PRSSA follows the lead of its parent organization, PRSA, in making advocacy an essential focus, providing a clear voice on issues important to the profession, public relations education and students.
The Society has three advocacy priorities: ethics, diversity and the Business Case for Public Relations™. In addition to implementing National initiatives to further these causes, the Society supplies tools to assist Chapters in their advocacy efforts and encourages leaders to adopt their own initiatives to serve their communities and address current events.
PRSSA promotes ethical practice by asking members to adhere to the PRSSA Code of Ethics and recognizing ethical leadership through many of its scholarships and awards, particularly the Ethics Advocacy Awards. PRSSA also offers an ethics session each year at its National Conference. See our ethics page for more tools and information.
PRSSA recognizes the importance of different experiences, perspectives and voices in making a viable Society that aids the profession. Chapters are encouraged to diversify their membership, and are honored for their success through the Teahan Diversity Award. Read more about PRSSA’s efforts to advocate diversity.
Public relations is more vital than ever with the rise of social media and the decline of trust in major institutions, yet the industry is frequently criticized by those who do not understand the practice. The Business Case is an effort to provide you the tools and information you need to make the case for public relations, explaining public relations' roles, outcomes and value.
Issue: Techcrunch, a popular technology blog, posted a story alleging that a public relations firm used its interns to post positive reviews on the iTunes app store for clients.
Action: PRSSA provided guidance to its members about how to avoid and react to similar situations through a blog post, and encouraged further discussion of ethics.
Issue: Respectful discourse had given way to negative and personal campaign messages during the 2008 elections.
Action: PRSSA presented the Fair & Ethical Campaigning Initiative, encouraging Chapters to advocate fair and ethical campaign practices on their campus and providing a guidelines for these efforts.
Issue: The public relations profession does not reflect the diversity of society at large, which deprives the profession of the creativity, sensitivity and innovation that varied perspectives can provide.
Action: PRSSA implemented the Diversity Initiative and created the diversity toolkit to help Chapter leaders increase diversity among their Chapter membership.
Issue: The news cycle is accelerating, confusion over ethics is widespread and the attention given to the public relations profession is increasing.
Action: PRSSA added the vice president of advocacy as an officer on its National Committee to address issues of importance to the profession and public relations students.