What is ethical PR?

Ethical PR is the communication of virtues, values, processes or commitments your company has made to its staff members, to clients, or to the wider industry/community, to operate in a way that is fair, credible, decent and principled.

Ethical PR is different to CSR (corporate social responsibility). CSR relates to “perceived responsibility”; that is, operating in a way that society expects, and responding to external pressure – to be seen to be doing things which demonstrate that sense of responsibly to society or the environment. An active CSR program is not a bad thing, and if it delivers genuinely positive results for the people or the world around you, then it can be regarded as sensible, valuable and legitimate. Some companies however will use CSR either because they feel they have to, or they think there is some perceived market value in “greenwashing,” etc.

Ethical PR Thailand

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Ethical PR, on the other hand, means us doing things because we genuinely believe in them and we want to honour our own internal commitment to running our business in a certain way that helps and supports others. We pursue an ethical approach because we want to set ourselves apart from our less ethical (or less “ethically capable”) competitors.

We have 3 tips that will help set you on the course of communicating what can be some of the most important and powerful aspects of your virtue communication strategy:

01. Do only the things that are close to your heart, not for your own benefit

This means when you’re stacking out your values you wish to communicate, you should write down only those things you nail your colours to. If you feel somewhat pressured to be seen to be Green, for example, but are genuinely overwhelmed by incoming invoices and honestly don’t care about recycling your paper, then focus on something you care deeply about. If you are pro LGBTIQI+ rights but don’t have a massively diverse internal team, then there is still nothing to stop you putting this as a value as something you aspire to achieve. Your values do not need to be things you’ve already put in place; they are a commitment and guiding light.

02. Look at your competitor’s deficits, and attack on fronts where you know you’re better

We know from our experience of years working in the Thai PR industry that many comms industry staff feel they are taken advantage of by their employers, are treated badly and paid poorly. Often, they see their opportunities for career advancement deliberately curtailed by spiteful and greedy last-gen PR firms in Thailand. That’s why a lot of our ethical PR comms focuses on the higher standards we have here at Gemini. Once your clients, staff members and the industry more widely see that you are genuine, you automatically achieve a position of ethical leadership in your field, because you are committed to practicing what you preach (this is probably one of the reasons so many companies ask us to help out with their internal HR comms – it’s very valuable for staff retention and staff motivation).

03. Roll out your ethical practices to encompass those who are not lucky enough to be protected by an ethical organisation

At Gemini, we offer the Gemini PR industry worker support mailbox, which provides free of charge moral support, resilience best practice sharing, career guidance and paralegal advice for workers who work in Thailand’s communications/PR industry and feel they are being exploited or abused. We aim to serve as a reassuring, illuminating lighthouse for people who work in this industry but are being subjugated in old-school PR firms. We do this because we believe genuinely in the people who work in our industry and feel they deserve better. Communicating this is also beneficial as it makes Gemini a very sought-after workplace for the top talents in our field, and you can achieve this for your business too.

If you’ve been affected by any issues addressed in this article, please reach out to us via the Gemini PR industry worker support using our contact form.

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