Posted by: Sarah Kemp | February 16, 2009

Wag The Dog

WAG   THE  DOG…wag-the-dog

Out 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.

I do believe that all of the value orientations were used at some point of Wag The Dog, but the most commonly used would have to be situational.The PR practitioner and the others that were involved used the qualities of  “the least harm or the most good” (Wilcox, Cameron 73). This was a common theme throughout the movie because the main concern was the view of the president before the election. They had many plans that they changed based on a situation such as, when they were filming the war scene, they need the girl to hold an animal and they wanted specifically a white kitten, and not anything different because it was part of the situation.

The PRSA Code of Ethics shows the unethical practices in the movie very clearly. Although the PR practitioner was loyal to the client  and assisted their efforts to hide information, it did not meet the standards of loyalty of PRSA’s Code of Ethics because of the obligation to serve the public and their interest. Another unethical issue was honesty. Their was not many truth in anything that the PR practitioners produced about the client and the events that were occurring at the time. You must be able to be loyal and honesty with your client and the public to be a good PR practitioner and meet the Codes of Ethics.

  • What is the logic behind the phrase Wag the Dog, and how is it relevant to the situation involved?

The phrase refers to keeping the attention of something so that you are able to break the rules, or get around doing something with out “the dog” noticing. It is relevant to the situation in the movie mostly the entire time. Specifically, the CIA has leads that the war that they are creating was developed by the two actors in the movie. They use their skills to avoid the wrong questions and their knowledge of intimidation and convincing to ultimately get them out of the situation. I think it was a very clever term to use, especially with the situation with the government.

  • In your opinion, what positive or negative stereotypes has the PR practitioner confirmed in his role in this movie?

Overall in the movie, I feel that there was mostly negative stereotypes withe the PR practitioner and all that were involved with confusing the public. Not only did they have problems with the CIA, the PR practitioner went all the way to California to produce a “news clip” of the war that was non-existent. I did think what the PR practitioners did was clever, but very unethical for our practice. In anything they preformed, nothing would have fit under the three principles of Proffesional Codes of Conduct.


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