5 Tips for Introducing Ethics Into Company Culture


Sam Ford

Sam Ford

In our excessively litigious society, corporate decision makers are often motivated by the legal implications of their actions. And rightly so. Few things make for bad PR quite like a lawsuit. But, sometimes, companies are so preoccupied with the legally defensible that they lose sight of ethical boundaries.

Consider the recent news about Facebook’s secret psychological study that it performed on its users in 2012. Sure, the social network was probably within its legal bounds to execute the study, but its actions weren’t ethical. Users who trusted Facebook to deliver their news feed content and protect their data felt betrayed. The media also resoundingly came out against Facebook for unethical behavior.

Sam Ford, director of audience engagement at Peppercomm, notes that companies can think more ethically by creating “a culture of listening” with their customers. Communicators should see themselves as advocates for the various audiences their organization serve. Prioritize goals based on those audiences, and think as they would think. Then a communicator is less likely to engage in actions that are ethically unsound.

Here are some additional tips for introducing ethical thinking into a company’s culture:

  • Make ethics a core part of your employee and partner training endeavors.
  • Use news of other companies’ ethical lapses as catalysts for internal discussion.
  • Revisit company policies to make sure they speak not just to what’s required by law, but what constitutes best-in-class operations.
  • Transform online monitoring programs to become online listening programs.
  • Lead by example. Show your colleagues that you value ethics through your everyday decisions.

This is an excerpt from PR News’ Digital PR Guidebook, Vol. 6. Please visit our website for information on this and other guidebook titles.

Follow Sam Ford: @Sam_Ford

Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell




Tags: , , | Comments Off

avatar

About Richard Brownell

Richard Brownell is Content Manager, PR Events at PR News. He has several years' experience in developing and producing online events. Richard is a published author with several titles for young audiences to his credit. He has also written political commentary for several popular websites and his stage plays have been produced in New York and other major cities.



Deals of the Week

Get $150 Off PR News' PR Measurement Conference

 prnews-measurement-conf-175x135-static

Join us on November 20, 2014, for PR News’ essential PR Measurement Conference, taking place at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Commit now to grounding all of your PR efforts in metrics that connect to organizational goals and prove value that communications makes in thriving b2c and b2b companies, nonprofits and professional associations.

Use code “150off” at checkout.

Get $50 off PR News' Media Relations Guidebook


book-mediarelations-180x150

This 8-chapter resource contains practical implications for some of the most innovative developments in media relations, including the technologies, methodologies and mannerisms that determine the ecosystem in which PR pros practice this essential part of their craft.

Use code “50off” at checkout.

Save $100 on a PR News Subscription



Let PR News become your weekly, go-to resource for the latest PR trends, case studies and tip sheets. Topics covered include visual storytelling, social media, measurement, crisis management and media relations.

Use code “SUBDEAL” at checkout.

Comments are closed.