Public relations professionals seek to represent their clients in the best way possible. Most PR pros work long hours and make many sacrifices just to see their client’s vision come to fruition. But when working with clients, does everyone really deserve representation? While not every client is ideal to work with, are there some that should be denied representation completely?
Public relations firms, like any other business, have to make a profit in order to function. Sometimes, these profits will come from less than picture perfect clients. However, that firm will also have to protect its own image and reputation. By representing an unethical or immoral client (such as a leader who brutalizes his or her people), the firm representing them can easily become associated with their clients image. All professionals and businesses are only as good as their reputations, and maintaining that reputation must always be at the top of their agendas.
Here are 4 tips to maintain your morals while practicing PR:
1. Know your values- Decided beforehand what you will and will not stand for. If you don’t know what your own beliefs are, you may find yourself in a situation you can’t get out of.
2. Know your workplace- Does the firm you practice in have a history of working with clients that go against your values? Make sure you do research on where you work and who you work with to avoid finding yourself in a conflicting situation.
3. Know your client- Before taking on a new client, be sure to have done some background research. Remember, who you represent can be a direct representation of who you are.
4. Know what’s happening- If you don’t know what’s going on in the world, staying wary of unrepresentable clients may be hard. Stay up to date and make sure the people you work with are informed as well. A lack of information is never helpful.
What do you think about working with clients who go against a professional’s ethics?