The following blog post was written by Lexi Verret, event director for Current Communications.
Professionalism and ethics are two important principles in the field of public relations. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has a code of ethics that outlines the professional values that PR practitioners should follow. The professional values are as follows:
In order to represent and advance the profession, all of the PRSA professional values should go into every interaction with a client, the work produced for the client and the interactions on behalf of the client. As PR professionals, we are the face of our clients. When the client’s audience pictures the organization or brand, often times they see the practitioner that speaks on its behalf. It is this reason alone that the highest standard of professionalism and ethics should be upheld in profession. Current Communications practices professionalism as it is defined by Merriam Webster, which is “the skill, good judgment and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” The agency believes that in order to complete a job effectively, the practitioner must interact with individuals, media and clients in a way that is respectful, proficient and ethical. Our agency also practices ethical behavior as Webster defines it, which are “rules of conduct based on what is morally good or bad.” As PR practitioners, it is important to apply the definition of ethics and the PRSA code of ethics to produce ethical behavior that is relevant to our specific field.
The agency has followed these standards throughout its campaign for Youth Oasis. One of the goals of the campaign kick-off event, Family Fest, was to raise awareness for our client. As an acting representation of Youth Oasis, it was crucial to practice professionalism and to behave ethically during the preparations for the event. If our agency did not adhere to the professional standards and code of ethics, our awareness efforts would have resulted in a negative connotation with Youth Oasis instead of a favorable one.
The agency members had to keep all of the professional values and PRSA Code of Ethics in mind during every step of the planning process. Through our interactions with donors and sponsors, we had to be honest, fair and advocate for Youth Oasis. These values in particular were important in the planning process in order to secure a mutually beneficial relationship between Youth Oasis and future benefactors. As a result of this, our agency secured future partnerships with Acacia Church and Kendra Scott for our client. Our agency is thankful that our clients’ ethical standards and professionalism aligned with our own. While some agencies have a different experience, it is extremely important to remain professional and to practice ethical behavior in the field of PR, despite the actions of others. For more information about Youth Oasis, visit its website, Facebook or Twitter.