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Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Articles | 4 comments

PR Ethics – Codes Of Conduct

PR Ethics – Codes Of Conduct


Would you lie to save your client’s reputation? Would you  tell the entire truth knowing you will jeopardize the future of the company and its employees? Sounds difficult to answer, doesn’t it?

Most PR practitioners at some point in their careers will have to answer the question “Is what I am doing ethical?”. These kind of situations are usually very complicated and complex but there are good arguments on both sides. The problem is that none of these situations are black and white and every person needs to answer these questions himself or herself.

Even when you are still a PR student, you might come across ethical situations, most probably not as serious as they will be in the future, but nonetheless, you might have to face the issue of ethics. It might be in an essay or a class debate, but it will be your first ethical challenge.

There are codes of conduct that might be helpful and give PR practitioners some guidelines in this difficult matter. They are created to set and maintain standards within the PR field, they obligate members of PR associations to obey the ethical rules and not spoil the reputation of the industry. Unfortunately, the down side is that it is very difficult to enforce these regulations and control who actually follows the guidelines. In fact there are no serious sanctions for those who break these rules.

Does it mean that ethics in PR are completely an individual matter that cannot be in any way controlled? Do you think that PR codes of conduct are useful? How would you deal with the problem of enforcing these rules?

We would like to know what do you think about this. Leave a comment, email us or even write an article for the website!


International Public Relations Association – Code of Venice

“Code of Venice on professional conduct Adopted in 1961 and amended in 2009,

the Code of Venice is an undertaking of professional conduct by members of

the International Public Relations Association and recommended to Public

Relations practitioners worldwide.”


UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations – Code of Conduct

“Reputation has a direct and major impact on the corporate well-being of every organisation, be it a multinational, a charity, a Government Department or a small business. That is why the professionalism of those people who protect and shape reputation – public relations practitioners – is so important.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations, as the voice of the PR profession, plays a key role in setting and maintaining standards.”


Public Relations Society of America – Code of Ethics

” 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.

The Public Relations Society of America (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.”


  1. Really Interesting! I think that the PR codes of conducts are useful, they help you make decision if ever something really difficult arises. However I do think that personal ethics and PR ethics are different, and sometimes your personal ethics should be left aside.

    Please take a look at my blog
    and share your comments

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Minnie, PR codes of conduct and ethical related issues are an interesting area of public relations. We believe that as in every profession, PR professionals should follow some kind of guidelines. But we also believe that we all have should follow our personal ‘code of ethics’ also known as intuition.

      We took a look at your blog and it is brilliant if we may say so! The “Final Straw” article felt really honest and personal. Keep doing what you are doing best. If you wish to post some of your articles or ideas to us, feel free to do so by emailing us at and we will make sure to post it on our website, full name and link to your blog. Let us know and we would be more than happy to hear from you!

      StudyPR team

  2. Hello Study PR.

    Thank you for your comment on/about my blog.

    Brilliant! Yes, once I post more articles I will be more than happy to email them to you.

    Many Thanks,
    Minnie M

    • Hello Minnie, it was our pleasure, you have a beautiful blog.

      We will be more than happy to post one of your articles on our blog.

      Many Thanks,


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