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IoIC has produced new guidance on ethical communication as part of a renewed focus on raising standards in the internal communication profession.

IoIC has published a guide for members on ethical practice, explaining what ethical communication is and reflecting on the challenges IC practitioners face.

The IoIC Guidance on Ethical Practice sets out the principles of ethical and professional communication. It has been co-authored by Caroline Waddams, Liz Cochrane and Oli Howard (Liz is a current IoIC board member, and Caroline and Oli are former board members).

“For me as an internal communicator, behaving in an ethical way means living by your personal values,” says Caroline. “What do you want to be recognised for – for being a ‘Yes’ person or someone who has the confidence to have those difficult conversations when things don’t sit right with you?

“Ethical communication is also important in helping to protect the reputation of the organisation you work for. These days people are even more aware of what organisations stand for beyond making a profit. They want to work for companies who behave in an ethical and socially responsible way.”

To help develop the guide, IoIC held two workshops with member volunteers to explore some typical scenarios internal communicators may face in their day-to-day work. Examples are included in the guide with the ethical dilemma explored and guidance on how to respond. The guide also includes an ethical decision checklist: four questions to help guide internal communicators when faced with an ethical dilemma.

“We want the guide to be a really practical tool – co-created by our members for our members,” says Caroline. “It should support our members as part of a professional community promoting the highest standards of internal communication.

“As internal communication practitioners, we have a role to play in ensuring the highest standards are met. Doing what’s right brings its challenges and the guide aims to help our members make the right decisions.”

The guide underpins the IoIC’s Code of Conduct. The aim will be to evolve and expand the guide to ensure it is kept up to date through an ongoing programme of workshops to discuss and reflect on current ethical issues. Further training activities are also planned.

IoIC president Suzanne Peck commented: “As we continue to live and work in changing times, communicators are facing many uncharted challenges. It’s important that the IoIC gives its members the best possible guidance, and that it’s as relevant, useful and practical as possible to shape and steer decisions we need to make.”

A longer version of this article appears in the July 2022 issue of IoIC’s Voice magazine.

IoIC will host a webinar, The IoIC Guidance to Ethical Practice, on Monday 18 July.

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