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Introducing a New Ethics Resource from PRSA ? Position Papers

By Andrea Simrell, SCPRSA Ethics Chair

Ethics is not a static topic; it’s one that has to adapt to current issues and reflect the public relations landscape, while still staying consistent with an established code.

Similarly, the initiatives of PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) also shift and expand to meet the needs of members. BEPS is committed to showing how ethics applies to our daily lives as PR practitioners.

One new BEPS program is designed to help make PRSA’s Code of Ethics more accessible. The BEPS Positions Parts program provides members with brief, actionable documents on specific and common situations where they may need more guidance than the Code provides.

Currently, there are seven Position Papers posted on the Ethics webpage of the PRSA website: https://www.prsa.org/about/ethics.

  • “Pay for Play”
  • Ethics & Social Media
  • Plagiarism
  • Paid Spokespersons and Influencers
  • Representing Front Groups
  • Overstating Fees or Compensation
  • Native Advertising & Sponsored Content

These Position Papers are process-oriented, not issues-based. They’re brief statements on specific matters that are relevant to PR practitioners. Each Position Paper contains the following elements:

  • Framework
  • BEPS’s Position
  • Intersection with Code of Ethics
  • Recommendation

The goal of the Positions Papers program is to increase conversations, communicate best practices, and serve as a resource for PRSA members. They’re particularly useful for those working with students, studying for APR certification or mentoring others on ethics topics.

Let us know what Position Paper you’ll read first, and if you have a topic idea for a future Position Paper, contact BEPS leadership at [email protected].

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