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Practice of Public Relations

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The practice of public relations can present unique and challenging ethical issues. At the same time, protecting integrity and the public trust are fundamental to the profession's role and reputation. Bottom line, successful public relations hinges on the ethics of its practitioners. To help members navigate ethics principles and applications, the Society created, and continues to maintain, the Code of Ethics. Under the Code, widely regarded as the industry standard, members pledge to core values, principles and practice guidelines that define their professionalism and advance their success.

Code is meant to serve as an overall guide to ethical conduct and does not supersede those policies which are not part of this Code. Generally, a public relations code of ethics comprises 12 to 20 principles on how to behave ethically, typically to uphold truth, fairness, the privacy rights of the client and responsibility to the public. All the various codes are based on the Code of Athens developed by the International Public Relations Association.

Most professional organizations and many businesses have codes of ethics, which are intended to set acceptable norms of behavior for working professionals and employees.

In regard to the supply of public relations services, the Code emphasises that honest and proper regard for the public interest, reliable and accurate information, and never misleading clients, employers and other professionals about the nature of representation or what can be competently delivered or achieved, are vital components to robust professional practice. All of these propositions are unfeasible, be it because the solution would be too difficult to implement.



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