Hundreds of thousands of business communicators engage globally in activities that in turn affect the lives of millions of people. There are certain social responsibilities that come with this package of enormous power, and because of that purpose alone IABC has put together a Code of Ethics for Professional Communicators.
The code is engineered around three different principles of professional communication that applies throughout the world.
“These principles assume that just societies are governed by a profound respect for human rights and the rule of law; that ethics, the criteria for determining what is right and wrong, can be agreed upon by members of an organization; and, that understanding matters of taste requires sensitivity to cultural norms.”
The concept of a communicators’ code of ethics is great, however I personally feel that the “unknown about communicator” is what binds us as communicators. Communication is simply mysterious and that alone should be a point emphasized in the code.
We deal with humans that cause our job to be mysterious and unique every time.
Within every organization – and communication for that matter – we constantly have to put things in perspective based on a company’s culture, what we want to accomplish and lastly who the audience is. This is a reason why I am a public relation major, for the lone fact that my job maintains a mutually beneficial relationship between my company and its publics. And we all know our organization cant success without its publics being happy, right? J
We, as communicators, all are storytellers, navigators, interviewers and investigators who collect data and ideas and build a sturdy framework for a plan or story in a meaningful way to whomever receives it. And that is our job. IABC believes that good professionals should have strong principles. This however, I’ve been told, can become very tiresome with success varying from organization to organization. Not to mention that most people don’t pay any attention to this in the first place, which is the reason this task isn’t easily conquered.
Nonetheless, communicators are consistent. We all have principles that we follow and we are all communicators, so finding a way to weather the storm and get something done professionally with social responsibility is achievable. Check out the code of ethics for yourself and see what you think about them.