Public Relations Tactics

PRSA’s Advice on Ethical Business Practices for Hiring Interns

February 10, 2011

The PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) issued a Professional Standards Advisory (PSA) on Feb. 10 that offers legal, ethical and practical guidance on employing PR interns.

“Internships can be a valuable learning opportunity and a significant advantage for students in landing that first job in public relations,”  Thomas Eppes, APR, Fellow PRSA, chair of BEPS, said in a statement.  “The guidance provided in this PSA is intended to help employers comply with state and federal requirements, but just as important, to help them conduct their internship programs in ways that are ethical and that will provide meaningful career development opportunities for their interns.”

In “Professional Standards Advisory-17: Ethical Use of Interns,” PRSA advises those who hire and manage interns, whether in an agency or corporate setting, to be cautious of unpaid internships.

Due to a variety of state and federal employment laws, PRSA advises PR practitioners to seek formal payment of interns, or develop creative means for compensation and reciprocation.

To sustain ethical and legal practices when employing interns, the PSA presents a series of suggested best practices. Learn more by visiting the PRSA Newsroom at


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