Because ethics forms the fundamental principle of communication, it is naturally an important issue for any corporate PR department. Corporate PR is built upon a range of philosophies such as Utilitarianism and Deontology and those put forth by Bentham, Kant, Rawls, and others.
Looking at corporate PR from all angles, a standard of ethics is necessary to sustain an organization. Though many people believe that corporate PR is essentially false, it plays an important and crucial role in corporate organizations today.
PR has the power to influence the reasoning and thoughts of intended audiences. For this reason, many individuals and organizations are critical of PR. However, the cornerstones of PR are integrity and veracity. PR departments must not resort to lying. Even when managing crises, coming clean is the best strategy. Anything that involves cover-ups may spiral into more and more lies.
To avoid negative issues, every company and organization needs to establish a code of ethics for its public relations activities. In the absence of one, it may be helpful to turn to the many associations such as the IABC and the International Public Relations Association that have established codes of ethics for public relations professionals.
In short, ethics forms the foundation of PR for any organization. Every PR activity that an organization conducts has interconnections and can link back to PR. Everything that is said and done leaves an indelible mark on organizational psyche.