These days, with the development of social media, businesses should have a plan to deal with ethical issues in Public Relations in order to maintain the businesses. An ethical issue is a situation that companies may consider between ethical or unethical option. A common reason for ethical issue is behind the cheap clothes for customers, there is the thief wages problem in Turkey.
In 2017, one shopper went to Zara in Turkey and found out that there was a SOS note on the tag attached to the clothes “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.”Zara has been slow to respond to their demands for payment, saying only that it has fulfilled its legal obligations with the factory itself.
Along this report will analyse the ethical issue of Zara. As an adviser of Zara, I strongly recommend that Zara should have these messages in their PR plan in further future to maintain the business:
2.0 Key Stakeholders
Stakeholder is basically a group of parties that have influences or are influenced on the organisation’s operations (Ihlen 2008). Stakeholders usually are divided into two groups which are internal and external stakeholder (Ihlen 2008). There are four identical key stakeholders for Zara which are shareholders, employees (factory workers), customers and government. For the Zara situation, the primary group includes factory employees and customers. Furthermore, shareholders and government are part of secondary. According to Grunig’s model, there are four types of linkages that can identified stakeholder relationship with the businesses: enabling linkages, functional linkages, diffused linkages and normative linkages (L. Rawlins 2006, 4)1101725000
Employees (factory workers)
According to (Buchanan 2017), she stated that around 65-75 workers are employed to produce our clothes and 80% are women. They not only worked in the unsafe conditions but also did not get paid for the salary in one year. Employees or factory workers are classified as input functional linkages. Since this group is a part of Grunig’s Linkage model, it will have the Zara company maintenance the operations by supplying labour and resources. The relationship between employees and companies is important because it can reflect the effectiveness and efficiency.
The business’s profit depends on how customers consume and spend their money on the goods and services. Based on Grunig’s model, customers are referred to output functional linkages since they are consuming Zara’s products. One Zara’s customer expressed her disappointment that “What gets lost in those kinds of situations is a voice of somebody who is looking out for the long-term brand’s reputation.” Depending on the organizations’ performance, the consumers’ behavior can be supportive or non-supportive. Moreover, the long-term relationship with customers is essential for financial success.
The enabling linkage is the most important for an organization to maintain long-term success. Governments who use regulatory to force to the company to follow the rule they established. Governments who will force the companies to follow the regulatory that they established. Therefore, this public group will be known as enabling linkages. (need to paraphrase)
Shareholders are classified as enabling linkage. They can have some control and authority over the organization because they hold company’s stake. If the issue affecting enabling shareholders is urgent, then they become definitive stakeholders and would be given highest priority. (need to paraphrase).
3.0 Recommendations for Zara
As a Public Relations consultant for Zara company, I suggested that Zara should follow my suggestions:
First of all, Zara should have public address. Address the public as quickly as possible. Acknowledge and admit the ethical issue – do not pass the blame to someone else. Have your official spokesperson outline a plan for the public, detailing how you will ensure the ethical issue will not be problem again. Have your own spokesperson available for a question and answer session with members of the press (need to paraphrase).
Secondly, after identifying the ethical issues, Zara should have alternative courses of action. Every dilemma affords more than just one opportunity. The cautious handling of workplace ethics issues can resolve personal and business dilemmas. By identifying the alternatives, it will help Zara solve the issue easily (need to paraphrase).
Thirdly, it is essential for Zara to improve their public or social communication.
4.0 Ethical Behavior to Consider
The concept of “business ethics” involves a moral attitude and ethical judgement not only within interpersonal relations but also within the relations between society and nature (need to paraphrase).