Ethical decision-making

Reprinted from the Global Alliance Code of Ethics:
  • A code of ethics and professional conduct is an individual matter that should be viewed as a guide to make sound values-based decisions.
  •  Ethical performance, not principles, is ultimately what counts. No one can dictate precise outcomes for every situation.
  • However, we can apply common values and decision-making processes to arrive at a decision and justify it to others.
  • In making decisions, we should be guided by a higher sense of serving the public as a whole as opposed to specific constituencies on an exclusive basis.
  • Consideration should be given to the protection of privacy of individuals and respect for the spirit as well as the letter of applicable laws.

Global Alliance Decision-making guide 

  1. Define the specific ethical issue/conflict.
  2. Identify internal/external factors (e.g. legal, political, social, economic) that may influence the decision.
  3. Identify key values that are in question
  4. Identify the parties who will be affected by the decision and define the public relations professional’s obligation to each.
  5. Select the ethical principles to guide the decision-making process.
  6. Make a decision and justify it to all parties affected by the decision and to the public if necessary.

Global Alliance Code of Ethics

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