Ethics in Practice


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“Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics” ~ Jane Addams

September is Ethical Awareness Month. Although PRSA is the organization that’s naming it, I thought it would be interesting to see how other industries in our collective fields approach ethics. So, I did a search. You’ll see the results here. How do you practice professional ethics? Do you have a personal or company ethics policy?

September is Ethics Awareness Month at PRSA. Based on PRSA’s Code of Ethics, Ethics Awareness Month seeks to inform and educate the public relations profession about ongoing issues and concerns regarding PR ethics. source: prsa.org

During PRSA Ethics Month, PRSAY is running a month-long series of posts on important ethics issues facing the public relations profession. The next #PRethics chat is scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 20. To give you an idea of the conversation range, here’s a previous #prethics chat transcript.

For more PR ethics information, check out the Public Relations Ethics Code and these PRSA Ethics Resources, which include basics, case studies, and best practices.

Want to know how much you know? Take the PRSA Ethics Quotient Quiz

American Marketing Association Statement of Ethics

Do no harm. This means consciously avoiding harmful actions or omissions by embodying high ethical standards and adhering to all applicable laws and regulations in the choices we make. Foster trust in the marketing system. This means striving for good faith and fair dealing so as to contribute toward the efficacy of the exchange process as well as avoiding deception in product design, pricing, communication, and delivery of distribution.Embrace ethical values. This means building relationships and enhancing consumer confidence in the integrity of marketing by affirming these core values: honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect, transparency and citizenship.

Word of Mouth Marketing Association Code of Ethics

WOMMA is dedicated to advocating ethical and credible word of mouth. The Ethics Code is a cornerstone of the principles that built this organization. WOMMA is very proud that the FTC recognized in their new guide, with no less than ten specific references, the authority and integrity of the overall WOMMA Code.

Society of Professional Journalists: SPJ Code of Ethics

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of “rules” but as a resource for ethical decision-making. It is not — nor can it be under the First Amendment — legally enforceable.

Loyola University Center for Digital Ethics and Policy Resources

The Center for Digital Ethics and Policy was founded through the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago in an effort to foster more dialogue, research, and guidelines regarding ethical behavior in online and digital environments.

Two places to check out here: the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy Blog and Best Practices for Bloggers

International Symposium on Digital Ethics

If you’re in Chicago, check out this event on Friday, October 28. Hosted by Center for Digital Ethics & Policy and the School of Communication, Loyola University Chicago, the day-long symposium will feature Jane McGonigal, author of the NY Times bestseller Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World.

Social Media Club Professional Code of Ethics

This Code of Ethics is meant to help further the indsutry by protecting both social media professionals and digital citizens. We understand with the constant changes in new media platforms, this Code of Ethics needs to remain fluid to meet the demands of the industry, and continue progress.

Disclosure: I serve on the Social Media Club Chicago chapter board and am a founding chapter member.

CEO Ethics Code

Selected as the winner of the World Economic Forum and YouTube’s “Davos Debates” program, this video by Pablo Camacho, a student from Bogota, Columbia answers the question, “Should company executives have a code of ethics similar to doctors and lawyers?”

Share Your Thoughts

What brands or organizations do you look to as ideal ethics role models?


About Barbara Rozgonyi

Barbara Rozgonyi publishes WiredPRWorks.com and directs CoryWest Media, an integrated social media marketing and PR firm. As Social Media Club (SMC) Chicago’s founder, Barbara is a recognized spokesperson for brands, bloggers and the social media marketing PR industry. Barbara invites you to join the Wired PR Works community on Facebook or to contact her regarding interviews, partner promotions or speaking engagements at 630.207.7530.