Council of PR Firms launches ethics program

NEW YORK: The Council of Public Relations Firms has unveiled a resource guide and training kit to bring renewed attention in the PR industry to ethical business decision making.

NEW YORK: The Council of Public Relations Firms has unveiled a resource guide and training kit to bring renewed attention in the PR industry to ethical business decision making.

The online platform, which launched this week, is free of charge and available to both council members and non-members. It includes materials such as a presentation about ethics to share with employees, training workbooks with interactive business scenarios, and a checklist to help firms assess their ethics programs.

“Internally at PR firms, it's important the employees understand the importance to management of ethical business decision making but also as trusted advisors in helping clients through their tough situations,” said Kathy Cripps, president of the organization. “We're looking to foster a culture of integrity throughout the industry.”

FleishmanHillard created the materials after partnering with the Josephson Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing ethical practices in society. Dave Senay, CEO of Fleishman and chairman of the council, made a commitment more than a year ago to donate the intellectual property from its ethics program to the organization and white label it for the PR industry, Cripps explained.

“For the industry, this is much more than a training program. This is a way to enculturate firms with a whole environment that encourages ethical decision making,” Senay said.

The council's board has been testing the platform in beta since earlier this year, Cripps said. The organization revealed it to members through a workshop and webinar last week.

Going forward, the council will encourage other firms to add to the resource guide and contribute new scenarios, Cripps said.

“This is an open platform,” Senay added. “Everyone can contribute and build on it.”

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