photo by royal constantine
I don't need or want to rehash this situation. It has been covered in more than 300 news articles and blog posts across the country, and even by the BBC. I belong to an organization called the Public Relations Society of America, or PRSA, and I've been red-faced this week after learning about the actions of a part-time elected official in Utah. He also works for a high profile PR firm but he is not a member of PRSA. At this PR firm, even though he emphasizes he does not serve a PR role but works in "public affairs," I'm not sure there's much difference. UPDATE: He has resigned from the PR firm on the evening of November 15.
PR professionals I know are wincing and wondering...how will this impact the reputation of what we do? I'm also watching the media coverage and public reponse with a careful eye. What worries me most? When I hear someone say this is no big deal.
For the record, those who do belong to PRSA are asked to abide by an ethics code modeled after the one adopted by the Society of Professional Journalists.
- If you aren't aware of the Mayor's actions, here's a pretty detailed article by the Deseret News.
- If you would like to see how the national and Greater Salt Lake PRSA offices responded, here are the statements.
- And if you'd like to read blog reactions by those who have received their APR, Accredited Public Relations certification from PRSA, go here.
And may we all regularly "check in" with our inner compass.