With revision of ethics code, PRSA emphasizes role as 'evangelists'

SEATTLE: At a cost of dollars 93,229, the PRSA has jettisoned its 50-year-old code of ethics, replacing it with a new code that reflects its shift from an enforcement and judicial body to an educational one.

SEATTLE: At a cost of dollars 93,229, the PRSA has jettisoned its 50-year-old code of ethics, replacing it with a new code that reflects its shift from an enforcement and judicial body to an educational one.

SEATTLE: At a cost of dollars 93,229, the PRSA has jettisoned its 50-year-old code of ethics, replacing it with a new code that reflects its shift from an enforcement and judicial body to an educational one.

'The most obvious difference in the new codes is that the emphasis on enforcement has been eliminated,' said Bob Frause, chair of PRSA's Board of Ethics & Professional Standards. 'Our mission is to be evangelists as to how you're supposed to practice PR (ethically) .'

The new code sets out six issues, each of which is supported by a statement of principle, a statement of intent, specific guidelines and explicit examples that illustrate violations of the provisions.

The six areas of ethical concern include: the free flow of information, competition, disclosure of information, safeguarding confidences, conflicts of interest and enhancing the PR profession.

Frause said it was time for a new code because the vague language and loopholes inherent in the old charter made enforcement expensive and futile.

'We realized that foolproof enforcement of the code wasn't going to work.

It cost a lot of money, but also getting at the truth and proper evidence (to) present a case proved virtually impossible.'

The Board of Ethics previously reviewed five to 20 cases of ethical violations a year, but no action has ever been taken.

The code was last revised in 1989.





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