The fields of public relations, marketing and advertising are, unfortunately, ripe with examples of unethical conduct. But according to my sources online, this interest in ethics has been renewed lately. Why? It’s hard to say. From my perspective, at least in part, it has to do with so many scandals of late. And since the Internet has sped everything up, from pizza delivery to revolutions, I’m confident there really are more scandals now than there used to be because people are communicating so much more quickly, which makes things happen more quickly. PR professionals are having to respond more quickly than in the past, and they have to work harder to prevent the scandals from happening in the first place. Defense and offense. You have to have both.
On one hand, I think I’m a rather ethical person who has a clear grasp of and respect for right and wrong. On the other hand, what would I do without realizing it? Or for expediency? Clear and agreed-upon codes of ethics and conduct, plus communication from superiors and an organizational culture of integrity are important elements in understanding when you might encounter an ethical issue, and ensuring your actions are ethical.