say the best thing to do is tell your boss that you are not comfortable writing false reviews, explain why, and go from there.

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  8. Sara Fox

    In this scenario, the ethical solution is not the easy solution. As an intern, it is especially difficult to refuse the requests of your superiors. Either you’re too timid to voice your concern, or you’re unsure of what the protocol is – maybe it isn’t a big deal and all companies post positive reviews about themselves online! When in doubt, the only thing I could suggest is to say that you are simply not comfortable completing the task at hand.

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  9. Elliot Rubin

    Betsy is in a very difficult situation. On one hand, use fake names to post positive Yelp reviews online for the company she’s interning at is a highly unethical act. However, on the other hand, she has likely spent a lot of time already at this place, so if she leave because of unethical practices, it would be a waste of how many credits she elected to take the internship for. What I think, therefore, is the best course of action for Betsy is for her to go to her supervisor with concrete proof that other companies do not do the same practices that they are saying are widespread. In turn, whatever the cause, be it a guilty conscience, or a desire not have a negative reputation, hopefully the supervisor will stop these unethical practices. However, if after that the supervisor still will not stop posting fake Yelp reviews online, Betsy should respectfully resign. No one, especially an impressionable, young student should continue to work for an unethical company.

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  10. Whitney Shepherd

    I think the ethical answer is obvious of course! Although Betsy was only an intern at the time and did not want to disrespect her supervisor and the company she was working for I think that situation is a time to express ones ethical and moral values. I think when it comes to specific ethical situations in PR they are subjective to the professional completing the task. For many writing ‘fake’ positive reviews is an automatic NO while for some they may see the situation as a good idea. As a graduating senior and soon to be PR professional I think it is important to have an established personal ethical code. I think we will all be faced with a task or communications strategy or angle that we do not agree with morally at some point and it is our job to be vocal about our opinions but also respectful.

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  11. Bianca Kroening

    This is such a tough situation for an intern to be forced into. It would be pretty unrealistic of me to simply advise her not to complete the task, but maybe there’s a way for her to work around it? Perhaps she can visit the restaurant herself, and use some real experiences to write a review, and encourage other visitors to do the same? Perhaps she can speak to its manager, and he or she can instate a policy that will have the staff encourage happy customers to take out their phones after their meal and write a good review on Yelp. This will make the restaurant look good without damaging the integrity of Betsey and her agency’s PR practices.

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  12. Jennifer Im

    I remember having to complete similar assignments in my early PR classes and I remember feeling so self righteous writing my answers! After all, we get it drilled into our hwads that PR is about honesty, honesty, honesty. Obviously, the morally correct answer is for Betty not to write the fake reviews, because as the others have stated, it’s deceitful inherently. In real life, however, I wondering how many would actually risk losing their job by standing up to their boss? Especially as an intern with less experience to his/her name, the boss may not be willing to hear all of these other suggestions. I would hope, however, that this boss would be willing to try out a social campaign or something similar to encourage regular customers to leave reviews. If the restaurant is truly a good one, the campaign will encourage honest reviews that will push the bad ones out naturally.

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  13. Elana Delafraz

    I believe supervisors really need to set a good example, especially for their interns. It was super unethical for the supervisor to advise Betsy to fake her identity and write something false. If I were in the supervisors shoes, I would have advised my intern to suggest new ways to make the restaurant appear better. I would even advise her to reach out to the negative reviewers and open up a conversation with them, and see what bothered them about the restaurant. Furthermore, we can avoid problems in the future instead of just covering it up. It’s always good to stay ethical in this industry.

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  14. Emily Levine

    I think Betsy was faced with a very difficult decision. Posting positive reviews might drown out some of the negative ones, but in the end the only person who can take down the review is the person who wrote it. And if someone really wants to read reviews, they will likely scroll past the first few positive ones to see if there are any negative comments. I think a better way of handling this situation, rather than to post fake reviews, would be to reach out to the customers who left negative reviews and apologize for their poor experience. Maybe they just came on an off night, and if offered a discount would be willing to try it out again and it might change their whole perspective on the restaurant. This way, they also know that the restaurant cares to follow up with unsatisfied customers rather than try to hide them, and in the process no lying or falsity is committed.

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  15. liad zayit

    Betsy most definitely should not have written the fake positive reviews and created fake accounts. Being a PR practitioner, it is very important to be credible. Instead of betsy writing the reviews herself, she should’ve acknowledged the negative reviews and announced to the public what the restaurant is doing to improve as a result of all the negative reviews.

