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Perspectives Blog: Blog Posts

Ethics Dilemmas? You’re Not Alone.

Friday, September 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Catherine Roman
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By Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA, Minnesota PRSA Ethics Officer


It might sometimes feel as if others in your organization aren’t concerned with reputation and the ethics that form its foundation. That is not the case.


I learned this quickly the first time my organization was involved in merger and acquisition mode. Some things are simply nice to do; other things are governed by law; still others are guided by ethics. As communications/public relations professionals, we interact with all the functions within our companies and each of those functional areas is governed by laws as well as codes of conduct and ethics. Whether you know it or not, you are part of a team – one that is focused on achieving strategic business goals and building the organization’s reputation.


Each team member sees the world through slightly different lenses. All areas know that how each constituent group is treated affects the company’s reputation. Human resources needs to watch closely employee-related issues. Legal counsel has another set of concerns and ethical guidelines. And the CEO needs to be fluent in all these areas, plus a number of others.


As our careers unfold, we have the opportunity to interact with various colleagues and develop our ethics sense. Think of it as developing “ethics muscle memory.” In other words, ethics can be habit forming if we give it the opportunity. Where those differences and similarities intersect is a great opportunity for discussion to build a clearer understanding of the pressures and constraints on your co-workers. By taking advantage of the concerns that come up in our daily work lives and engaging in meaningful discussion, we can create a strong foundation for dealing with the bigger issues and help to defuse them before they become crises that threaten our organizations.


What you can do:


Interested in learning more about how your colleagues view ethics in the context of their work lives? Join Minnesota PRSA for Ethics Matter: Exploring the Intersection of Business Perspectives on September 14 to hear what our panel of expert has to say.


If you have specific ethics-related questions, give me a call (651-222-7081) or send me an email ( and we can set up a time to discuss one-on-one.


Minnesota PRSA
5353 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 350
Minneapolis MN 55416
Phone: 952-564-3046
Fax: 952-252.8096

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