According to Silverman: “In reviewing a number of these studies, I’ve seen a growing stack of articles and scholarly wisdom show that, yes, PR professionals are becoming more ethical and are more concerned with ethics-related issues than ever before.”
Time to Set Record Straight on PR's Ethical Backbone
By Deborah Silverman, Ph.D., APR
Published: Sept. 6, 2011
For PR professionals, 2011 has been an up-and-down year in terms of ethics.
While it may seem that each week brings a new tale of an epic ethics flap in PR, reality is not as gloomy as perception. The fact remains, however, that public relations practitioners have long battled an image problem: that we, collectively, are unethical — no better than snake-oil salespeople.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Throughout my career, dating back to the mid-70s, I have had the pleasure of working alongside colleagues who adhered to the highest ethical standards. I’m sure that my experiences are shared by many others.
Thankfully, there is a growing body of research on PR ethics issues by communication scholars that underscores the importance of ethical conduct to public relations practitioners. In reviewing a number of these studies, both in my role with the PRSA and as a PR professor of ethics, I’ve seen a growing stack of articles and scholarly wisdom show that, yes, PR professionals are becoming more ethical and are more concerned with ethics-related issues than ever before.
Despite all this focus, PR continues to face perception issues about its ethical credentials. But the research simply doesn’t support the public and media’s hypothesis.
Read the full op-ed at PRNewser.