The public has always been a bit skeptical of PR professionals. Now, in an age of “fake news” and open, transparent platforms, PR professionals must live up to their responsibility to give the public open, honest, and ethical information.
The PR industry has been trying to refute this claim for a long time, and I’m happy to say that it’s finally paying off. PR professionals are now seen as the best people to consult and advise companies on how to act ethically in a sticky situation.
A PR professional’s main job is to manage their clients’ reputations by promoting the good news about their clients and dealing with the bad.
We believe that it is the responsibility of all PR practitioners to follow the ethics in public relations, and that the main issues facing PR professionals after a crisis are:
The PR professional’s job is to talk to the media, the public, and other important people in a way that doesn’t make the organization promise to do more than they can or make claims about their products that aren’t true. There is a lot of confusion, fear, and doubt when it comes to making moral decisions in real life. PR is about building relationships, and trust is an important part of that. If you have been caught lying, people won’t trust what you say.
This is a big problem right now, especially in the age of the internet, social media, and news that comes out every hour of every day. Organizations must be honest, open, and above suspicion. The current trend of using social media as a newsroom, which makes it easy for stakeholders and the public to find news, not only makes your organization more open to scrutiny but also gives stakeholders a chance to talk to you about any problems they may have. The good thing about this is that the organization can act on these concerns. This opens up a valuable two-way line of communication, and relationships can be built on a foundation of openness.
In your PR career, you should be guided by your own morals and values. Think about how you want to be seen and how you want to act. Are you honest? Accurate? Responsive? Respectful? In the end, your personal values will either lead you to sign a contract or keep you from doing so.
Overall, people who work in public relations need to feel that the decisions they make are supported, whether by their client, their boss, or their peers. Only then will they learn to trust themselves enough to believe in the moral and ethical decisions they make.