In our world people assume they are grounded in what they believe. The problem is that we are in a much more difficult scenario and complex world than we have a grasp on. Even if we ignore current hot button issues, it is hard to know where we stand and how firmly we stand on a multitude of different areas. There are just too many good arguments out there on both sides of issues. More so, we don’t seem to understand the problems and current reasons for those problems as it is. This is important because many moral and ethical challenges are in the face of PR professionals. They carry weight and so learning how to handle their influence is something our nation needs. So in light of the difficulty and the necessity of PR professionals making wise decisions I am going to propose a a plan to assist those in the PR world.
Here are three easy steps in learning how to maintain a strong ethical approach to their profession.
1. Humility: Having a humble attitude toward your profession and others is by far the highest priority. You cannot hear others concerns or address them correctly if your own pride gets in the way. Humility is hard, but the moment you dismiss concerns or assume you are in the right, you have already failed to help the situation.
2. 1000 Sources: The number of times you come across a scenario that you don’t fully understand is innumerable (if not always) but a good habit to get into is asking for more information. Even in the event of a crisis, taking some time to know more on the situation is imperative to a good response. Read one author you are a close, a few your confused, and a thousand you are educated. Even Doctors get it wrong sometimes; don’t get lost in the first set of information you receive.
3. Ask Questions: Many times people make mistakes when they have heard only what they want to hear. It’s hard to do something or listen to someone you disagree with, but you must hear them either way. Even if you listen and come to the conclusion that their thoughts are unjust or biased, you would want them to do the same for you. Whats more, is that you may find your opinion was misunderstood in the first place.
In a crisis management plan, and general actions in PR, a habit of humility will, seeking a 1000 sources, and asking questions will help reinforce and protect you and the company you represent in the long run.