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    Ethics and Diversity Awareness in the PR Profession

    Over the fall months, PRSA Nebraska (PRSANE) provided awareness and education for Ethics Month and Diversity & Inclusion Month.

    JemalynGThanks to PRSANE Ethics Chair, Fa’iz Rab, we welcomed integrated marketing communications expert and UNL professor Jemalyn Griffin, M.A. to our September virtual program on ethics, entitled “Social Media, Ethics and the PR Landscape.” During the program, Jemalyn discussed the idea of social influence and how ethics plays a crucial role in the way digital media impacts information flow into our society.

    Social media is used to increase awareness, influence and motivate behavior, and change perceptions. It is a rapidly changing environment, with complex forms of communication and real-time interaction directly targeted at specific audiences. Public relations professionals have a responsibility to their publics to be honest, transparent, credible and truthful, striving for meaningful social media content that fosters trusted relationships and creates value.

    Griffin explored the following areas and included a conversation regarding the documentary The Social Dilemma.

    • Social media privacy and disinformation
    • Hashtag activism and public trust
    • Social media influencers and transparency

    What does acting ethically as a communicator mean to you? PRSA members pledge to abide by the most inclusive Code of Ethics in the communications profession. The PRSA Code of Ethics already contains key principles to navigate the swift currents of social media: openness, transparency, truthfulness, honesty and full disclosure. Here are some additional resources regarding ethics and the PRSA Code of Ethics

    In October, PRSA celebrates Diversity & Inclusion Month, featuring programs presented by the PRSA D&I Committee. This year’s theme is “Transforming the Landscape.” Diversity should recognize our differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs and other ideologies. PRSA has created a PRSA Diversity Toolkit to help communication professionals encourage diversity and practice inclusion.

    VannessaWThanks to a generous sponsorship from Envoy, Inc., PRSANE held “Becoming A Better Human,” led by Vannessa Wade, CEO of Connect The Dots PR. Vannessa reminded attendees that diversity is not a checklist—it is about action and building trust. She encouraged professionals to think about words and how those words can evoke emotions.

    She also shared that diversity and inclusiveness are often more than inviting someone to an activity or group and does not always equate to that person feeling welcome and comfortable. She reminded attendees to think about how to engage everyone at the table and make everyone feel welcomed and appreciated.

    Vannessa encouraged allyship and said being an ally is all about your actions. She says one of the easiest things to do to become more inclusive is to volunteer. The second easiest is fundraising to support important causes, and third is mentoring youth. “We can all do something to become a better human,” shared Vannessa. “It does not have to be hard. We have to make sure to keep that light on all the time. Being a good human means being inclusive, being diverse and listening to others.” 

    Learn more about how PR professionals can advocate for diversity and inclusion. 


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