Public Relations Ethics
Guidance for the Future Practitioner
Successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners. As a future professional, it is essential that you uphold the highest ethical standards. PRSSA promotes ethical practice by asking members to adhere to the PRSSA Code of Ethics and encourages all Chapters to have members sign the pledge upon joining the organization.
Leadership in ethics issues among Chapters is encouraged and recognized through the Awards Program for Ethics Advocacy, which honors Chapters that plan and conduct outstanding activities to promote ethical practice.
PRSSA Code of Ethics/Conduct
I pledge to conduct myself professionally, with truth, accuracy, fairness and responsibility to the public, fellow members and to the Society; to improve my individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the field of public relations; and to adhere to the articles of the Member Code of Ethics/Conduct by the PRSSA National Committee.
I understand and accept that there are consequences for member misconduct, up to and including membership revocation.
I understand that members in violation of the PRSSA Code of Ethics/Conduct may be further barred from PRSA Membership.
PRSSA models its ethics guidelines after those of its parent organization, PRSA. The PRSA Code of Ethics was created to help members navigate ethical principles and applications and is widely regarded as the industry standard. For further reference, see the PRSA Member Code of Ethics Pledge and PRSA Ethics app. For information about specific ethical dilemmas and issues, you can view the PRSA Professional Standards Advisories.
PRSSA 2016 Ethics Month Schedule
- Sept. 1: Start of ethics mini-case study competition (Prize: $50 Amazon gift card)
- Sept. 1–30: PRSSA Progressions Posts on Ethics
- Sept. 13 (8:30 p.m. ET): PRSA Twitter chat “Ethics, the Heart of Public Relations,” hosted by Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA
- Sept. 14 (9 p.m. ET): PRSSA Twitter chat “Millennial Ethics: Workplace Dilemmas and Scenarios,” co-hosted by PRSSA National and Dr. Tiffany Gallicano
- Sept. 20 (8 p.m. ET): PRSA Twitter chat “Let’s talk Ethics! Best practices for Ethics Curriculum in Public Relations” hosted by Dr. Tiffany Galliacano. This chat is for educators but students are welcome.
- Sept. 30: Ethics mini-case study competition closes at 11:59 p.m.
Past Ethics Initiatives
PRSSA has introduced several programs in the past to address ethics issues.
- 2005 Bateman Case Study Competition. In 2005, Bateman Case Study Competition teams created public relations campaigns to educate college students on their campuses about the importance of advancing ethical behavior in academic performance.
- 2008 Fair & Ethical Campaigning Initiative. This initiative, introduced by 2008–2009 National President Brandi Boatner, encouraged Chapters to promote ethical public relations practices among candidates at all levels of the 2008 election. Review the Fair & Ethical Campaigning Resource Guide (PDF) for more information about this initiative.