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Ethics – Are You Aware?

Ethics Awareness Month is upon us, and this year’s theme, “Ethics, the Heart of Leadership” focuses on how we, as PRSA members, can be better counselors and leaders by practicing ethical behavior and engaging in ethical dialogue on a regular basis.

Let’s be honest…ethics is not something most people think about in their daily lives until they are faced with a dilemma. And most of us don’t take the time to reflect on our own decisions until we are reading about someone else in the news. Only then do we find ourselves asking, “What would I have done in that situation? Would I have made that decision? And how would have decision affected my organization or my clients?”

By making a point to understand the impact of ethical/unethical behavior and identify the resources and opportunities that are available, we can better serve our clients and the profession.

Throughout the month of September, PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) will be offering a number of webcasts, seminars and blog posts that address ethical situations, best practices and pitfalls. I hope you take a few minutes to check out one or more of the following activities and share your own thoughts on social media at #PREthics.

Ethics refresher. Brush up on their ethics knowledge with PRSA’s ethics resources and Ethical Standard Advisories (ESA). You’ll also find a range of topics covering 20 targeted areas authored by current and past members of PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS).

Take a survey. The Arthur W. Page Center has awarded a grant to BEPS members Marlene Neill, Ph.D., assistant professor, Baylor University,and Nancy Weaver, APR, internal communications manager at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.  The survey, “How Millennials View Ethics in Public Relations,” will be conducted during ethics month and feature input from both new pros and associate members.  The results will be presented at the PRSA International Conference, as well as shared through other public relations channels.

Read a blog post. Various authors, including Nance Larsen, APR, Fellow PRSA and 2016 BEPS Chair, Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, Marlene Neill, Ph.D., and Johnathan Slater, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, will pose discussion and address current ethical challenges, issues and best practices.

Upcoming Twitter Chats

September 15 at 12 PM CT  Journalism vs. PR: Finding Common Ethical Ground

  • Panelists include: Nancy Weaver, APR, internal communications manager at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and Lynn Walsh, journalist, KNSD and President-elect for the Society of Professional Journalists.

September 20 at 7 PM CT Let’s Talk Ethics!  Best Practices for Ethics Curriculum in Public Relations

  • Topic: PR Division of AEJMC and the PRSA Educators Academy to discuss ethic curriculum
  • Panelists include: Tiffany Gallicano, Ph.D, and Elizabeth Toth, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA

September 21 at 7 PM CT Social Media & Ethics: Common Pitfalls & How to Avoid Them

  • Topic: The relationship between PR and social media is ever-evolving. Managing this relationship while maintaining a commitment to ethics is a balancing act. Join us to learn about the common pitfalls associated with using social media in public relations and find out how to avoid them.
  • Presented by PRSA New Pros Section
  • Hosted by Marlene S. Neill, Ph.D., APR, Assistant Professor, Baylor University, Department of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media (@neillpr)


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