Letter from the President

"Truth is the foundation of all effective communications. By being truthful, we build and maintain trust with the media and our customers, clients and employees. As professional communicators, we take very seriously our responsibility to communicate with honesty and accuracy.
 
The Public Relations Society of America, the nation's largest communications association, sets the standard of ethical behavior for our 22,000 members through our Code of Ethics. Encouraging and perpetuating the use of alternative facts by a high-profile spokesperson reflects poorly on all communications professionals.
 
PRSA strongly objects to any effort to deliberately misrepresent information. Honest, ethical professionals never spin, mislead or alter facts. We applaud our colleagues and professional journalists who work hard to find and report the truth."


That is the official PRSA "Statement on Alternative Facts" as presented by Jane Dvorak, APR, PRSA fellow and 2017 chair.
 
It's an apropos reminder given our current media climate.
 
According to the PRSA Code of Ethics, a public relations professional's job is to serve the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.
 
A journalist's job is to provide accurate, comprehensive, timely and understandable information so the public can be well-informed and make decisions regarding their lives in their local and national communities.
 
Guess where they get a lot of that information? You guessed it: you and me.
 
I wonder sometimes if we don't give that enough thought. Yes, we stand for our clients, but we also stand for the common good. How do we passionately advocate for those we represent while doing all we can to help the media provide factual, timely and digestible information to create a well-informed citizenry?
 
These goals are not mutually exclusive, and they ultimately benefit us all.
Tina Boyes
President, Akron Area PRSA 

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