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Historically the public has
viewed PR practitioners with a degree of skepticism and hence in today’s day
and age in the era of fake news and open, transparent platforms, professionals
in the PR industry must uphold their responsibility to provide open, honest and
ethical information to the public. Understanding how to properly behave in
certain situations is the reason a code of ethics is important. Whether it is
to 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 highest
standards in any given behavior or action. A code of ethics document may
outline the mission and values of the business or organization, how
professionals are supposed to approach problems, the ethical principles based
on the organization’s core values and the standards to which the professional
is held. Given the negativity that surrounds the important facet of any
business that is Public Relations it is important to assemble a code of ethic
that predefines the confines of its extend and how to go about it.

International Public Relations Association (IPRA), which was formally
established in London on 1st May 1955, formulates this code that provides the
country to which it belongs directives, keeping the sensibilities of the
country in mind. In 2011 these Codes were consolidated into a single document
updated to reflect the age in which we now live.

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Adopted in 2011 the IPRA Code of Conduct is an affirmation
of professional and ethical conduct by members of the International Public
Relations Association and recommended to public relations practitioners


The Code consolidates the 1961 Code of Venice, the 1965 Code
of Athens and the 2007 Code of Brussels.


RECALLING the Charter of the United Nations
which determines “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and in the
dignity and worth of the human person”;

RECALLING the 1948 “Universal Declaration of
Human Rights” and especially recalling Article 19;

RECALLING that public relations, by fostering
the free flow of information, contributes to the interests of all stakeholders;

RECALLING that the conduct of public relations
and public affairs provides essential democratic representation to public

RECALLING that public relations practitioners
through their wide-reaching communication skills possess a means of influence
that should be restrained by the observance of a code of professional and
ethical conduct;

RECALLING that channels of communication such as
the Internet and other digital media, are channels where erroneous or
misleading information may be widely disseminated and remain unchallenged, and
therefore demand special attention from public relations practitioners to
maintain trust and credibility;

RECALLING that the Internet and other digital
media demand special care with respect to the personal privacy of individuals,
clients, employers and colleagues;


In India International Code of Ethics for Public Relations
was adopted by the Public Relations Society of India at its 1st National
Conference at New Delhi on 21-4-1968.


In order to better understand the kind of influence that PR
has on the general public at large it is important to understand why it is that
PR has a place in almost all organization. Public Relations is an integral part
of any company in order to make sure that the goals of the organization and the
reasons for pursuing a chosen path to achieve those goals are well conveyed to
the 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 defend
itself, which is why Public Relations are an integral part of it. Here are
other reasons why Public Relations activities are employed –


Credibility –

A powerful position in the communication suite of an
organization is held by Public Relations. Media relations which is a major
aspect of Public Relations is used to achieve editorial coverage and this
assistance is of key importance. The people in any target market would see
editorial as an objective and independent evaluation of any company. Due to
this perceived objectivity of editorial coverage, PR is said to hold more
credibility than other forms of marketing communication. A running
advertisement does not hold as much credibility and is not as readily trusted
as much as an editorial coverage.


Cost Effectiveness –

In comparison to the rest of the communication methods
employed by a company public relations can be less expensive even if one was to
hire an external agency rather than performing this task in-house. Even if a
company hires the services of a private PR specialist, what the company
achieves in the way of media coverage and changes in public perception may have
otherwise cost the company much more.


Exposure –

Given a similar budget, a media coverage achieved through PR
is likely to be more extensive than that a company could achieve through other
means of advertising. Specialist PR people know which media to target for which
message (often with use of cultivated contacts over time), when to pitch which
story, what the media wants and what is the best way to deliver your message.


Flexibility –

Being flexible in the message content and being responsive
to news is one of the biggest benefits of Public Relations. A skilled PR practitioner
can turn around media releases in reaction to news or crisis situation within


Public opinion is often dynamic as it changes from time to
time in accordance with the factors, circumstances and current events that
occur in the general & private public of the organization, as well as in
the efforts exerted to seek to change and modify public opinion. This requires
patience, perseverance, seriousness and proficiency in preparing the
justifications of the other opinion. To modify or change the opinion. Hence the
role of public relations in the follow-up of events and what is written or said
about the organization, because the discovery of these early rumors far better
than leaving them to expand and worsen until they become out of control Out of Control


There are a number of foundations, which public relations
can be applied in order to convince public opinion and therefore the
possibility of modifying or changing the most important of these are:


1. Knowledge: Individuals ignore any idea or point of view
unless they have full knowledge of the extent of their impact on their personal
needs and aspirations. Therefore, the message must include an explanation and
definition of the personal benefit to the public from the idea or point of


2 – Movement where individuals do not accept a particular
idea or point of view, unless the interpretation of how to apply, and clarify
the effects on them (1)


Thus, the message must include the means of implementing the
idea and the public will ignore it


3 – Trust where individuals enthusiastically accept the
views of those who trust them from individuals, organizations or institutes,
and therefore the personality of the idea (the man of public relations) has a
great impact on the psychology of the public to accept


4 – clarity where the idea is more acceptable and convincing
if it is clear to the public to be contacted, or be addressed and does not
involve any ambiguity, ambiguity or conflict


5 – clarification where the proposal or idea must be clearly
defined, so as not to be subject to more than one explanation or interpretation
of a particular, and this requires the practitioner of public relations use
words and terminology that can not be tolerated or ambiguity. In general,
public relations are aimed at influencing public opinion through one or more of
the following methods:


– Change or neutralize unfavorable or hostile views


– Formulation of views that have not yet been formed, or the
underlying views, in a manner consistent with the interests of the Organization


– Maintain or maintain favorable views in line with the
interests of the Organization


– Promote existing favorable views and increase their
strength in favor of the Organization

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