Code of Athens

Members subscribe to the following codes and guidelines: the PRII Code of Practice for Public Affairs & Lobbying,  the International Code of Ethics (Code of Athens), the European Code of Professional Practice, adopted by the European Public Relations Confederation (CERP) in 1978 (Code of Lisbon).  They also subscribe to Social Media Guidelines.

The Code of Athens

CONSIDERING that all member countries of the United Nations Organisation have agreed to abide by its Charter which reaffirms "its faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person" and that having regard to the very nature of their profession, public relations practitioners in these countries should undertake to ascertain and observe the principles set out in this Charter.

CONSIDERING that, apart from "rights", human beings not only have physical or material needs but also intellectual, moral and social needs, and that their rights are of real benefit to them only insofar as these needs are essentially met.

CONSIDERING that, in the course of their professional duties and depending on how these duties are performed, public relations practitioners can substantially help to meet these intellectual, moral and social needs.

And lastly, CONSIDERING that the use of techniques enabling them to come simultaneously into contact with millions of people gives public relations practitioners a power that has to be restrained by the observance of a strict moral code.

On all these grounds, the PRII hereby declares that it accepts as its moral charter the principles of the following Code of Ethics and that if, in the light of evidence submitted to the Council, a member of the Institute should be found to have infringed this Code in the course of his professional duties, he will be deemed to be guilty of serious misconduct calling for an appropriate penalty.

Accordingly, each member of the PRII:

Shall endeavour:

  • To contribute to the achievement of the moral and cultural conditions enabling human beings to reach their full stature and enjoy the indefeasible rights to which they are entitled under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • To establish communication patterns and channels which, by fostering the free flow of essential information, will make each member of the group feel that he/she is being kept informed, and also give him an awareness of his/her own personal involvement and responsibility, and of his/her solidarity with other members
  • To conduct himself always and in all circumstances in such a manner as to deserve and secure the confidence of those with whom he/she comes into contact
  • To bear in mind that because of the relationship between his/her profession and the public, his/her conduct - even in private - will have an impact on the way in which the profession as a whole is appraised

Shall undertake:

  • To observe, in the course of his/her professional duties, the moral principles and rules of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • To pay due regard to, and uphold, human dignity, and to recognise the right of each individual to judge for his/herself
  • To establish the moral, psychological and intellectual conditions for dialogue in its true sense, and to recognise the fight of the parties involved to state their case and express their views
  • To act, in all circumstances, in such a manner as to take account of the respective interests of the parties involved: both the interests of the organisation which he/she serves and the interests of the publics concerned
  • To carry out his/her undertaking and commitments, which shall always be so worded as to avoid any misunderstanding, and to show loyalty and integrity in all circumstances so as to keep the confidence of his/her clients or employers, past or present, and of all the publics that are affected by his/her actions

Shall refrain from:

  • Subordinating the truth to other requirements
  • Circulating information which is not based on established and ascertainable facts
  • Taking part in any venture or undertaking which is unethical or dishonest or capable of impairing human dignity and integrity
  • Using any manipulative methods or techniques designed to create subconscious motivations which the individual cannot control of his own free will and so cannot be held accountable for the action taken on them

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