At the beginning of this blog, I have to tell you that I have been to many conferences, trainings and educations, some of them were excellent, some of them were ordinary, but PRoactiveX was a unique mixture of knowledge and positive energy, which made me think and act proactively and I'm going to try to write down my impressions.
But let us start from the beginning, let us start from ethics.
I'm pretty sure that everyone knows what are moral and ethics, but let me remind you true this plastic example. „An ethical man knows that he shouldn't cheat on his wife, and a moral man doesn't cheat his wife.“
Almost every profession is based on ethical standards and codes, so are public relations. On quick test for all PR experts: Do you know which ethical standards and codes is our profession based on?
For those of you who knew the answer this is going to be a little recap of your knowledge, and for those of you who didn't know the answer I have a suggestion, go back to University and try just a little bit harder. ;)
The most complete code of ethics in the field of public relations brought the American Association for Public Relations ( PRSA ) in 1954 . This code as many others, is based on the principles of relevance, objectivity, honesty, professionalism , independence , loyalty, but the question is how do we apply these principles in practice?! The fact is that people, the audience, the masses (call them however you like) have trust issues when it come to PR, they observe us as spin doctors, manipulators and propagandists. What is it that we can do to change this attitude towards us and how can we check if the decisions we make are ethical?
This should not be too complicated, because there are seven indicators that define the ethics of a decision. Put every decision you want to make trough this "filters" and you can be sure that you won't lose the public trust nor the trust of your clients.
1.) The relevance of information – are the information I want to present relevant?
2.) The involvement of employees - how many coworkers are involved in the whole process?
3.) The predicted consequences - to whom and in which way this decision may cause harm?
4.) The fairness and justice of the decisions – is the decision fair and just?
5.) Appreciation of permanent value - whether a decision has lasting value and how to appreciate it?!
6.) Universality of the decision - who will profit by the decision?
7.) Under public control - was everything that is done transparent and accessible to the public?
And finally do not forget the trust is beeing built for years and crashes in just one second.