I would hope for most public relations practitioners the subject of client/employer loyalty would be at or incredibly close to the top of their ethical mountain.
Regardless of when I have worked for myself or been employed full-time by a larger organization, I have always stated “I work for the Lori Marble Public Relations Firm [insert employer’s name here] is my largest client. They have me on a very large retainer and they deserve my focused loyalty.”
When working in public relations and you come to a crossroad where you can no longer support the organization’s direction or at the very least understand the rationale for why a decision was made, then I believe you have a decision to make:
a) Respectfully argue for your viewpoint/approach.
b) Respectfully tender your resignation and without burning any bridges, thank the organization for experience and lessons learned and take your skill set elsewhere.
There is no room – especially in today’s multi-layered and strongly linked social environment for a public relations practitioner to criticize their employer on “their own time” and expect to be respected when cashing their check the next morning.
Managers are taught to praise in public and criticize in private. That’s good advice for everyone to follow, especially those who are trained to work with words, perceptions and public expectations.