CODE OF ETHICS
Translating values into principles of ethical practice, the code advises professionals to:
Protect and advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information.
Promote healthy and fair competition among professionals.
Foster informed decision making through open communication.
Avoid conflicts of interest.
Protect confidential and private information.
Work to strengthen the public’s trust in the profession.
Scandals and questionable practices make headlines at the executive level of corporations and among large and small public relations agencies across the country.
With information moving at a rapid speed, and the demand for honesty and transparency from stakeholders and the public, upholding ethics and best practices standards is even more essential for public relations practitioners in all sectors.
The practice of public relations can present unique and challenging ethical issues. At the same time, protecting integrity and the public trust are fundamental to the profession’s role and reputation.
The bottom line is that successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners.
To help members navigate ethics principles and applications, PRSA created a Code of Ethics, created and maintained by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS).
This code sets out the guidelines built on core fundamental values such as advocacy, honesty, loyalty, professional development and objectivity. Together, they advise ethical practice and interaction with both clients and the public.
PRSA DECISION-MAKING GUIDELINES
Define the specific ethical issues or conflicts that are present or may be emerging.
Identify the parties that will be affected by the decisions made and define the PR professional’s obligation to each relevant stakeholder.
Identify internal and external factors (i.e., legal, political, social, economic) that may influence the decisions that need to be made or the parties involved.
Select ethical principles to guide the decision-making process.
Identify the key values at play in the situation.
Make the necessary decisions and justify the reasoning, planning and impact on the parties involved.