Not all persuasion is ethical. Persuasion is widely considered unethical if it is for the purpose of personal gain at the expense of others, or for personal gain without the knowledge of the audience.
Furthermore, some methods of persuasion are wholly written off as unethical.
EXAMPLECoercion, brainwashing, and torture are never considered ethical.
Barring any of the persuasive methods that are easily distinguished as unethical (such as torture), the line between ethical and unethical is less clearly demarcated. Ethical persuasion has a series of common characteristics that are missing in unethical persuasion.
Ethical persuasion seeks to achieve the following three goals:
Notably, this approach involves input from the audience and an honest explanation of your viewpoint. If you have questions about the ethics of a persuasive attempt, there are a number of tests that can be done.
Sherry Baker and David Martinson proposed a five-part TARES test to help guide the PR practitioner to define ethical persuasion.
An ethical persuasive speech must have all of the following components:
Fitzpatrick and Gauthier developed a series of questions that must be honestly answered to determine how ethical a pitch is:
Source: Boundless. "The Ethics of Persuasion." Boundless Communications Boundless, 17 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 22 May. 2017 from https://www.boundless.com/communications/textbooks/boundless-communications-textbook/persuasive-speaking-14/introduction-to-persuasive-speaking-72/the-ethics-of-persuasion-286-4177/