In addition to Writing 101 increasing the frequency of my posts, my PR teacher asked us to create a blog and post on it 10 times throughout the semester. I decided I don’t want to create a new one, so I’m just going to add to this one. Thanks for your continued support of my academic endeavors!
For me, ethics means that knowing what is right and wrong and actually following through with that decision. In the world today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to follow your integrity. It is easier to consider the money saved (or money earned, in the case of bribes and the like) than to consider what is right and what is fair.
I think ethics are immensely important in all fields of work. If your doctor lied to you, you wouldn’t keep going; the same goes for company representatives in the form of PR officials.
I think especially in the public relations field, integrity and ethics are important. People don’t often have time or energy to fact check everything that comes out of a particular representative’s mouth (or is heard on the television or is read on the Internet). If an individual does something to ruin his or her credibility, like something unethical that came to light, he or she would be finished in the field. There isn’t a test that we are required to take in order receive our credentials. Our resumes speak for themselves and if they say bad things, we will have a hard time finding work.
Much of what we do relies on trust and if a person decides to take a shortcut and it comes out, his or her following will not be happy and they will be wary of trusting him or her again.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has a code of conduct that they recommend all PR practitioners follow. The code consists of six core values: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty, and fairness. Each of these involves some element of being reliable to the company you work for and also keeping the public appropriately informed. As public relation professionals, we toe the line between the company we represent and the public we serve. Keeping to a strict code of ethics benefits us as well as the public.