PRSA Houston’s Ethics Chairwoman Emily Oberton recently contributed to a UH graduate class discussion on ethics. Emily shared with the PR Theory graduate students the core values of PRSA members and, more broadly, of the public relations profession. These values provide the foundation for the Member Code of Ethics and set the industry standard for the professional practice of public relations. These values are the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making process. These values are:
We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.
We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.
We acquire and responsibly use specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences.
We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.
We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.
We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.
Integrating these values into day-to-day decisions is critical for the individual practitioner and the integrity of the profession as a whole.
Contributed by Karen Blanchard, APR, Naumann Blanchard, LLC president