Rather than my routine Friday off-the-wall zany post, perhaps it is time to sober up with a look back at The Communicator's Twelve Step Program. These steps are not a one time fix, but guidelines to live by each day.
Adele McAlear asks Is PR Innately Immoral? As I said in my comment on Adele's post, I feel as if this debate never ends. What is most frustrating to me is that the industry as a whole seems to reinforce the behavior of the bad apples.
If twelve step programs work for alcoholics, gamblers, and special sexual interests, the approach can surely be adapted to the rebuilding of public trust in the communications industry. One cannot make progress until he/she admits that one has a problem. To succeed in repositioning the industry, reform begins with the individual practitioner.
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over word – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our lives over to the care of the customer as we understood Him.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5: Admitted to the customer, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have the customer remove all these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked the customer to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with the customer as we understood Him, praying only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to communications practitioners and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
(Those words highlighted are words differing from the original twelve steps text as written by Alcoholics Anonymous.)