It’s not fair! An ethical guide to the new CIPR Diploma

By Heather Yaxley

A guiding principle of new CIPR Professional PR Diploma is to enable public relations practitioners to examine their moral and ethical responsibilities.

This is not simply a matter of signing up to a code of conduct or learning a set of ‘best practice’ rules. It’s not just about studying various theoretical models or debating esoteric philosophical concepts either. There’s no single tick box question offering a choice between ethical guardian and mercenary advocate.

The life of a professional public relations practitioner is more complex, and interesting, than that.

Throughout this flagship professional qualification, public relations practitioners learn to integrate ethical decision-making into their day-to-day operations and wider strategic counsel. This includes ensuring that plans and programmes are derived from an ethical evidence base.

It means considering the ethical and moral implications when developing policies, originating creative campaigns and producing multimedia content. It means coaching senior managers and challenging unethical behaviours. It means explaining organisational positions honestly and openly. And it means helping organisations to address societal issues equitably, fairly and with imagination.

Most importantly, the CIPR Professional PR Diploma encourages critical reflection and continuous professional development. It offers an opportunity to participate in a lively community of practice and learn new ways of thinking. It builds confidence and moral judgement. It is career enhancing and demonstrates commitment to becoming a leader in a thriving industry.

Image credit: Craig Froehle (@CRA1G) concept for City for All Women Initiative (CAWI), Ottawa used with permission.

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