By Ashley Martin, Event Director
If you want to make it in the public relations industry, professionalism and maintaining a code of ethics is a must. No matter how much you try to keep your client in a positive light or get them out of a sticky situation, you must never damaging your overall goal of protecting your client’s integrity long-term and maintaining public trust.
Professionalism and ethics fall under the professional values and competencies we have learned throughout the semester. Every public relations practitioner is expected to follow the PRSA Code of Ethics, which was developed by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). The Code lists principles and guidelines that align with the values of ethical public relations, which include advocacy, honesty, loyalty, professional development and objectivity.
I’m sure every PR student can agree that we have heard these five terms since our first class in the Manship school, but what do they truly mean?
According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, advocacy includes “providing a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.” In other words, serve as a responsible representative of your client. Become passionate with their mission statement and goals, and work to align your client’s image with these goals.
Like the popular saying our parents and teachers stored in our head’s growing up, “honesty is the best policy.” Be accurate and truthful with whom you’re representing and when you communicate with the public. Fortunately, this is becoming a trend in the PR world, with PR Daily’s article recognizing that “most PR pros are ethical and honest.” Good job you guys!
Loyalty goes a long way in the business world. Build a relationship with your clients and assure them that you’re trustworthy enough to represent them. In a recent article from Liquid Communications, some of the country’s top public relation firms give their personal tips on building loyalty and enhancing a company’s brand.
Professional development and ethics fall hand in hand in public relations. It’s important that practitioners are constantly evolving with today’s trends and technology growing at a rapid pace. In a recent article publish by Harvard, the importance of professional development is considered one of the top skills every PR professional should have.
Lastly, objectivity is essential for the credibility of PR professionals. It’s important to outline a plan and establish objectives for your client, and even more so to see that these objectives are carried out.
Overall, Lagniappe Public Relations has strived to maintain professionalism and ethics when developing Big Buddy Program’s campaign this semester. We strive to represent them in the best light possible, and to always be truthful and loyal when establishing our objectives for the organization’s upcoming year.
The mission of Big Buddy Program is to provide access to positive role models and learning experiences to children who lack these valuable resources in the Greater Baton Rouge community.
Upcoming May 2016 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, majoring in mass communication with a minor in business administration. Highly motivated to launch professional career relating to marketing communication or public relations in the New Orleans, LA area beginning summer/fall of 2016. Pinterest enthusiast and proud owner of a yellow labrador retriever.