JOHNA BURKE: Hello, everyone. This is Johna Burke at the–with BurrellesLuce at the Counselors Academy for PRSA, and we’re here with Ann.
Ann, will you please introduce yourself?
ANN SUBERVI: Sure. My name is Ann Subervi. I am the chair of the Counselors Academy and I also present workshops on ethics.
BURKE: And you just gave a presentation on ethics, and one of the most baffling things to me is why that was not a full house in there. And what is your experience with the PR group, why they aren’t more focused on ethics even knowing that the association has a special month dedicated to ethics? What are some of those challenges and what are some of the ways that you can maybe take some of the intimidation out of the subject matter for people so that they’ll be more engaged?
SUBERVI: Well, that’s a great question. I think public relations practitioners tend to focus on the tactical when it comes to training. They teach people how to write, they teach people how to pitch, they teach people how to present, but they don’t teach them about ethics. And when employees hear that they may have to go to an ethics presentation, they worry that this is going to be a lecture about doing good, and right and wrong. But in fact, ethics can be broken down into a process. It involves what are the rules and regulations that govern our industry? It involves knowing how to think through difficult situations and come out to the best possible conclusion.
It’s training on working with groups and group dynamics to figure out an ethical dilemma. And it’s practice, it’s role-play. It’s understanding, from the head of the agency or from the head of the organization that you work for, what is expected of you, and are you supported when you make an ethical decision? So when you take some of the blurry lines away from it and really look at it as a training program, as practical information, I think it becomes less intimidating and more interesting for people.
BURKE: I think one of the most powerful things that you said in the presentation was just remember that the way you think about things isn’t the same way that your client thinks about things, making that all the more important for PR people to have a good understanding about that so they can retain those relationships.
SUBERVI: Absolutely. And, you know, when you are ethical and you give clients great solutions that make them look great, you win, they win. And that’s really what it’s all about.
BURKE: Ann, thanks so much. Where can people find you on your website or social media?
BURKE: Great. Thank you so much for your time.
SUBERVI: You’re welcome.