Ethics Work Best When Reinforced as a Constant State of Mind

A prominent government official doesn’t practice what he preaches. An internet site is accused of plagiarism. A corporate titan takes advantage of insider information.

These random examples broadly represent the challenges PR professionals, whose job is to communicate the truth, often face. And what do all these situations have in common? Ethics, of course.

And not just ethics as a particular and important set of principles, but as a state of mind, a behavioral guidepost, a moral imperative.

At PRSA, September is Ethics Month, a time when we specifically focus on and celebrate our Code of Ethics, which is at the heart of what we believe in as communicators as well as how we practice our craft every day.

But ethical dilemmas, as we well know, don’t follow the calendar year; we find ourselves constantly immersed in quandaries and quagmires that require close attention and expertise.

Throughout what has been, and continues to be, an immensely difficult time, PR pros, myself included, are reflecting more on the many changes taking place across the societal landscape.

As events and shifting perspectives influence our values and mindset, how are they affecting our ethical priorities and strategies?

With this in mind, below are basic tenets and best ethical practices for communication professionals.


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