DPK Public Relations endorses and adheres to the Public Relations Society of America Member Code of Ethics as adopted in 2000, upon which the DPK Public Relations Ethical Code of Conduct is based.

DPK Public Relations Ethical Code of ConductThis Code applies to all activities in which DPK Public Relations is involved. The Code is designed to be a useful guide for DPK Public Relations and its client organizations as they plan and implement various public relations initiatives. This Code is designed to anticipate and accommodate ethical challenges that may arise. The scenarios outlined in the Code provision are actual examples of misconduct. More will be added as experience with the Code occurs.

DPK Public Relations is committed to ethical practices. The level of public trust DPK Public Relations seeks, as we serve the public good, means we have taken on a special obligation to operate ethically.

The value of DPK Public Relations' reputation depends upon our ethical conduct. We pursue excellence with powerful standards of performance, professionalism and ethical conduct.

Ethical practice is the most important obligation of DPK Public Relations.

DPK Public Relations Statement of Professional Values

This statement presents the core values of DPK Public Relations and, more broadly, of the public relations profession. These values provide the foundation for the DPK Public Relations Code of Ethics and set the industry standard for the professional practice of public relations. These values are the fundamental beliefs that guide our behaviors and decision-making process. We believe our professional values are vital to the integrity of the profession as a whole.


DPK Public Relations serves the public interest by acting as responsible advocates for those we represent. We provide a voice in the marketplace of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.


DPK Public Relations adheres to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.


DPK Public Relations acquires and responsibly uses specialized knowledge and experience. We advance the profession through continued professional development, research, and education. We build mutual understanding, credibility, and relationships among a wide array of institutions and audiences.


DPK Public Relations provides objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.


DPK Public Relations is faithful to those we represent, while honoring our obligation to serve the public interest.


DPK Public Relations deals fairly with clients, employers, competitors, peers, vendors, the media, and the general public. We respect all opinions and support the right of free expression.

DPK Public Relations Code Provisions


Core Principle: Protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society.

Intent: To maintain the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials, and the public and to aid informed decision-making.

Guidelines: DPK Public Relations shall:

  • Preserve the integrity of the process of communication.
  • Be honest and accurate in all communications.
  • Act promptly to correct erroneous communications for which the practitioner is responsible.
  • Preserve the free flow of unprejudiced information when giving or receiving gifts by ensuring that gifts are nominal, legal, and infrequent.


Examples of Improper Conduct Under this Provision:

  • A representative of DPK Public Relations representing a ski manufacturer gives a pair of expensive racing skis to a sports magazine columnist, to influence the columnist to write favorable articles about the product.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations entertains a government official beyond legal limits and/or in violation of government reporting requirements.



Core Principle: Promoting healthy and fair competition among professionals preserves an ethical climate while fostering a robust business environment.

Intent: To promote respect and fair competition among public relations professionals and to serve the public interest by providing the widest choice of practitioner options.

Guidelines: DPK Public Relations shall:
  • Follow ethical hiring practices designed to respect free and open competition without deliberately undermining a competitor.
  • Preserve intellectual property rights in the marketplace.


Examples of Improper Conduct Under This Provision:

  • A representative of DPK Public Relations engaged by a "client organization" shares helpful information with a counseling firm that is competing with others for the organization's business.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations spreads malicious and unfounded rumors about a competitor in order to alienate the competitor's clients and employees in a ploy to recruit people and business.



Core Principle: Open communication fosters informed decision making in a democratic society.

Intent: To build trust with the public by revealing all information needed for responsible decision making.
Guidelines: DPK Public Relations shall:
  • Be honest and accurate in all communications.
  • Act promptly to correct erroneous communications for which the member is responsible.
  • Investigate the truthfulness and accuracy of information released on behalf of those represented.
  • Reveal the sponsors for causes and interests represented.
  • Disclose financial interest (such as stock ownership) in a client's organization.
  • Avoid deceptive practices.


Examples of Improper Conduct Under this Provision:

  • Front groups: A member implements "grass roots" campaigns or letter-writing campaigns to legislators on behalf of undisclosed interest groups.
  • Lying by omission: A practitioner for a corporation knowingly fails to release financial information, giving a misleading impression of the corporation's performance.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations discovers inaccurate information disseminated via a Web site or media kit and does not correct the information.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations deceives the public by employing people to pose as volunteers to speak at public hearings and participate in "grass roots" campaigns.



Core Principle: Client trust requires appropriate protection of confidential and private information.

Intent: To protect the privacy rights of clients, organizations, and individuals by safeguarding confidential information.

Guidelines: DPK Public Relations shall:

  • Safeguard the confidences and privacy rights of present, former, and prospective clients and employees.
  • Protect privileged, confidential, or insider information gained from a client or organization.
  • Immediately advise an appropriate authority if a member discovers that confidential information is being divulged by an employee of a client company or organization.


Examples of Improper Conduct Under This Provision:

  • A representative of DPK Public Relations changes jobs, takes confidential information, and uses that information in the new position to the detriment of the former employer.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations intentionally leaks proprietary information to the detriment of some other party.



Core Principle: Avoiding real, potential or perceived conflicts of interest builds the trust of clients, employers, and the publics.

Intent: To earn trust and mutual respect with clients or employers and to build trust with the public by avoiding or ending situations that put one's personal or professional interests in conflict with society's interests.
Guidelines: DPK Public Relations shall:
  • Act in the best interests of the client or employer, even subordinating the member's personal interests.
  • Avoid actions and circumstances that may appear to compromise good business judgment or create a conflict between personal and professional interests.
  • Disclose promptly any existing or potential conflict of interest to affected clients or organizations.
  • Encourage clients and customers to determine if a conflict exists after notifying all affected parties.


Examples of Improper Conduct Under This Provision
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations fails to disclose that he or she has a strong financial interest in a client's chief competitor.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations represents a "competitor company" or a "conflicting interest" without informing a prospective client.



Core Principle: Public relations professionals work constantly to strengthen the public's trust in the profession.
Intent: To build respect and credibility with the public for the profession of public relations and to improve, adapt and expand professional practices.
Guidelines: DPK Public Relations shall:
  • Acknowledge that there is an obligation to protect and enhance the profession.
  • Keep informed and educated about practices in the profession to ensure ethical conduct.
  • Actively pursue personal professional development.
  • Decline representation of clients or organizations that urge or require actions contrary to this Code.
  • Accurately define what public relations activities can accomplish.
  • Counsel subordinates in proper ethical decision making.
  • Require that subordinates adhere to the ethical requirements of the Code.
  • Report ethical violations, whether committed by PRSA members or not, to the appropriate authority.


Examples of Improper Conduct Under This Provision:
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations declares publicly that a product the client sells is safe, without disclosing evidence to the contrary.
  • A representative of DPK Public Relations initially assigns some questionable client work to a non-member practitioner to avoid the ethical obligation of PRSA membership.