The Importance of Ethics in PR

By: Jamie Moris

P.T. Barnum’s quote, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” is often associated with the work of PR practitioners, but wow have times changed! Nowadays, ethics has become a staple for PR practitioners. In fact, PR practitioners are considered the conscience of management within an organization. Ethics are important to help gain public trust, retain employees and can lead to greater innovation in the industry.

The PRSA Ethical Code includes the professional values of advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness.  These values inform the provisions of conduct that include the free-flow of information, competition, disclosure of information, safeguarding confidence, conflicts of interest and enhancing the profession. While we often deal with the provisions of conduct as PR professionals, understanding the underlying values is key to successful ethical practice.

In 2018, there are many ethical considerations on the horizon. The rise of the #MeToo movement and securing customer’s personal information are just a few of the issues that cropped up in late 2017. As a PR practitioner, how will you use the PRSA Ethics Code to guide your leadership to tackle the ethical issues of 2018?

Becoming Accredited in Public Relations can demonstrate your commitment to professional excellence, as well as ethics. If you are interested in the APR process, please visit to get more information. Feel free to contact me for more information as well, as I’m the PRSA Detroit, Accreditation Committee Chair (jmorris (at)!

Jamie Morris, APR is the Head of Community Relations, Marketing and Development at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library. She graduated from Central Michigan University with an undergraduate degree in Integrative Public Relations (Fire Up Chips!) and is ‘this close’ to finishing her Masters in Communications from Johns Hopkins University. She loves learning and would love to help you through the PR accreditation process, so reach out!

Feature photo by The Blue Diamond Gallery