Reading Notes Chapter Three COMM 4333

05/10/2010 § Leave a comment

Avoiding Legal Hassles

Being in PR, there are bound to be instances where legal issues will ensue and one will have to learn how to handle them. This chapter goes over tips on how to avoid them as much as possible and ways that legal issues can arise so that you may spot them before they get out of hand.

Ways PR Practitioners can be in legal trouble:

  • libel suits: if you support or encourage illegal activity of your client
    • defamation: false and malicious, or at least negligent, communication with an identifiable subject who is injured either financially or by loss of reputation or mental suffering.

According to the text, a great way to avoid libel suits is to use careful language and to have permission for everything that is published.

Copyright is the protection of creative work from unauthorized use. Any time you want to use anything that is published, it is assumed it is copyrighted, therefore permission is needed to use that material.

A trademark is a word, symbol, or slogan that identifies a product’s origin. These can be copyrighted as well, so that they are specifically identifiable to that company. Trademarks are a great way to get your product remembered. If you see a swoop check sign, you will automatically think Nike, if you see a red hot pepper, your mind goes to Chili’s Restaurant. Trademarks make for good advertising.

Source: http://www.amazon.com/Public-Relations-Writing-Media-Techniques/dp/0205648282

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