You might be tempted to think that anything goes in the world of PR and social media, that all is fair in love and war. However, nothing could be further from the truth. There is a very strict set of ethics you must follow as a PR professional and wavering from these can potentially harm your reputation and your business.
Are you up to date with the PR Code of Ethics? If not, please visit the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and catch up. The Code of Ethics guides you when you’re faced with an ethical dilemma such as a conflict of interest or possibility of overcharging for services.
It’s easy to slip into devious practices if you’re not careful. It’s tough out there and getting a step ahead can be enticing! However, in the long run, being honest and reputable will bring you more fortune and glory than being devious.
We All Talk
Come on, this is our business! Of course we all keep in touch!
Much like in Hollywood if a troubled writer, director or actor starts acting like a clown they get ostracized, the network of PR and social media pros can be not only your greatest ally but your worst nightmare. If you chase off clients with your rudeness or botch a job and run, we’ll all know about it. In a hurry!
This also means you need to be on top of your game. Reading and studying as much as you can will help you keep up on new trends you might otherwise miss out on. Attend trade shows and listen to podcasts. Do whatever it takes to not get left behind!
Why It’s Important
Why would otherwise kind, gentle and sweet PR pros turn their backs on you if you mess up too much? Public relations has always walked a fine line with the publics’ trust. While you know you represent a great company, people can be cynical and might see your honest efforts as spin. And what if your company did commit a sin or two? Let’s not even go there. In those few times when unethical PR breaches the public’s trust, everyone who practices it is a suspect.
The same goes for the PR aspect of social media. Considering social media is still a growing enterprise, a bad apple can quickly spoil the whole bunch. Breaches of ethics and sloppy handiwork can do nothing but harm not just you, but our entire livelihood.
Have you ever come across an unethical PR pro?
By Mickie E Kennedy is the founder of the online leader in affordable PR distribution since 1998.