I am blessed to receive in my personal e-mail daily Christian walk messages from Crosswalk.com. One particular group I requested to receive daily emails is from Girls in God or GiG. I bring this up because today’s message was about Image vs. Integrity.
Now, I’m in the public relations business and two of the many focuses of PR is image and integrity. This message got me to thinking about the many PR applications of image and integrity. PR professionals are in the business of image. We work to IMPROVE an image, create image AWARENESS for someone or something, and HEIGHTEN an existing good image for someone or something. Sometimes, when an image needs to be improved it is because the integrity of an individual or company has slipped. Sometimes, if that image has fallen off a cliff there may be no image restoration to follow or it just becomes a greater, bigger challenge to fix.
Integrity not only applies to a client, but also applies toward the PR practioner. Of course, integrity applies to many other professions too, but the PR practioner, I think, is held to a higher standard because of other poorly historic practices.
For the current and future practioner, the Public Relations Society of America implements an annual workshop every September to ensure that each PR professional knows and understands what it mean to have integrity in our work.
The bible verse that GiG used came from Proverbs 11:3, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”(NIV) Good integrity can open doors, create good relationships, build and maintain trust, and build a road towards a good life. The opposite of unfaithful is faithful. Be faithful to possess and maintain one’s integrity. I realize this verse is meant for those who believe in God, but I think it speaks true regardless of one’s belief. Can a person reinstate integrity once it has been lost? Yes, but it is a very, very long hard road to travel. It will take a very long time to regain what has been lost.
To quote from the GiG email about the spiritual discipline of integrity, “Our public lives are only as authentic as our private lives. Image is who and what people think we are while integrity is who and what we really are. Billy Graham once said, “Integrity is the glue that holds our way of life together. We must constantly strive to keep our integrity intact. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.”
As you are reading this, I’m certain what comes to mind is the questionable behavior of a potential presidential candidate. Integrity speaks loudly about character. With all things in the media, it seems integrity has been placed last on the list of good moral values.