“Being professional” has nothing to do with having an actual “profession.” This is a concept that is drilled into all of our heads as soon as we begin taking part in organizations or sports teams or summer jobs as teenagers. As a completely biased individual when it comes to the importance of good public relations, it is my job to harp on the fact that solid professional values and competencies are much more important to the ever-so-crucial world of public relations. After all, we have more than our careers in our hands. We have the reputations, careers and public opinions of every client we have the pleasure of working for right at our very fingertips. (No pressure, right?) But this is why we are PR people. Our personalities cause us to thrive off of pressure and of the idea of the ball being in our court. But don’t take it from me. According to the website of American Physical Society, “PR is vital to outreach programs.” It also states that good public relations “can lead to strong community and industrial partnerships, and even financial support.” This is an issue of passion: of putting our ethical codes and values to the test for the very first time as distinguished individuals and experts. The Public Relations Society of America’s website gives the PRSA Member Statement of Professional Values. It states that “these values are the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making process.” The values include: advocacy, honesty, expertise, independence, loyalty and fairness. We as members of Broad Magnolias make an oath as professionals in this field to work by these standards and hold ourselves to the standards that are expected of us and that we expect of ourselves. Albert Einstein once said, “Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.”
Cutting Edge PR released a piece titled “Why trust is really important to you.” It goes into detail about what being trustworthy accomplishes with your client and what trust actually means. The more one reads about wholesome values, competencies and ethics, the more one understands that it makes more logical sense to stick closely to set and stick to ethical guidelines from the beginning of the campaign. It also says that for public relations to be effective, people have to trust you. Youth Oasis trusts us. They trust us to take care of their respected and highly praised name in order to gain them even more respect and praise. We are fortunate in the sense that it is easy to apply professional values and competencies to an organization that holds fast to their values in the first place. In our first meeting with Youth Oasis to discuss their expectations for us throughout our time with them, they were quick to tell us about the restrictions that are placed on any events that they host because of their affiliation with children. This was very comforting because as professionals who have had little opportunity for experience, we do not want to accidentally or coincidentally overstep any boundaries that we were unaware of. Youth Oasis has been very transparent with us in showing us what they expect and do not expect of us, and we have been very transparent with them in explaining to them our competencies and limitations for our time together.