The PRSA-Detroit Chapter Ethics Honors Code
The Honors Code was established by PRSA-Detroit Chapter Ethics Committee as a way for members to show their commitment for upholding the ethical standards of PRSA and the public relations profession. This members-only program is designed to help keep ethics top-of-mind among public relations professionals and promote ethics education, using many of the resources that are available from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Honors Code completion entails the following actions:
- Review the materials below
- Take the PRSA Detroit Ethics Quiz
- Sign and submit The Code of Ethics Pledge
- Review ethics materials each September during PRSA Ethics Month
Below you will find ethics resources and information, including links to the PRSA site. You may choose to review these resources as an individual, or your organization may choose to coordinate group sessions for review and discussion of the materials, which is encouraged. If you are an independent practitioner, the Ethics Committee strongly supports partnering with other solo PR professionals to review and discuss any of the ethics information available.
Following review of the materials, please pledge your commitment to practice ethically in the form at the bottom of this page. After you submit your pledge, you will be emailed a certificate to attest to your review of the materials and your commitment. The Honors Code logo also will be provided for your use as appropriate. Examples of ways PR professionals utilize the Honors Code logo include placement on their business card, email signature, and LinkedIn profile.
Thank you for your commitment to an enhanced ethics education and for your formal pledge below to abide by the PRSA Code of Ethics in your communications practice. Your dedication to the profession and your support of PRSA-Detroit’s emphasis on ethics is appreciated.
Please visit the PRSA national website for additional ethics resources, including professional standards advisories, case studies and best practices.
Suggested Materials for Review Annually
- Professional Standards Advisories
- Case Studies, Process Guide for Ethical Decision Making, and other resources
- Guide: “Confronting Questionable Ethical Issues”
- Social Media Policies at Intersection of Public and Private Platforms
This Code applies to PRSA members. The Code is designed to be a useful guide for PRSA members as they carry out their ethical responsibilities. This document is designed to anticipate and accommodate, by precedent, ethical challenges that may arise. The scenarios outlined in the Code provision are actual examples of misconduct. More will be added as experience with the Code occurs.
PRSA is committed to ethical practices. The level of public trust PRSA members seek, as we serve the public good, means we have taken on a special obligation to operate ethically.
The value of member reputation depends upon the ethical conduct of everyone affiliated with the Public Relations Society of America. Each of us sets an example for each other – as well as other professionals – by our pursuit of excellence with powerful standards of performance, professionalism, and ethical conduct.
PRSA Member Statement of Professional Values
This statement presents the core values of PRSA members and, more broadly, of the public relations profession. These values provide the foundation for the Member Code of Ethics and set the industry standard for the professional practice of public relations. These values are the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making process. We believe our professional values are vital to the integrity of the profession as a whole. The values are:
- Advocacy: We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.
- Honesty: We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.
- Expertise: We acquire and responsibly use specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences.
- Independence: We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.
- Loyalty: We are faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.
- Fairness: We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.
PRSA Code Provisions of Conduct
Free Flow of Information
- Core Principle: Protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society
- Intent: To maintain the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials, and the public
- Core Principle: Promoting healthy and fair competition among professionals preserves an ethical climate while fostering a robust business environment
- Intent: To promote respect and fair competition among public relations professionals. To serve the public interest by providing the widest choice of practitioner options
Disclosure of Information
- Core Principle: Open communication fosters informed decision making in a democratic society
- Intent: To build trust with the public by revealing all information needed for responsible decision making
- Core Principle: Client trust requires appropriate protection of confidential and private information
- Intent: To protect the privacy rights of clients, organizations, and individuals by safeguarding confidential information
Conflicts of Interest
- Core Principle: Avoiding real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest builds the trust of clients, employers, and the publics
- Intent: To earn trust and mutual respect with clients or employers
Enhancing the Profession
- Core Principle: Public relations professionals work constantly to strengthen the public’s trust in the profession
- Intent: To build respect and credibility with the public for the profession of public relations. To improve, adapt and expand professional practices
PRSA Detroit Ethics Quiz and Code of Ethics Pledge
See how much you know about public relations ethics. After you complete the PRSA Detroit Ethics Quiz, PRSA Detroit members may submit their Code of Ethics Pledge below. Those who pledge their commitment will be recognized at the annual Detroit chapter meeting in November.