Mary Beth West
USA Today Network - Tennessee
Originally posted September 10, 2018
Each year, the Public Relations Society of America recognizes September as ethics month.
Our present #FakeNews / #MeToo era offers a daily diet of news coverage and exposés about ethics shortfalls in business, media and government sectors.
One arena sometimes overlooked is that of nonprofit organizations.
I am currently involved in a national ethics-driven bylaw reform movement for PRSA itself, which is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit with 21,000-plus members globally, in the “business league” category.
While PRSA’s code of ethics has stood for decades as an industry standard for communications ethics – promoting members’ adherence to only truthful and honest practices – PRSA’s code is not enforceable.
Challenges with unenforced ethics codes
Unenforced codes of ethics are commonplace in the nonprofit arena, particularly for volunteer, member-driven organizations.
PRSA converted from its enforced code of ethics to one that is unenforced by design, nearly two decades ago.
The reason: enforcing code compliance and the adjudication processes inherent to it were a pain in the neck (and a pain in the wallet, due to litigation risks).
The info is here.