In a letter to the editor
in the publication’s Oct. 21 issue
, Keith Trivitt
, associate director, public relations, at PRSA, voices the Society’s support of a campaign by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) and PRWeek
to end the public relations industry’s use of unpaid interns.
Citing a recent update
to PRSA’s Code of Ethics
, which makes explicit the Society’s view
that it is unethical not to provide some type of compensation to anyone who adds real value to a firm, Trivitt says the campaign should “engender a more equitable work environment for aspiring public relations professionals of all demographics.”
Opinion: From PRWeek.com/uk: Feedback — Is the campaign to pay interns helpful?
Published: Oct. 21, 2011
Interns add value and deserve to be paid.
The campaign by PRWeek
and the PRCA to end the use of unpaid internships by public relations firms is commendable in its effort to engender a more equitable work environment for aspiring public relations professionals of all demographics and economic backgrounds (“Nick Clegg Champions Campaign To end Unpaid Internships
, Oct. 13).
The ethical use of interns is an issue the Public Relations Society of America has long championed
. In an update
this year to our Code of Ethics
we made clear our belief that is unethical not to provide some type of compensation to anyone who adds real value to a firm
— whether that compensation is monetary or in the form of educational credits.If billable work is being performed by an intern, he or she deserves some form of legal compensation.
Moreover, it is vital that the global public relations industry focuses on the quality of professional experience and acumen that internships provide and the direct role that plays in an intern’s ability to obtain fulfilling postgraduate work.
We have a responsibility to prepare the next generation of PR professionals for more prosperous career prospects than ours.
Public Relations Society of America