Two weeks ago, I was interviewed by two Reynolds School of Journalism students regarding ethical practices in public relations for their media ethics class. Although each student was very thankful for my time and for assisting them with their paper, it was I who was thankful for them speaking to me. These interviews helped remind me to think about what ethical codes and standards I personally value and follow.
I pride myself on being a very ethical and honest public relations practitioner and feel as though in my six plus years in the industry, I have remained very ethical in my actions. However, I must admit that it had been more than six months since I had reviewed the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Code of Ethics. This is far too long and I was embarrassed to admit this fact to the students interviewing me. It was last September during PRSA Ethics Month that I had last reviewed the organization’s Code of Ethics that I have personally committed to.
Granted, many of us in the public relations field are very busy – especially trying to balance our professional and personal lives. However, it is inexcusable to not make time to remind ourselves about what standards we need to follow in order to keep our profession credible and respected.
A wise man once told me that when you leave a job, you may not be able to take your stapler, but you are able to leave with your integrity and reputation. I urge us all to find adopt a code ethics, whether it is PRSA’s, American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) or American Marketing Association’s (AMA) and revisit these codes at least once per month.
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