By: Krystal Black
Ethics is defined as moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. We make decisions all the time based on our ethics. As public relations professionals, we hear about the importance of ethics in our business all the time; it is instilled in us from the very first public relations course we take. Ethics determine the reputation of the company you work for as well as who you are. They are different for everyone because they are based on where you grow up. It is said that it takes a community to raise a child; this means your family, friends, school, neighbors and more are where you learn your morals. For this reason, it is difficult for companies to teach ethics.
In general, more simpler terms, clients need to be able to trust that, as public relations professionals, we will protect their sensitive information and that we can do a job for them. The problem is that ethics in public relations is constantly challenged, and we are constantly criticized for “spinning the truth.” However, as the front line for our companies, communicating to our audiences, we need to convey the right message. What I mean by this is sticking to the standards of the industry, as well as our “gut feeling.” Ethics are telling the truth and being transparent for consumers.
The overall goal and importance of being ethical in the public relations field is telling consumers no more than the truth about what the company can do for them. In a world full of unethical businesses, it’s important that we are ethical for our company’s sake, our own sake, consumers, and for the good of the field of public relations as a whole.