Morals, principles, common sense and partnerships all share a common component – ethics.
From an early age, we’re taught to play nice with others. If you wouldn’t want something done to you, don’t do it to others is a lesson we learn at a young age. Seems simple, right? It is simple, and in the business world it is essential to success.
I have found, during my time at Franco Public Relations Group and in the PR industry overall, that ethical behavior certainly breeds success for not only your own career, but for your clients and definitely your company or agency.
Conduct yourself in an ethical manner and you’ll earn a reputation as a trusted resource, confidant, even a friend. Build trust with your clients and provide quality service and you’ll enjoy a long, productive relationship, and – if you’re really good – your clients may recommend you to other business owners in need of your services.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) supports that idea.
Building Principles on Core Values
The Code, created and maintained by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS), sets out principles and guidelines built on core values. Fundamental values like advocacy, honesty, loyalty, professional development and objectivity structure ethical practice and interaction with clients and the public.
Translating values into principles of ethical practice, the Code advises professionals to:
- Protect and advance the free flow of accurate and truthful information.
- Foster informed decision making through open communication.
- Protect confidential and private information.
- Promote healthy and fair competition among professionals.
One point I find interesting is to “Promote healthy and fair competition among professionals.” It’s important, and ethical, to extend your behavior beyond your agency and your clients to other public relations professionals who may even be competitors.
Why, you ask? Again, the answer is simple and worth repeating. It’s the right thing to do.
How do you practice ethics in public relations? How have you been successful in your career by implementing these fundamentals?