Ethics in relation to PR refers to a systematic analysis to help you distinguish right from wrong. And the nature or what should be valued. For public relations this includes values such as honesty, openness, loyalty, fair, respect, integrity, and forthright communication, (Bowan, 2007)
Organisations such as PRIA (Public Relations Institute Australia), MEAA Journalism and PRSA all have a code of ethics as. PRSA (The Public Relations Society of America) have six core values as follows (Wilcox, 2013):
Most ethical issues are not black or white and rather fall into a grey area. Ethics in public relations begins with the individual and his or hers own value system and what they believe to be right or wrong, (Wilcox, 2013). For example, if I were a public relations practitioner for a company bidding for an upcoming PR campaign and I personally knew one of the members on the bid-assessment panel and had an idea of what they were looking for. I do not see this as unethical practice, but others might.
In my personal opinion, based on individual assessment, I believe that, yes it is an advantage I personally know one of the members on the panel, but no it is not an ‘unfair’ advantage. Networking in public relations is important and mingling with potential clients is common. In public relations your image is everything and driving conversations and building relationships with other industry professionals is advantageous, not unethical, (Macias, 2013).
Bowan, S, 2007, “Ethics and Public Relations”, Institute for Public Relations, viewed 19 May, http://www.instituteforpr.org/ethics-and-public-relations/
Macias, M, 2013, “How to apply PR skills at Networking events”, Ragan’s PR Daily, viewed 19 May, http://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/How_to_apply_PR_skills_at_networking_events_14488.aspx
Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, J 2013, “What is Ethics?” Think; Public Relations, 2013 edition, p. 184, Pearson