The PSRA has announced that September is Ethics Month in PR. There's been a fair bit of talk about this from other PR bloggers, but I'd like to point out Elizabeth Albrycht's post, particularly her point on transparency.
"Transparency is the opposite of privacy." Of course, you can't say that about truth, which drives home the difference between truth and transparency. Truth doesn't require that "all information is open and freely available." It only requires that the information that is presented is honest and accurate. And that gap between the information that is presented and making all information available is the one that PR practitioners have fallen into, tarred with the label of "unethical."
The conflation of truth and transparency is therefore a problem. While I welcome the increased awareness of ethical practices as a good thing, until we start focusing on the important changes that the increasing demand for transparency is bringing to PR practice, I fear that little will change in terms of the currently dismal reputation of PR.
Keep an eye out for more talk of ethics and transparency during Global PR Blog Week, starting September 19, 2005.