Ethics

Ethics Right at Your Fingertips

Each September, PRSA celebrates Ethics Month, featuring programs presented by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS). This year’s theme is “Ethics Every Day.” Please join the discussion via #PRethics, and follow along with our ethics-related blog posts, webinars and Twitter Chats throughout the month.

I recently participated in a local Chapter workshop where we shared tips for practitioners that offered scads of information and resources that help make our jobs easier and more effective.  

When it was time to introduce ourselves and our involvement in PRSA, I mentioned BEPS and got blank stares from almost everyone around the table.

I started with a brief description of the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS), which still wasn’t a sufficient explanation for the place and time nor the wealth of information available to members.

This forum may be more suitable.

Welcome to the all-new prsa.org.

Take moment and visit the Ethics page. This will open up a new world.

On this page you’ll find a treasure trove of information that guides our practice and behavior.          

The BEPS Handbook gives historical context to why the Code of Ethics exists and has evolved. Our profession is dynamic and those who knew better 69 years ago, put a set of standards in place to address the “responsibility for the good character and reputation of the public relations professional.” The ethical challenges we face have become increasingly complex and the Code of Ethics and resources at our fingertips tackle those quandaries head on.

If you are a new Chapter ethics officer the Handbook offers a wide range of programming ideas such as case studies and ongoing education and trainings certain to engage your members.

Ethics resources include case studies, ESA’s — Ethical Standards Advisories, links to free webinars, articles, and blog posts offer current insights into ethical matters that we may not face today but because of the present climate, we assuredly will face in the future.

And if you’ve never scanned PRSay now’s a great time to start. Here is the mother lode of ethics blogs contributed by BEPS Board members and other colleagues.

As PR practitioners, we have a responsibility to our audience, clients, colleagues, and profession to educate ourselves and uphold the core values of the ethical practice of public relations, including advocacy, honesty, loyalty, and objectivity. PRSA provides every opportunity to fulfill these goals year round.

Check out the PRsay post titled “Bringing Your Whole Self to Ethical Behavior” by Karen Swim, APR, a member of BEPS. Karen sums it up nicely. “Ethics is not a uniform that we discard after hours. We should hold ourselves accountable for ethical behavior at all times.” Ethics exists, 24/7 on our website. Take advantage of what is right at your fingertips.


Anita Ford Saunders, APR, is a member of the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards.

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Anita Ford Saunders, APR

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