Ethical and Legal Issues in Public Relations  WIDTH=

Evolving Ethical Standards

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) released an updated Member Code of Ethics in October 2000. According to a letter written from the PRSA Board of Directors, the approach they took to esteblish the new code was dramatically different than they had taken in the past. The differences include the following:

  1. Emphasis on enforcement of the Code has been eliminated.
  2. New focus on universal behavior that inspires ethical behavior and performance.
  3. Language is more clear and examples are provided to help the practioner better perform desired behavior.

According to a study done by Larry Judd, most public relations practitioners view themselves as counselors rather than advocates, the traditionally assigned role of public relations practioners. The defining difference has an effect on what is the proper professional standard that will encourage the practice of both roles which benefits all publics involved. A move toward professionalism in the field of public relations has sparked the ethical debate.

View the actual text of the PRSA Member Code of Ethics.

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