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  16. Briana Cunningham

    When considering ethics I think there are two aspects that need to be looked at. First, you need to decide if the action is breaking the PRSSA Code of Ethics. If so, then the action is unethical in the PR profession and should not be done. Second, you need to follow your gut. If you feel uncomfortable doing something, it’s probably because you shouldn’t do it. Betsy was smart to call you with her concern, and as her supervisor I would have told her not to continue with the assignment. By writing fake reviews Betsy would have been supplying the public with inaccurate information and hindering their ability to make an informed decision. If negative reviews were being written about the establishment, there was probably a reason. Instead of hiding them or pushing them to the bottom, they should have been addressed. Just because this is considered a common practice in the industry doesn’t mean it’s ethical. Betsy felt uncomfortable because she knew that it wasn’t appropriate behavior for a PR practitioner. Whether you are an intern or a full-time employee, if your higher-up asks that you do something that you believe to be unethical or against your values, you need to remember that your career is at stake. If you follow through with those types of practices and get caught, it can ruin your credibility as a good and honest communicator. In her case, she should (like in all of her work) be honest with her supervisor and explain that she is uncomfortable with completing the task and will not continue.

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  17. Stephanie Rubbino

    I think that Betsy should not follow through with what her boss wanted her to do. People rely on these websites to see real peoples past experiences in order to get real idea about what the restaurant is all about. Betsy should suggest asking customers themselves to leave comments about what they thought about their experience before they leave and then transferring it onto the yelp page. Although people can’t always rely on reviews because people have different experiences but the reviews that are being left on the yelp page should be authentic.

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  18. Asher Lennon

    I feel that this is dishonest but not unethical. That being said, While I was at a summer internship I was asked to do something very similar to this for my boss. in my situation he wanted me to defaminate a jewelry store because he had a bad experience there and wanted to tell his story but also post more negative reviews in order to lower the stores rating. in this situation I did do it but I would probably not do it again as it is not the most ethical thing to do. All in all, this is a topic that is morally and ethically hard.

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  19. Wendy Timana

    I believe Betsy should not follow through with this task. People on the internet deserve honest reviews from people that have actually been to this establishment. Clearly, if the boss wanted her to post fake positive reviews, the establishment must not be very good. If it was good then the reviews would speak for themselves. This is very unethical. Betsy, being a young PR professional cannot start her career breaking her code of ethics. She should go to her boss and say that she does not feel comfortable going through with this task. If she gets fired then she knows it’s not a place she would want to work at anyway because if she goes through with one unethical task, she will most definitely be asked to do more unethical tasks.

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  20. Emily Barnes

    I don’t believe ethics is as subjective as we might choose to think–at the end of the day it comes down to morals and values. Although these two ideas are in fact subjective, our ethical viewpoints, specifically in terms of PR, are more about an overall objective perspective. I this instance, I would advise Betsy not to tamper with the comment on Yelp, but instead talk to the manager about how they could alter the restaurant’s perception to its customers. I think the ethical answer is pretty obvious because if word were to surface that a PR figure was skewing reviews for this restaurant, it would be wrong for both the agency and the restaurant.

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  21. Hannah Thueson

    Betsy should not post positive reviews, but instead work with the company to change their image through other means. She can coordinate events, write press releases, and do other things completely above the bar, instead of posting fake positive reviews.

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  22. Sam Bussell

    Betsy should not follow through with what her boss is telling her to do. It goes against the Code of Ethics that the PRSA has established for many years,. Public Relations is mainly about the relationship between you and the client but at the same time you need to be truthful to the person or company but do it in the most professional manner. One of the first rules of the Code of Ethics is that you must protect and advance the free flow of truthful information and if Betsy decides to write these reviews under a fake name she is breaking the first rule immediately. Writing these reviews not only hurts you but it hurts the clients as well if anyone ever found out what occurred. Doing these kinds of jobs for your bosses are horrific and its disgusting to see them use interns or low-level job workers to do their dirty work since if they get caught they can have deniability in the matter. It goes against everything they were taught and if I was in her shoes I would quit my job and find another company.

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  23. Max Newman

    In this position, the ethical decision is not hard to understand, it is more about what you are willing to do. In this case I believe that uploading fake comments on the Yelp review is not the worst thing to do. You are not being bribed, you are just helping your client. It is technically unethical but it is also not the biggest deal. I think there is a scale on the ethical chart, it is not just black and white. This is like saying a white lie. It is not necessarily the truth, but it is better for the other side. It is not necessarily right to post comments as a fake identity but it is in return helping your client that pays for your service.

