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PRSA Provides More Support Around Ethics Counsel

By Nina Kult, APR, Account Supervisor at Common Ground Public Relations and PRSA St. Louis Ethics Officer

A new study recently published by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) finds that younger public relations professionals feel uninformed and unprepared when it comes to the PRSA Code of Ethics and ethics counseling.

The data, which is published in the Public Relations Review, was collected via a survey distributed to approximately 1,500 members of the New Professionals section as well as members who have less than five years of experience in public relations. It contains information from the second of three studies conducted by BEPS pertaining to public relations practitioners’ roles and responsibilities to provide ethics counsel. 

Of those PRSA members with less than five years of experience who were surveyed in September 2016, BEPS members found that:

  • Only one-third (30 percent) indicated they felt prepared to offer ethics counsel
  • Only 25 percent said they were likely to provide ethics counsel
  • The majority of participants did not expect to face common ethical dilemmas when presented with examples
  • Only about 40 percent were familiar with the PRSA code of ethics
  • Less than half (47 percent) said they were likely to use the PRSA code of ethics
  • Based on the results, several opportunities to improve young professional’s view of ethics counsel were identified, from providing more resources and articles to offering mentoring programs.


The findings of this survey were presented in more detail at the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC) in Orlando.

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