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There’s an app for that

There are mobile business apps designed to make users more productive, more organized and more collaborative, but now there is an app to help guide public relations professionals in making ethical decisions. Ethical decision-making has never been easier thanks to PRSA taking the Code of Ethics (Code) mobile.

PRSA, in partnership with MSLGROUP, has brought the Code to the palm of your hand. The PRSA Ethics app is available for free in Google’s Android Market and Apple’s App Store and can be accessed from iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Ethical choices are the foundation of a successful public relations career. Public relations professionals are regularly called upon to act as trusted advisors to clients and counsel them to make the best ethical choices for the sake of the public and their own reputation. Practitioners regularly face situations where it would be easy to “look the other way;” while the temptation is there for short term gain, long term consequences are disastrous.

The new app will make public relations professionals more aware of the principles and guidelines that underpin ethical decision-making in internal and external communications. The app will allow practitioners to reference the Code at any time as they make decisions as part of their daily practice.

As of 2011, more than 50% of US consumers had a smartphone. A 2011 Nielsen study showed that 62% of phone owning adults ages 25-34 were smartphone users. At the end of 2012, there were over 700,000 apps in each of the Google Android and Apple stores.

Consumers, especially young people, are turning to their smartphones to meet almost every need in their life. Paper maps have been thrown out the window as smartphones give us turn by turn directions. Younger consumers will probably never have a phone book in their lifetime thanks to mobile contacts. This move from a paper environment to an electronic environment is a trend that will only grow with each passing year. The PRSA Ethics App will serve as a valuable tool to those who rely on technology to meet their needs.

The app will give professionals at all levels easy access to real-time guidance and the comfort of knowing what they’re doing is right and, if they face questions from colleagues or clients, the support they need to justify their counsel. The app is also something that young professionals will benefit from as they learn to practice in an ethical fashion.

The app provides easy reference to PRSA’s Code and Statement of Professional Values. It also includes:

  • An RSS feed that automatically populates PRSA ethics-related blog posts
  • Professional Standards Advisories which offer timely guidance on emerging ethics issues such as greenwashing, conflicts of interest and front groups
  • Email access to members of PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS)
  • The BEPS Ethics Quiz

Public relations professionals frequently face challenging, time-sensitive ethical issues, but they also have a special obligation to operate ethically. Because the profession’s reputation depends upon the ethical conduct of every public relations professional, PRSA is helping practitioners employ the latest tools and technologies to help in understanding and applying ethical communication principles.


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