We’ve heard all of our lives how important it is to be an honest person. To be trustworthy. It’s fundamental to what we value in our society. On the moral compass, most people would agree it’s what we value most in our personal and professional lives. How can we be in any kind of relationship if we can’t be honest and trustworthy? It’s the cornerstone of ethical conduct as a professional. That’s why it’s one of PRSA’s Core Values and we define it as follows:
“As PRSA members, we adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing interests and communicating with the public.”
Honesty is the Cornerstone of Ethical Conduct
Our clients’ best interests are obviously important to us. It’s what we do. We work to increase awareness, position clients in the best possible light, and inform and educate the public. But if we don’t come from a place of integrity, of honesty and accuracy in everything we say and do, we not only sully our profession, but you can bet that your reputation will be in ruins.
I recently had the opportunity to listen to this terrific webinar on the topic of Honesty hosted by the National PRSA Ethics Committee. It was a great conversation and I know you’ll appreciate hearing from this outstanding panel of professionals, who include:
- Pete Scott, CEO of the American Academy of Optometry
- John Ramirez, Dean of Operations, College of Doctoral Studies, University of Phoenix, and
- Jeff Lambert, CEO of Lambert and Company, a national PR Firm.
Key points they cover:
- Think about the value of honesty and what the detrimental costs of dishonesty can be to your organization.
- Honesty and integrity are key to strategic and highly successful decision-making.
- The most successful leaders are those that value honesty. Set the standard for the rest of the organization and lead by example.
- Doing the right thing can be scary and difficult at times, but choosing honesty strengthens your role as a reliable and trustworthy source and PR professional.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Please contact me with any questions you may have or if you would like to share your own insights as to why honesty is and should be such an important component of our PRSA Code of Ethics.
About the Author
Julie Smith-Taylor, APR is the owner and founder of Taylor PR Strategies. She earned her accreditation in public relations in 1993. This early achievement opened the door to serving our PRSA chapter in a wide variety of board positions and committees through the years. She also served as the 2013 Chair of PRSA’s Western District in 2013 and Chaired the Opening Night Reception Committee in 2019 for PRSA’s ICON held in San Diego.