You may not understand what I mean when I say “ethics are like role models and heroes.” If that is the case, it is understandable. The reason for this post comes from the exploitation of the concept of ethical behavior. As a public relations student, the importance for ethical professionalism seems to go without saying; the same concept that creates role models and heroes.
Considering the number of “heroes” that the media creates and portrays, we can find real-life examples of humble heroes that believe they did what any decent person would do.
In my experience with various organizations, role models follow the same pattern. Though they impact the lives of their peers and those around them, role models are not self-created or self-proclaimed. “Hero” and “role model” are given titles, ordained by the lives that are affected by a particular person.
With these definitions of “hero” and “role model” one can understand how I view ethics as a topic that cannot simply be taught. Ethical behavior is a set of moral standards that governs life. Ethics do not only pertain to business and professional relationships, rather they determine what type of person you are. This is then respected and recognized by the people around you, or your “network”.
In short, saying that you are an ethical person does not make you an ethics expert; just as a self-proclaimed hero is not a hero. To seek the title is to forget what the title represents, and this is why ethics are suffering in the digital age.
“I was asked to be apart of…”, “But i never thought I…”, “… and to everyone who has help me become…”
I know that I have not blogged about anything since May 4, but I am back! My inspiration has come in the form of the embarrassment that seems to be considered publishable writing. The quotes that I provided above come from a student that will be graduating with a degree in communication. Considering this fact, one must realize what the world is in for if the new generation of “professionals” are held to this sub-par standard. Though you may feel that a typo every now and then is forgivable, I encourage you to take note of this BBC News article that explains how much money companies lose on typos and common misspellings.
As a student with aspirations of making a difference, and being truly successful, I find it terribly unfortunate to know that I am competing with students that cannot proofread their writing; yet they are placed on pedestals for their simple ability to market themselves and put on a great smile.
To conclude, I ask you this:
When you have a crisis, and your company’s reputation is on the line, do want a pretty face or a person that can effectively convey your message to the public? A person that can smile through any situation, or one that knows that you could lose your credibility, as opposed to “loosing” it.
If you have any questions about me, or my writing, I encourage you to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JGWilb. I might not always smile for you, but I will always be concerned with the reputations that I represent.