PRSA's Code of Ethics
These articles have been adopted by the Public Relations Society of
America to promote and maintain high standards of public
service and ethical conduct among its members. The PRSA Assembly adopted
them in 1988. They replace a Code of Ethics in force since 1950.
Certain articles that are a bit vague include a link to an
- A member shall conduct his or her professional life
in accord with the public interest.
- A member shall exemplify high standards of honesty and integrity
while carrying out dual obligations to a client or employer and to the
- A member shall deal fairly with the public, with past or present
clients or employers, and with fellow practitioners, giving due respect
to the ideal of free inquiry and to the opinions of others.
- A member shall adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and
truth, avoiding extravagant claims or unfair comparisons and giving
credit for ideas and words borrowed from others.
- A member shall not knowingly disseminate false or misleading
information and shall act promptly to correct erroneous communications
for which he or she is responsible.
- A member shall not engage in any practice which has
the purpose of corrupting the integrity of channels of communications or
the processes of government.
- A member shall be prepared to identify publicly the name of the
client or employer on whose behalf any public communication is made.
- A member shall not use any individual or organization professing to
serve or represent an announced cause, or professing to be independent
or unbiased, but actually serving another or undisclosed interest.
- A member shall not guarantee the achievement of
specified results beyond the member's direct control.
- A member shall not represent conflicting or competing interests
without the express consent of those concerned, given after a full
disclosure of the facts.
- A member shall not place himself or herself in a position where the
member's personal interest is or may be in conflict with an obligation
to an employer or client, or others, without full disclosure of such
interests to all involved.
- A member shall not accept fees, commissions, gifts or any other
consideration from anyone except clients or employers for whom services
are performed without their express consent, given after full disclosure
of the facts.
- A member shall scrupulously safeguard the
confidences and privacy rights of present, former, and prospective
clients or employers.
- A member shall not intentionally damage the
professional reputation or practice of another practitioner.
- If a member has evidence that another member has been guilty of
unethical, illegal, or unfair practices, including those in violation
of this Code, the member is obligated to present the information
promptly to the proper authorities of the Society for action in
accordance with the procedure set forth in Article XII of the
- A member called as a witness in a proceeding for enforcement of
this Code is obligated to appear, unless excused for sufficient reason
by the judicial panel.
- A member shall, as soon as possible, sever relations with any
organization or individual if such relationship requires conduct
contrary to the articles of this Code.