When I think about ethics, words that I relate to it are trust, decisions, public, guidelines, boundaries, truth, transparency, values, action, communication, responsibility, reputation, integrity, and credibility.
Here are the top three ethical elements on my list:
Remember the mock press conference we had to do in the Strategic Planning for PR class? It is much easier to tell the truth than to say things with ambiguity. It is important to be honest and keep things in transparency to the public. In the age of Internet and social media, there is nothing we can hide from the word of mouth. We should always communicate with our audience with open, accurate, and truthful information.
As the CyberBlogger.net stated in its Bloggers’ Code of Ethics, “These [the model Bloggers’ Code of Ethics] are just guidelines– in the end it is up to individual bloggers to choose their own best practices.” I cannot agree more. Ethics are just guidelines. It is our choice to do the right thing. It probably takes no more than an hour for us to list our own code of ethics, but it takes a lot of courage to make the right decision when it comes to a real life challenge.
For those who have had Dr. Horn’s class before, this quote should sound familiar to you, “At the end of the day, integrity is the ONLY thing we have as a PR professional.” Pointing out ethical violations and standing up against it may cost us a job, but we won’t lose our credibility. It is our responsibility, as a PR professional, to safeguard our own reputation as well as our companies’.
What elements you hold for your code of ethics?