PRSA Ethics are always in style - in any season

PRSA Ethics are always in style — in any season

Contributed by Kathy Krafka Harkema, APR, ethics chair

Summer’s over. It’s that the time of year when fall fashions and new car models roll out. September marks the return of football, pumpkin spice lattes and PRSA Ethics Month. While foods, sports, fashions and vehicle models change with the seasons, PRSA ethics are season-less — and never go out of style.

As a member of PRSA, you’re part of a strong statewide chapter and national organization that’s dedicated to professionalism, excellence and upholding our PRSA Code of Ethics.

Why do ethics matter? To be a credible communicator, it’s essential to consistently conduct yourself with integrity, to earn respect, and to gain trust…of those you represent, those you serve with in professional or volunteer roles, and those you seek to influence. If you can’t be trusted, your message won’t be, either.

So how trustworthy are you? Are you leading by example? Are you providing timely, relevant, factual information to target audiences? Are your actions consistent with your words, our PRSA values and professional ethics? Or are you sending mixed messages by saying one thing and doing another?

To achieve success in public relations, it’s essential to be honest, transparent and real. After all, as a communicator, you personify the cause you represent, whether it’s in your role in a paid professional position or in your free time as a volunteer.

So now that the days are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting cooler and the topic of PRSA ethics is heating up, take some time to reflect. Pause and think about how you are upholding the PRSA Code of Ethics, or if you have some work to do. Wondering where to start? Keep it simple. Start with the basics. We’re committed to:

  • Advocacy
  • Honesty
  • Expertise
  • Independence
  • Loyalty
  • Fairness

Those aren’t just words. They’re guiding principles we’re expected to uphold as PRSA members. As a public relations professional, you may be part of a larger organization or team, or a solo practitioner. No matter whether you work for yourself, a public or private firm, or a large or a small organization, ethics matter. They’re always in style.

Wondering exactly how PRSA’s Code of Ethics they may impact you and how you conduct yourself in your role? Now’s a good time to brush up on what you’ve committed to as a member of PRSA. Check out

There’s even a mobile app to download to keep PRSA ethics resources at your fingertips. Find a link to it, and other helpful resources at:

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