Ethics for an Evolving Profession

As the public relations profession evolves, so does the need for revised and refreshed ethical standards. The PRSA Code of Ethics is central to the ethical practice of public relations. Ethical concerns and dilemmas occur daily.

Recognizing and acknowledging ethical issues as they arise is among the reasons the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards was created. BEPS is a service to members, providing an abundance of resources for public relations professionals – from case studies, Ethical Standard Advisories, ethics quiz, blogs and various resources which follow in this section. In addition, BEPS provides opportunities at PRSA’s annual International Conference to explore ethics within public relations.

BEPS upholds and amends, when necessary, the PRSA Code of Ethics. Comprised of senior professionals and PRSA members, BEPS is a sounding board for chapter ethics officers and members who are struggling with ethical actions in their chapters or their professional careers.

The PRSA Code of Ethics sets out principles and guidelines that uphold the core values of the ethical practice of public relations, including advocacy, honesty, loyalty, professional development and objectivity. BEPS provides educational opportunities to explore ethics within public relations year round and provides a hosts of educational offerings in “Ethics Month” in September and at the PRSA’s annual Conference.

Access the BEPS Directory

BEPS Handbook and Application

The BEPS Handbook includes the Application to the Board of Ethics and Practice Standards (BEPS) and additional ethics information:

  • The History of BEPs
  • Eight Ethics Questions to Ask Yourself Before Acting
  • Six Statements That Should Warn You of a Potential Ethical Violation
  • Six Indications That Your Company Has an Ethical Culture
  • Eight Ethics Quotes
  • Six Practical Recommendations for Building Employer Branding
  • Application
  • Board of Ethics and Professional Standards

PRSA Member Code of Ethics Pledge

I pledge:
To conduct myself professionally, with truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to the public; To improve my individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the profession through continuing research and education; And to adhere to the articles of the Member Code of Ethics 2000 for the practice of public relations as adopted by the governing Assembly of the Public Relations Society of America.

I understand and accept that there is a consequence for misconduct, up to and including membership revocation.

And, I understand that those who have been or are sanctioned by a government agency or convicted in a court of law of an action that fails to comply with the Code may be barred from membership or expelled from the Society.