After reading the Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA’s member code of ethics I can’t say I’m surprised with its content. Values such as advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness are all values that I believe all businesses and professionals should practice by. Sounds like a good personal code of ethics to me as well. The public relations field revolves around displaying and sharing information. Whether it be good, bad or ugly info, having a solid code of ethics like that of the PRSA is just another way to keep folks honest.
I’m curious if PRSA members keep their code of ethics handy on a daily basis. I mean I’m sure every member reads it, does their best to remember it and then signs it. But what happens after that? I feel like working in PR would warrant keeping that bad boy pinned on the wall, just for quick reference in case anything border-line unethical pops up. I also believe that just because someone signs a code doesn’t mean that they are 100% dedicated to upholding it. If a PR professional’s personal ethics code is different than the PRSA code I think said person will act the personal code that they have developed throughout their entire life. Hopefully they have a code that embraces the same values as the PRSA code.
If you’d like to read over the PRSA code of ethics for yourself, check it out here.