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  24. Emily Bravo

    Besty is stuck in a messy situation. She should stick to her morals. The ethical answer is pretty obvious . Truth is one of the values for the PR community. She can say she can’t falsify the reviews and instead come up with a solution. Besty could say, ” I cannot fake reviews because it goes against my morals. Instead, I could go to the location and advocate if people had a good time to review on Yelp.” I would hate interning for that Manhattan PR place. Just cause other firms lie for their clients, why should you?

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  25. RHwang

    Judging by how Betsy is already feeling uncomfortable with the situation, I feel that she knows that it not right. Just because something like this is done regularly done in the industry, does not mean it is right. I feel like the only reason she feels the need to write the reviews, is because she has a superior telling her that it is obligatory. On the other hand, I believe it is unethical because it is leaving “fake” comments. If I were to go to the restaurant, I would expect high quality food, service, and ambiance. If I were to leave the place unhappy, I would not only question the ethics of the restaurant, but also advice my friends not go to there. Yelp reviews are not the only reviews that count.

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  26. Anwar Ahmad

    The ethical answer is certainly not obvious here. Supervisors or bosses believe that just because students are interning, they lack experience or even common sense. It would of been unethical for Betsy to write these reviews. Not because they are lies, but because she hasn’t actually been to these restaurants or venues. How can one lie if they don’t even have all of the information. If Betsy was uncomfortable, she should have communicated that with her supervisor. Odds are, she wouldn’t want to work for a person like that anyway. I would not have created fake reviews because it is essential for consumers to know the quality of places. This PR agency should of done their actual job and should of focused on how to create REAL positive reviews.

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  27. Brittany Liscoe

    Judging by how uncomfortable Betsy appears to be in this situation, its clear to me that this type of practice is not what she expected from a career in the public relations industry. She seems like someone who doesn’t see the industry as being full of “spinsters” and lairs. Therefore, I think Betsy should stick to her morals and not play into the stereotype that has been created because of the actions of people like her boss.

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  28. Dianne Fallucca

    First of all, we should be questioning the ethics of Betsy’s supervisor. This person seems to be morally confused and ethically uninformed. The ethical answer is quite obvious here. There is another clear solution to this problem. While it is often hard as interns to stand up to a supervisor, Betsy may have approached this situation by making a suggestion. She could have respectively offered a different approach, but most importantly expressed her discomfort with this assignment. Rather than posting fake positive responses, Betsy may have offered an idea to respond to the current negative posts. This would have maintained the integrity of the agency and its client to the public. By responding, the client would also be clearly taking even the negative feedback into account.

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  29. Elizabeth Giangarra

    I don’t think that it is necessarily unethical of Besty, as long as she writes things she feels to be true about the client and doesn’t lie. I think when it comes to a situation like this it’s important to be honest. While she could also encourage clients to post positivity on their social network, therefore obtaining organic comments. There are always going to be negative comments and if Besty engages in conversation and show that she is interesting in making improvements she will therefore connecting with her clients. Have a better outcome than just posting positive comments and hoping they move to the to the bottom of the page.

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  30. Samantha Storms

    Like so many of these ethical dilemmas, it becomes a case of what the PR practitioner is willing to do, how his or her decisions will affect their client and the public, and what those actions mean for his or her job. Here, I feel the best course of action to take is to simply voice concerns with the supervisor. I feel explaining such a situation is incredibly necessary not only for wellbeing of the PR practitioner’s reputation but for the company as a whole. How does one summer intern’s actions matter in the grand scheme of things? Very much. I feel fabricating reviews in this case is unethical, and Betsy should definitely had voice her discomfort with one of the company’s higher-ups.

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  31. Julie Dietel

    I feel as though Betsy’s situation probably isn’t unique. Every day, people push the limits of ethics and hope they get away with it. These actions are unfortunate for the industry and the people who plan to work in it. I would have instructed Betsy not to do what the supervisor was asking. Falsifying Yelp reviews is not only lying but it a conflict of interest and negates the purpose of Yelp. While it may have hurt her internship, she could have run the risk of getting in much more trouble. In PR it is important to stick to the code of ethics or else the public and your client may have bigger problems on their hands.

