Here is what we know, Public relations manages the flow of information between an organization and its publics. But it is much more than a one line defined term. It’s a communications discipline that engages and informs key audiences. For the aforementioned reasons Ethics should be the great differentiator between public relations and other professions. The Public Relations Society of America code of ethics are 6 specific core values; Advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. The commonalities in those values are that Public Relations should always serve immeasurable public good.
In order to shift public relations from perception to actual value it has to show a direct correlation to organization objectives, basically be aligned with the core values of the organization it represents. Emulate the highest standards of personal and professional ethics, and must always counsel their organizations and clients in an ethical direction. There is also the responsibility of bridging the gap between what is ethically just and lawfully so. Ethics tell us what we should do, while the law tells what we must do. For example, Public relations requires a lot of creative work and by copyright laws an Organization must ensure the work they produce is purely their own or give credit to the reference from which the information was retrieved. The most basic code in any public relations program is the duty to tell the truth. Abiding by professional codes of conduct helps improve the public’s trust in the PR profession and consequently helps your business’s public relations efforts.