Personal Code of Ethics and Diversity Statement
Growing up, I valued honesty throughout my childhood because it created the foundation for healthy relationships. It allowed my closest friends to feel comfortable expressing their feelings and issues with me, and I felt inclined to do the same. This is especially crucial in times of conflict. If I am unhappy with a situation or outcome, expressing my feelings through discussion allows for compromise. This is important as a public relations practitioner because being honest with peers allows us to develop a complete campaign that can anticipate any potential conflicts, crises, or adjustments. Clients need to know how they are perceived in the public eye whether that reputation is positive or negative.
Accountability holds me responsible for my actions. This includes any wrongdoing however, it can also mean making a promise and ensuring I stick to it. My parents taught me to always treat others how you want to be treated. Every day, I strive to treat classmates and strangers with equality and respect. That is how I want to be treated so it is only fair to extend the same courtesy. In the PR sector, accountability is so important for practitioners and clients. As practitioners, we must hold ourselves accountable for our mistakes and for our commitments. With the increased dependency on social media, everything posted has the ability to be used as collateral against CEO’s or influencers. While everyone makes mistakes or has a slip of the tongue, it is important to identify what steps the company or individual must take to apologize, identify what they did wrong and why it was wrong, and develop a plan to ensure the same mistake doesn’t happen again.
Throughout my childhood, my family and I were inseparable. They meant so much to me because I had their backs and assumed, they would always have mine. While that is not the case anymore, I still uphold that sense of loyalty to my friends and intent to maintain it with every client I work with upon graduating. In my social life, loyalty to my friends is so important because it develops a strong bond and a sense of comfort. I am confident anything I tell them won’t be shared outside of my social circle. In the PR sector, loyalty is crucial in order to maintain faithfulness to clients. While we serve the interest of the public, our clients expect us to protect confidential information and serve their interests to the best of our ability.
As practitioners, it is expected to uphold balance throughout every industry we interact with. This includes our clients, our team and the media. Currently, in my Hill Communications group, we uphold this by rotating jobs between myself and my four other team members. This ensures equal opportunity when completing assignments like blog posts and social media management. In a professional setting, fairness allows employees to listen to and respect the opinion of their peers and clients.
I strive to be diverse both inside a work environment and out. To effectively do this I must be open to people and ideas that are different from my own. Diversity shouldn’t just be about color and race, but rather people that counter my ideas and perspectives. When it comes to decision making, I want to work in an environment that challenges me and challenges my ideas. This comes from working in group projects that offer a wide spectrum of ideas and backgrounds. For individual work, this will come from me seeking out peers and advisors that will look at my work in an objective way and provide constructive criticism. This way, I can continually progress and evolve.
In addition to having a diverse way of thinking, I must take into account different cultures. This comes from open discussion and plenty of research. While I am only a college student, it is important to take into consideration the various backgrounds of my peers and teachers and understand their different customs and cultures. One of my best friends happens to come from a Hispanic household and how I interact with her is vastly different than how I interact with my other friend from China. Having best friends that come from two ends of the world keeps my life exciting, but it also means I must take into account their different values and morals with every conversation we have. This prevents me from accidentally offending them and also allows me to demonstrate my respect for their differences. To do this effectively both inside of the classroom and out, I must remain open-minded, curious and respectful. Maintaining these standards for myself allows me to attain different views, adapt and make more informed decisions.
Ethics matters because it allows me to remain consistent in my relationships with my friends as well as family. In school, it makes a promise to my professors that every assignment will be guided by these principles. Each submission will be to the best of my ability because these morals push me to succeed. In my professional life, ethics drives me to be transparent in working with a company and with clients. Without it, trust within an organization and its shareholders is jeopardized. On a social media platform, ethics holds me accountable for my posts. If I represent a company, that must be reflected within my own social media channel because one mistake on my part could cost the reputation of an entire organization. In every PR class, we have demonstrated time and time again that once a Tweet, image, or video is posted to the internet, it can never go away. Ethics hold a company responsible for the content it posts and provides an expectation to consumers about the content they will find on an organization’s page that accurately reflects its values.
Diversity is the heart of any business. The market that the company is serving needs to be accurately mirrored within the organization. As practitioners, we have the unique ability to work with a variety of clients over a multitude of industries. Our ability to examine the market of our clients and embrace the cultural and ethnic differences of its shareholders is critical to our success. Diversity is more than just a series of codes and rules, but an essential part of the company’s identity and its ability to operate effectively. By attracting a diverse workforce, creative abrasion can be utilized and embraced. This is the idea that people of different ages, experiences and backgrounds can work coherently because they all bring new and innovative ideas to the organization.
In social media, diversity allows businesses a platform to show the public the various faces within the company. It can also serve as a campaign channel to demonstrate the company’s diversity initiatives. The company can share with a large audience of shareholders potentially what issues they have with diversity and the steps and procedures it will take to remedy those. Social media is also a useful tool to facilitate a conversation about the importance of diversity in the workplace. Many global companies also publish their yearly review on several social media platforms. This fosters the idea of transparency because shareholders can see the company’s yearly profits, drawbacks and initiatives, as well as allow the company to identify improvements and devise an effective plan to implement them.