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  32. Marielle McCartin

    It would most definitely be unethical for Betsy to create fake accounts and comment positive reviews on the establishment. It may be hard to go against what your boss says, but being a PR practitioner, it is very important to remain credible. If a person does do something unethical like this, they could later fall deeper into more serious issues because of unethical choices like this one. Betsy’s boss should be going about business ethically, and understand if Betsy refuses to partake in something that could diminish her reputation as a PR practitioner.

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  33. Michael Mastropierro

    Betsy probably shouldn’t have written the fake positive reviews. It is unethical because she was representing the restaurant. Fake reviews happen all the time and I’ve written a fake review before to help out a friend who asked me to write a review for his business. But, I didn’t represent him and he wasn’t my client. Betsy instead should’ve acknowledged the poor reviews and told the public what the restaurant is doing to improve as a result of the reviews.

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  34. Brier Davis

    You would think that the ethical answer is obvious in this situation and it is, writing fake names is wrong. It is however, easy to see how some people may practice these methods wether under orders or on their own. There is always the threat of job security if you don’t follow orders, but is that the environment you want to be working in? Hopefully not.
    There are methods and practices that are ethical which can generate positive reviews from real customers. I hope Betsy would be able to sit down with her supervisor and discuss her discomfort and some possible alternative solutions.

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  35. Neil A. Carousso

    Betsy should not fill out phony Yelp reviews and tell her supervisor that while she likes the job (if that’s in fact true), she will not compromise her integrity by filling out phony reviews that could mislead others. If she loses her internship over it, it wasn’t meant to be and she is better off maintaining her integrity. Her boss might just realize that he has an ethical person who may be worth hiring in the future.

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  36. Sarah Hanlon

    I do not think Betsy should have created fake, positive reviews for the restaurant. Even if this is “done all the time in the industry,” that doesn’t mean it’s right. Public Relations is built upon solid morals, honesty, transparency, and integrity. Faking good reviews to make an establishment look good is putting a spin on the outlook of the restaurant, and PR professionals do not want to be considered spinners. If the company was caught faking good reviews, that would look worse than trying to fix the true negative reviews they received. Rather than create a whole new problem by writing false reviews, the company should reevaluate why their reviews are bad and strategize good ethical ways to fix the problem.

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  37. Christina Shackett

    Personally, for each hypothetical situation, I do not think that there is ever a clear answer, because no situation that we may encounter will be black or white. In Betsy’s case, I believe that what her supervisor was asking her to do was unethical. She had not experienced the establishment in the way that these customers had, and posing to be different people is unethical in itself. If she were writing on her own experience, it would be different. However, the end goal of this reversed what actual reviews are supposed to do, which is represent a service experienced. Writing reviews as someone else in order to hide bad reviews doesn’t do the public a service.

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  38. Marli Delaney

    I would say that the situation of using fake identities to make up information in order to change a reputation is clearly unethical. What is unclear would be how to go about and forward after being placed into a situation where you’re asked to do that- I personally would really think through the specifics of the situation and would physically go to the restaurant and see for myself what I’m dealing with. There’s a chance that the restaurant actually isn’t horrible and if that was the case I would be able to easily bring some friends to there who would be able to assist in making positive reviews in the matter of minutes. If the restaurant is actually terrible, I would personally make an effort to help the manager figure out what can be done to make the restaurant better (improve customer service, cleanliness, etc). There are many routes to go with this, but lying to the public doesn’t have to be one of them.

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  39. Madeline Myslow

    It seems as though if Betsy wants to keep her job, the only option is for her to write the positive reviews. While it is unethical for her to do this because she does not actually feel this way about the restaurant, it is also true that anyone can post a review regardless of if they’ve visited the restaurant or not. This does not make it ethical, but it sort of justifies her decision if she wants to post the positive reviews. Situations like these and other case studies that we have discussed in class can sometimes have grey areas where there really is no right way to fix the issue. The grey areas are what frustrates me the most about studying public relations but examples like Betsy’s are what help us to become better PR people.

    PS – I think I found a typo: “she was to a fake name for each so the negative comments would be pushed down and become harder to see.” Is it supposed to be “fake a name” or is there supposed to be a verb after to? Do I get an extra point??

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    1. jeffrey.morosoff@hofstra.edu Post author

      You’re right Madeline! Good catch. Remind me to give you extra credit.

