PR is all about reputation management. It should be up to you to be honest and be as helpful as possible to journalists. It is a profession where there will be many temptations but having a sound ethical code will make you sort after in your profession.
1. Don’t lie or be misleading
You are in profession of trust and understanding
2. Don’t stonewall
Stonewalling will only upset the media the best thing to do is give them something to use and get back to them as soon as you have more information.
3. Don’t Procrastinate
Time is of the essence for a journalist so it is best if you are seen by them as a good source of information which you will go out of your way to get to them in a short as time as possible.
4. Don’t Be inaccessible
Always be available to provide more information. By writing a press release it does not end after the last fullstop. It is a perfect opportunity for two-way communication with questions and answers so be available to provide answers and increase the column inches of your stories.
5. Never offer a bribe
As a professional you need to be ethical and offering a bribe is no way of making a name for yourself in the industry. You will not be taken seriously in the long run.
6. Never turn up your nose at work
You should always be open to help people even if it is a little bit of free advice if you won’t be a client for them. It is one thing to refuse work on ethical grounds it is quite another if you think you are too good for the work. I remember hearing a PR saying regarding looking for a PR agency. Never use a PR agency that is larger than your own organisation.
7. Don’t bore people
Keep your answers short and exciting. In the modern age of social media you cannot afford to be boring and long-winded especially with Twitter.
8. Never sacrifice a long-term relationship for a short-term result
Is it worth winning something now and ruining a long-term relationship which could be very profitable. It is like killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
9. Don’t ever behave unethically
Being in a profession of reputation management being ethical is paramount. What is unethical? It could be not telling the whole truth for a client who offers you more money for the privilege. Life is a lot easier if you don’t violate your personal code of ethics. You sleep better at night for a start. Being unethical can result in ill will which will only make life harder in the long run. If you are looking at a strategy for your organisation you need to look at what your organisations values are and how you will get those values understood by your key target audiences.
10. Don’t be a “yes” man
By this I mean don’t say yes to everything. Being in PR people ask you for your opinion a lot as to how they should respond so that their organisations image remains in tact. Be truthful rather than saying yes or no every time they want to hear that answer. You also have to be tactful and reply in a way that wont hurt the clients feelings but that is not a problem as you are an expert in interpersonal communication especially non-verbal communication.
At least this is a start in getting you well on your way to becoming a good PR practitioner of the future.