Friday, October 5, 2007

PRSA Code of Ethics

Just finished dissecting the PRSA Code of Ethics. The principles are pretty vague but the examples were helpful in trying to understand them. The preamble itself addresses what seems to me to be the main focus of the PRSA's member code of ethics, stewardship. Maybe I'm not getting what I'm supposed to out of it but I feel like this code is filled with rules created in an attempt to protect the PRSA and the public relations profession. I feel as if I'm being lectured so that I don't screw up and make the profession look bad. But what do I know? The specific quote I am referring to in the preamble is, "The value of member reputation depends upon the ethical conduct of everyone affiliated with the Public Relations Society of America." This valuing of stewardship brings me to the conclusion that the code is of a utilitarian nature, although I will agree there are some parts that attempt to address the more communitarian principles. I found that the code includes the principles of truth and freedom by supporting the free flow of information and the disclosure of information (both of which I would file under truth) as well as the principle of competition (which I would file under freedom). I'm not really sure how to label the ideas of safeguarding confidences and avoiding conflicts of interest.

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