Richie Esovedo of Next Communications posted a blog about his daughter's kindergarten class and how they learned 9 Rules about how to treat one another. He took that list and applied it to public relations. It's very interesting to see how the rules carried over to our industry (it's amazing what he did with rule #6!). 9 pr rules:
Say I'm sorry
Never hurt others
Say excuse me
Listen to others
1. Say please- This rule speaks to a sense of decency and politeness. Some days we get so caught up in our work and we forget to be thoughtful with our co-workers, clients, and unfortunately, other members in our community. Forgetting this rule can cause tragic disconnections that are sometimes difficult to mend.
2. Say I'm sorry- If you screw up, own up to it. The sooner, the better. This is truefor individuals as well as organizationswhen things go wrong. Your community will be more likely to forgive mistakes and missteps if you can express honest remorse when needed.
3. Be friendly- Public relations professionals had better like people. I don't mean the "I'm a people-person" platitudes that so easily get thrown around. I mean PR people need to have others' interests in mind when planning, preparing, and implementing in order to be the stewards of information and counsel our community expects us to be.
4. Share- I appreciate this rule for the facets it represents in the professional life of a PR person. Sharing is another word for communicating. Being effective communicators is in my opinion the basis for the work we do. The share rule can be the difference in beinga part ofa community and beingapart fromthe community.
5. Play fair- ThePRSA Code of Ethicsincludesfairnessas part of the core values: "We deal fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression."
6. Don't Litter- I'll be honest, I wasn't exactly sure at first how I was going to fit in this rule as a relevant rule for public relations. However, then I thought about what litter was: trash. So for PR people, this rule is simply to not leave your garbage lying around. Clean up after yourselves. If you make a mess of things, clean it up. Not every idea is a winner. That's ok. If your idea gets turned down, learn from it. That's how we grow.
7. Never hurt others- You might think that this is just an extension of being friendly and saying your sorry. In reality, this rule is different. Hurting others takes a certain level of intention. What this rule is saying is never proceed with plans that you know will do widespread harm.
8. Say excuse me- In addition to fairness, PR people should be held to astandard of advocacy: "We serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate." Sometimes I think we need to add the wordpoliteto this notion of public debate. Being civil is never out of style.
9. Listen to others- There is an interesting duality to this rule. A.) You don't know all there is to know about public relations. You need to continue to learn and hone your skills through discussion, research, and professional development. PR is an ever-evolving field and being able to adapt and change is what will make you stand out. B.) You don't know all there is to know about your organization or clients. Active listening within your work environment,on behalf of your organizationand through monitoring will mean the difference between taking shots in the dark and making educated and informed communication decisions.
Natalee Facey, President Kellie Jelencovich,Vice President Kristie Gonsalves,Secretary Stephanie Rosario,Treasurer Chenelle Frederick,PR Director Jenna Adolph,Historian Jennifer Spivak, Webmaster Kelly Brown, Blogmaster
The Tipping Point: How Little Thing Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
PRSSA Code of Ethics/ Conduct
Pledge to the Society
To conduct myself professionally, with truth, accuracy, fairness and responsibility to the public, fellow members and to the Society; to improve my individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the field of public relations; and to adhere to the articles of the Member Code of Ethics/Conduct by the PRSSA National Committee.
I understand and accept that there are consequences for member misconduct, up to and including membership revocation.
I understand that members in violation of the PRSSA Code of Ethics/Conduct may be further barred from PRSA Membership.