A public relations person can be named as a coconspirator with other organizational officials if he or she:
- participates in an illegal action such as bribing a government official or covering up information of vital interest to the public health and safety
- counsel and guides a policy behind an illegal action
- takes a major personal part in the illegal action
- helps establish a “front group” whereby the connection to the public relations firm or its clients is kept hidden
- cooperates in any other way to further an illegal action
Common legal problems: libel and defamation suits, invasion of privacy suits, copyright law violations, trademark law violations, and governement regulations violations.
A person filing a libel suit must prove that: the false statement was communicated to others through print, broadcast, or electronic means, the person was identified or identifiable, there is actual injury in the form of money loses, loss of reputation, or mental suffering, and that the person making the statement was malicious or negligent.
The word authorship is defined in seven categories: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, pantomime and choreographic works, pictoral, graphic, or sculptural works, motion pictures, and sound recordings.
Some government agencies that regulate product publicity and financial information are: Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
All notes from the book Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics