Historically the public hasviewed PR practitioners with a degree of skepticism and hence in today’s dayand age in the era of fake news and open, transparent platforms, professionalsin the PR industry must uphold their responsibility to provide open, honest andethical information to the public. Understanding how to properly behave incertain situations is the reason a code of ethics is important. Whether it isto know the difference between right or wrong, good or bad and just or unjust,a good code of ethics allows individuals to hold themselves to the higheststandards in any given behavior or action.
A code of ethics document mayoutline the mission and values of the business or organization, howprofessionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles basedon the organization’s core values and the standards to which the professionalis held. Given the negativity that surrounds the important facet of anybusiness that is Public Relations it is important to assemble a code of ethicthat predefines the confines of its extend and how to go about it.International Public Relations Association (IPRA), which was formallyestablished in London on 1st May 1955, formulates this code that provides thecountry to which it belongs directives, keeping the sensibilities of thecountry in mind. In 2011 these Codes were consolidated into a single documentupdated to reflect the age in which we now live. Adopted in 2011 the IPRA Code of Conduct is an affirmationof professional and ethical conduct by members of the International PublicRelations Association and recommended to public relations practitionersworldwide. The Code consolidates the 1961 Code of Venice, the 1965 Codeof Athens and the 2007 Code of Brussels. · RECALLING the Charter of the United Nationswhich determines “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and in thedignity and worth of the human person”;· RECALLING the 1948 “Universal Declaration ofHuman Rights” and especially recalling Article 19;· RECALLING that public relations, by fosteringthe free flow of information, contributes to the interests of all stakeholders;· RECALLING that the conduct of public relationsand public affairs provides essential democratic representation to publicauthorities;· RECALLING that public relations practitionersthrough their wide-reaching communication skills possess a means of influencethat should be restrained by the observance of a code of professional andethical conduct;· RECALLING that channels of communication such asthe Internet and other digital media, are channels where erroneous ormisleading information may be widely disseminated and remain unchallenged, andtherefore demand special attention from public relations practitioners tomaintain trust and credibility;· RECALLING that the Internet and other digitalmedia demand special care with respect to the personal privacy of individuals,clients, employers and colleagues; In India International Code of Ethics for Public Relationswas adopted by the Public Relations Society of India at its 1st NationalConference at New Delhi on 21-4-1968.
In order to better understand the kind of influence that PRhas on the general public at large it is important to understand why it is thatPR has a place in almost all organization. Public Relations is an integral partof any company in order to make sure that the goals of the organization and thereasons for pursuing a chosen path to achieve those goals are well conveyed tothe public in order to maintain a sense of harmony between both the entities.The people have a right to know and an organization has the right to defenditself, which is why Public Relations are an integral part of it. Here areother reasons why Public Relations activities are employed – Credibility –A powerful position in the communication suite of anorganization is held by Public Relations. Media relations which is a majoraspect of Public Relations is used to achieve editorial coverage and thisassistance is of key importance. The people in any target market would seeeditorial as an objective and independent evaluation of any company. Due tothis perceived objectivity of editorial coverage, PR is said to hold morecredibility than other forms of marketing communication. A runningadvertisement does not hold as much credibility and is not as readily trustedas much as an editorial coverage.
Cost Effectiveness –In comparison to the rest of the communication methodsemployed by a company public relations can be less expensive even if one was tohire an external agency rather than performing this task in-house. Even if acompany hires the services of a private PR specialist, what the companyachieves in the way of media coverage and changes in public perception may haveotherwise cost the company much more. Exposure –Given a similar budget, a media coverage achieved through PRis likely to be more extensive than that a company could achieve through othermeans of advertising.
Specialist PR people know which media to target for whichmessage (often with use of cultivated contacts over time), when to pitch whichstory, what the media wants and what is the best way to deliver your message. Flexibility –Being flexible in the message content and being responsiveto news is one of the biggest benefits of Public Relations. A skilled PR practitionercan turn around media releases in reaction to news or crisis situation withinhours.
Public opinion is often dynamic as it changes from time totime in accordance with the factors, circumstances and current events thatoccur in the general & private public of the organization, as well as inthe efforts exerted to seek to change and modify public opinion. This requirespatience, perseverance, seriousness and proficiency in preparing thejustifications of the other opinion. To modify or change the opinion. Hence therole of public relations in the follow-up of events and what is written or saidabout the organization, because the discovery of these early rumors far betterthan leaving them to expand and worsen until they become out of control Out of Control There are a number of foundations, which public relationscan be applied in order to convince public opinion and therefore thepossibility of modifying or changing the most important of these are: 1. Knowledge: Individuals ignore any idea or point of viewunless they have full knowledge of the extent of their impact on their personalneeds and aspirations.
Therefore, the message must include an explanation anddefinition of the personal benefit to the public from the idea or point ofview. 2 – Movement where individuals do not accept a particularidea or point of view, unless the interpretation of how to apply, and clarifythe effects on them (1) Thus, the message must include the means of implementing theidea and the public will ignore it 3 – Trust where individuals enthusiastically accept theviews of those who trust them from individuals, organizations or institutes,and therefore the personality of the idea (the man of public relations) has agreat impact on the psychology of the public to accept 4 – clarity where the idea is more acceptable and convincingif it is clear to the public to be contacted, or be addressed and does notinvolve any ambiguity, ambiguity or conflict 5 – clarification where the proposal or idea must be clearlydefined, so as not to be subject to more than one explanation or interpretationof a particular, and this requires the practitioner of public relations usewords and terminology that can not be tolerated or ambiguity. In general,public relations are aimed at influencing public opinion through one or more ofthe following methods: – Change or neutralize unfavorable or hostile views – Formulation of views that have not yet been formed, or theunderlying views, in a manner consistent with the interests of the Organization – Maintain or maintain favorable views in line with theinterests of the Organization – Promote existing favorable views and increase theirstrength in favor of the Organization