PRSA expects us to share facts, uphold ethics and lead by example, especially in challenging times

As communicators, we have adapted to the “new normal” of social distancing, more people working or studying remotely, and the return of businesses across Iowa reopening under new rules brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, recent events have presented a new challenge for communicators.

Share Facts and Reduce Misinformation

As PR professionals, our PRSA Code of Conduct guides us to focus on facts by providing accurate and truthful information. Today, that can be harder to ascertain in a 24/7 news cycle, divided opinions and a plethora of social media sources.

It’s up to us as public relations professionals to work in the spirit of enabling the spirit of informed decision making. We must do the research, to investigate, confirm and substantiate sources to be accurate and truthful in our communication to maintain the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials and the public.

Our PRSA Code of Ethics also implores us to reveal the sponsors for causes and interests represented and to avoid deceptive practices. It also guides us to investigate the truthfulness and accuracy of information released on behalf of those represented.

In the heat of the moment or the rush of a deadline, what happens if you learn you’ve communicated misinformation? Correct your mistake and communicate with those who received or were exposed to your incorrect information … quickly and professionally. PRSA encourages us to, “Act promptly to correct erroneous communications for which the member is responsible.”

Uphold Ethics and Lead by Example

The demands of the public relations profession require us to earn and maintain the trust of the publics we serve. That’s why it’s so important to follow the guidance in our Code of Ethics, to help us navigate through some of the most challenging times in our lives.

So how do you do that? It starts with each of us as leaders in our own right. We each are responsible for and control our own actions and how we listen, learn and respond to challenges. PRSA encourages us to lead by example. “Each of us sets an example for each other—as well as other professionals—by our pursuit of excellence with powerful standards of performance, professionalism and ethical conduct,” our PRSA Code of Ethics states.

Need a refresher? View the PRSA Code of Ethics that guides our organization and conduct as a member of PRSA at: https://www.prsa.org/docs/default-source/about/ethics/prsa_code_of_ethics.pdf?sfvrsn=c9b66a6b_2

 

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