By Tracey Benjamini, Account Executive, R&J Public Relations
I can still remember sitting in my first Public Relations course in college and my professor going over the ethical “Dos and Don’ts” of PR. In my still young career in Public Relations I recently came across my first campaign that used unethical PR tactics my professor reprimanded. One of my client’s competitors had been making slanderous remarks about other products on the market.
As their competitor’s campaign continued, my client approached our agency and asked if there was anyone we could report this unethical behavior to. While there is no governing body in PR that can call to task those unprincipled people who utilize unethical PR tactics and practices, PRSA has provided a Code of Ethics to help the more ethical PR practitioners keep to their moral compass in this hectic profession. As responsible PR practitioners, it is our job to make sure we follow the code of ethics by:
- Being honest in all our communication to the public, the media and our clients.
- Being fair to other PR practitioners, both in the profession and as relates to clients’ competitors.
- Being trustworthy to our clients, ensuring that we will serve their best interest while still serving public interest.
- Being honest with any conflicts of interest that might arise.
- Be accountable for ALL our actions.
Need some help deciding whether your next step in your current PR campaign might cross that ethical line? Well, there’s an app for that! PRSA recently released an app based off of their PR Code of Ethics to help professionals make tough decisions. So now your guide to being an ethical PR professional is always in the palm of your hand!