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  40. Nicole Lamanna

    This situation is definitely a challenging one. On one hand, Betsey would risk losing her job should she not acquiesce to her bosses demands. On the other hand, if she does fake the reviews, she risks making an ethical mistake. If I were Betsey, I would try to talk with my boss about other PR solutions that would get the company good press. I would not feel comfortable faking the reviews as I think it would be unethical to do so.

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  41. Emily Walsh

    Public Relations is a profession that can sometimes be faced with ethical dilemmas. It is our job to be open and honest about ourselves and our clients, so that we can deal with issues in an ethical manner. If I were in Betsy’s shoes, I definitely would not have written the fake positive reviews. Instead, I would have offered to do something else with the bad reviews that shows you’re open, transparent and willing to make things better. A great example of this can be seen in the restaurant I work for. On a weekly basis, my manager looks through all written reviews on each platform. In the ones that aren’t the nicest, our restaurant writes a comment back to them apologizing, asking them to give some more information, and then offering to speak with them privately to fix the situation. This shows that establishments are aware of what went wrong and are willing to fix it. People love being noticed and feeling like the establishment cares, so it quickly changes their view. This also eliminates having to write unethical posts. While the negative comments are still there, our restaurants concern counteracts them in an ethical way. I would have suggested to do this if I were Betsy.

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  42. Madison Wright

    It would be unethical for Betsy to post fake reviews at any circumstance because she has a bias. I think the right way to help the business is to actually go there and have the manager talk to customers who seem to be enjoying the food. That way they are more inclined to rate the establishment on Yelp. However, she should not delete any negative comments because then that ruins trust between consumers and the restaurant.

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  43. Ben martin

    It’s completely unethical for Betsy to do this. While it’s a minor offense as far as impacting the company, deceiving the public is not ethical at all. It’s a hard situation to be in though because her superior has given her all this false information to mislead her. I have no idea how I would handle the situation to be honest. I know what the right thing would be not to make the posts, but I don’t know what the correct course of action to take afterwards.

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  44. Kassara McElroy

    It is unethical to post false positive reviews on Yelp from fake names. As an intern it takes skill to balance authority and independence. It can be difficult to challenge a supervisor when they have assigned you a task. Betsy should be honest and tell her supervisor she is uncomfortable doing that, but be prepared with alternative ideas (i.e. survey restaurant diners post meal) that could ethically get the client one step closer to real positive reviews.

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  45. Alyssa Scott

    It is not acceptable for this Manhattan PR agency to do business this way, let alone request such unethical tasks from their inters. I think it was necessary for Betsy to call you with her concerns, and I think she should have told her boss that she will not do this because she simply finds it unethical. Although, she should also present another plan in which she is comfortable with. Betsy could suggest that they let the restaurant know that she will be going with a few friends and then they can all write their reviews. She could even go beyond her own experience there and observe other customers experience in the restaurant. This would be a more ethical and comfortable way for Betsy to help the public image of this restaurant, and even bring them some business from herself. It displays good morals and passion for her position, and hopefully speaks clearly to her employers.

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  46. Daniela Gagliano

    Betsy did the right thing by coming to you and asking for advice. Usually if something feels wrong, it’s most likely because it is. I would not have felt comfortable writing a bunch of fake reviews, especially since I am an avid yelper and take the suggestions seriously. If I found out someone else was writing fake reviews, I know I would be extremely disappointed. There’s an honor code that goes with reviewing and when you can tell that reviews are fake or spamming, it usually makes you less likely to trust the reviews and proceed to action.

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  47. Haylee Pollack

    I had something like this happen to me at my previous job as well. My boss asked me to write a positive review for the company I was working for because one of her clients was upset and decided to write a negative review on her yelp page. Even though I thought the client’s comments were fair, I decided to write the review anyway and only write things I felt were true. So in Betsy’s case, I think that writing the review isn’t necessarily unethical as long as she writes things she feels to be true about the client and doesn’t lie. However, what she could do instead is suggest that the client post to their social media pages encouraging people to write reviews on yelp that are positive and organic, which would be more ethical in this case.

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  48. Courtney Grieco

    I feel that it would be unethical for Betsy to post the positive reviews because she herself had not been to the establishment. I feel like a much better way to go about it would be to go to the restaurant and perhaps find people enjoying themselves and ask them if they could leave a review on yelp. The manager at the restaurant would be the ideal person to approach the customers with this question. And then once many positive comments are posted, the negative ones will be pushed down and the restaurant will be pleased.

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