Ethics are vital to the business of Public Relations as it is essential for every organisation to have a voice of conscience – a guiding hand that helps them do the right thing always. Public relations has the power to counsel even the C-suite on how to conduct themselves, and they must also have the determination to direct the workings of the entire organisation towards an ethical route. But this can only be done if public relations forms and abides by its own code of ethics.
Ethics is something we’re not taught anywhere, although we should be. Ethics is something we imbibe by observing – it is the set of behavioural practices that the society collectively decides that its members should conform to. But even within a society what we preach isn’t always what we practice – and there lies the fundamental problem while dealing with “ethics”.
A consequence of this problem is that people when forming their own companies carry that inconsistency. It takes objective individuals, who have a much broader perspective on what is right and what isn’t, to handhold the major decision makers of the company to always be on the right side of things. In India, Public Relations does just that.
The practice of PR in India helps organisations understand why they can no longer care only about shareholders and profits – they must take into consideration all stakeholders. Focusing only on maximising profits cannot be a long-term goal of an organisation to sustain itself. People now care about what an organisation stands for, not just about its products and services. People go the extra mile to support the companies that stand for the same beliefs as them. And this phenomenon is on the rise, it is going to see rapid proliferation in the days to come. Public relations in India has understood this trend and now advocates it.
Companies who want to see a future for themselves and their shareholders must also start caring about the world at large. They must take strong measures against polluting the environment, they must speak up for the right social causes, they must not fake their CSR data. Because in the world of social media, transparency, and authenticity on the part of organisations are of utmost importance. Companies that choose to defy this may very well survive today, but there is no guarantee of a tomorrow for them. And companies which have recognised the longevity of the current trend will listen to their public relations advisors who have long been advocating for companies to be on the right side of ethics. Because we truly are going through a historic time and today, individuals as well as organisations who get it right will carve a sustaining future for themselves.
As India is fast emerging as one of the main hubs for manufacturing, trade and technology, now it is more important than ever for companies to hire a public relations team who are unwavering in their stance on ethics to really take on the role of a world superpower.
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