The Importance of Ethics in Public Relations

Ethics determine the reputation of not only yourself, but also the business or corporation you work for.

Ethics can be a gray area for most people and companies, because not everyone sees eye-to-eye on certain subjects. This is because ethics are based on personal morals, and can be different for every person. You get your morals from how you were raised and brought up into this world; from your family and friends, to your community and neighbors. For these reasons, ethics is a tough subject to discuss to a company, and even harder to implement cleanly. Each company has its own code to abide by, as there is no set code for every single practice out there. There are, however, the codes of ethics set in place by the Public Relations Society of America and the Public Relations Student Society of America that all members must follow.

Two of the many different principles that will improve your ethics-based decisions are integrity and transparency. Having more ethically-based decisions strengthens your reputation with the general public.


Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral values. Lying and even telling half of the truth will get people mad if they find out. You must be honest with everything you say and tell the whole truth, no matter the consequence.


Transparency is the ability to let the public see exactly what is happening in your organization and not hiding anything from them. If the public thinks you are holding secrets and have different plans than what is stated, then they can never trust you.

These principles will not only increase the ethical practice in the public relations, but also increase the tolerance from the general public and their trust in you and the company (The Importance of Ethics and Professionalism in PR).

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do,” via Potter Stewart.

Information curated from:

The Importance of Ethics and Professionalism in PR. (2013). Retrieved February 21, 2016, from

Oreshetn. (2012, January 28). Ethics in PR. Retrieved February 21, 2016, from

Garcia, T. (2011, September 6). Guest Post: The Importance of Ethics to the PR Industry. Retrieved February 21, 2016, from

Dimitri Arvanitopulos is a junior business management major and a communications minor. He has a love for soccer and wants to participate in and interact with the sport after college. Dimitri plans on becoming more involved with communication-based events around campus, which will help him find opportunities post graduation.


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