September was public relations ethics month and Franco didn’t hesitate to jump into the conversation. Our team knows that ethics guide each one of our strategic decisions. We serve the public good first and foremost, so we have an increased obligation to conduct business on ethical, truthful grounds.
Webinar to Sharpen Our Skills
On Sept. 27, we spent our lunch hour tuning into PRSA Detroit’s sponsored ethics webinar “Civility as an Ethical Imparative – Case Studies on Social Media.” Keynoting was Dr. Rebecca Harris, global head of the Social Center of Expertise at General Motors (GM), who spoke about ethics in our social-focused world. We also heard from Janelle Guthrie, APR, PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, who talked about the board’s role and the additional ethics resources PRSA Detroit has available.
“The best defense is a good offense,” said Dr. Rebecca Harris, on being prepared for crises. “The best plan is having a Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. You can’t always expect a crisis, but you can take proper planning steps to minimize the impact.”
Dr. Harris emphasized the importance of prepping your entire team for crises, so everyone is on same page. She also talked about how GM uses social media as a multi-faceted tool for listening to learn, integrating across multiple channels, employee advocacy and telling your brand’s unique story. Dr. Harris gave real implications of GM’s ethical decision making in the face of a crisis. She reinforced transparency being the key to any crisis.
Discussed Ethics with CMU’s PRSSA Chapter
To share Franco’s steadfast stance on ethics, Ann Marie Fortunate presented to Central Michigan University’s PRSSA. She presented the PRSA ethics code and how Franco adheres to these principles to the young PR stars. Members were interested in learning about agency life and how we use our best ethical judgment in crises situations.
Took the Pledge
All Franconians aced the PRSA Detroit Ethics Quiz and signed PRSA’s Code of Ethics pledge to stand by its principles. The code emphasizes:
- Advocacy: to act as responsible advocates for those we represent.
- Honesty: to adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in communicating with the public.
- Expertise: to responsibly use our specialized knowledge to build mutual understanding, credibility and relationships with other institutions and audiences.
- Independence: to provide objective counsel to those we represent.
- Loyalty: to be faithful to our clients while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.
- Fairness: to deal fairly with and respect the opinions of all audiences – clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media and the general public.
We are lucky to be a part of the PRSA Detroit Chapter, which actively provides resources for further education, learning and networking events and other professional services.
Ethics is at the forefront of all that we do here at Franco. What principles guide your decisions?
Maddie Barnes is an assistant account executive at Franco. Shoot her an email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @maddieabarnes.