Ethics Month: International Ethics Tweet Chat

PRSA held its first Ethics Month 2012 Tweet Chat last week. Led by PRSA Chair Gerry Corbett and Board of Ethics and Professional Standards Chair Deb Silverman, Tweeps discussed #PRethics. The discussion began with varying ethical codes around the world then, very organically, shifted to discussions on social media ethics and ethical coursework at the collegiate level.

A full transcript of the chat appears below or can be viewed here on Storify. The next #PRethics Tweet Chat is scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 25.

The chat kicked off with a discussion about the PRSA Code of Ethics as well as the Code of Professional Standards created by the Canadian Public Relations Society. The overall message was that public relations professionals working in international markets see many different codes of ethics and conduct, not one universal set of standards. It is important to understand the expectations of the market you will be working in and make decisions accordingly. Additionally, a professional must be aware of traditions within a particular culture so that those too are respected.

As the chat continued, Tweeps raised questions about social media and the ethical use of it. @gerardcorbett asked chatters their view on #twethics. @laurenkgray responded:

  • I’m seeing more bios saying: “tweets do not represent company” or “thoughts are my own” or some variation. Good thing to add. #PRethics

Understanding the ethical use of social media is important for all professionals. Users are becoming increasingly aware of the difficulties of balancing multiple accounts and what is right and wrong to say on social media sites. A personal opinion can quickly turn into a negative experience for your client and a public relations nightmare for you.

The chat wrapped up with students and new professionals discussing their desire for more global ethics related coursework. Once again @laurenkgray weighed in with:

  • I think our classes do a good job covering some ethics and case studies, but not enough globally or updated. #PRethics

Her sentiment was echoed by other students looking, not only for global ethics, but a more robust class addressing ethics. @catherinedkpr added:

  • Our textbooks cover #PREthics – mostly @PRSA‘s Code – but I wish we had a class just for Ethics.

The next Ethics Month 2012 Tweet Chat will focus on ethical issues facing new professionals and how to handle ethical situations. Join as new professionals share their stories and ask questions of seasoned professionals.

You can find more commentary and insight on PRSA’s Ethics Month 2012 here. Follow the #PRethics conversation here – or read the transcript, embedded below.

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Stephanie Cegielski

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