PR Ethics Counsel: Be Prepared

September is Ethics Awareness Month. As a public relations team that often serves as ethics counsel for our clients, it’s important to always be prepared for any ethical dilemma, large or small.

Throughout September, PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) will offer a variety of webcasts, blog posts and Twitter chats that address ethical dilemmas and best practices. Here is how you can participate in #EthicsMonth:

Familiarize yourself with PRSA’s ethics resources

  • PRSA’s Code of Ethics is designed to be a useful guide to PRSA members as they carry out their ethical responsibilities. Ethical practice is the most important obligation of a PRSA member – not just during Ethics Month, but every day of the year.
  • BEPS will post a series of #EthicsMonth blog posts – from how to conduct a personal ethics assessment to building relationships and credibility as an ethics counselor. Tune in to PRSay each week for the latest updates.

Participate in an #EthicsMonth Twitter chat or webinar

  • September 4 at 7 p.m. CST: Twitter Chat: “Ethics Counsel Today: No Boundaries” – Join PRSA and PR colleagues around the world as we examine and discuss the ways in which, and the reasons why, communicators today have to be ever mindful of varying perceptions of what constitutes ethical practice.
  • September 13 at 2 p.m. CST: Webinar: “How to Prepare an Ethical Personal Crisis Plan” – By the end of this webinar led by Debra Bethard-Caplick, MBA, APR, participants will be able to create a crisis preparedness plan, recognize key situations that require advance preparation, vet future career opportunities based on adherence to the PRSA Code of Ethics, and more.
  • September 18 at 7 p.m. CST: Twitter Chat: “PR Ethics Curriculum” – Join professors from Marquette University, Quinnipiac University, Auburn University and Baylor University to discuss public relations in higher education.

Assess your ethics knowledge and personal values

  • This 10-question Ethics Quotient Quiz tests your knowledge of the ethical practice of public relations.
  • Spend some time thinking about your personal values and the potential workplace ethical dilemmas you may face. How would you handle it? How do you recognize and address unethical behavior on the part of an employer or client, without damaging your own career? What will you do if a job or assignment conflicts with your own values?

*Photo courtesy of the Public Relations Society of America | Artwork by Elizabeth Schoenherr

**Maggie is the PRSA St. Louis Chief Ethics Officer. This post also appeared on the PRSA St. Louis blog.

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