International Association of Business Communicators — Code of Ethics

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) developed a code of ethics for professional communicators. IABC’s members use this code of ethics to demonstrate their commitment to maintaining an ethical practice in all aspects of their profession.


The code contains several standards that help determine right from wrong. It takes into consideration human rights, and the rule of law. Keeping cultural norms in mind, the code can also be used by countries all over the world. It is even accessible in different languages, at no cost.


The code consists of three main principles, and twelve articles. The three principles ensure that professional communication must be “legal, ethical, and in good taste.” The articles explain that communicators need to be honest by providing accurate information and correcting any mistakes. Additionally, communicators should give credit where credit is due. Sources should be clearly identified and reported.


What happens if an IABC member defies the code? Any member whose professional activities violate the code face the possibility of having their membership terminated. When one’s job involves providing information to thousands, or even millions of people, one has a significant responsibility to communicate ethically, and with integrity. What you say and how you say it can truly affect the lives of people. Following these principles will guarantee integrity and commitment to your word, and earn you credibility for your work.


Professional communications is a large, fast-paced world that constantly faces change. This is why IABC is continuously doing research to remain up-to-date with current events, and offers its best to the public and its members.


Visit IABC’s website for more information:


–Samantha Liacos

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One Response to International Association of Business Communicators — Code of Ethics

  1. Lindsey Osborne says:

    IABC’s code of ethics is an excellent example for how anyone should communicate, not just industry professionals.

    Exercising your right to free speech is justified, but it’s not always appropriate. It seems like more and more people choose to communicate for the purpose of controversy and confrontation, rather than to inform and educate.

    The “comments” section of online newspapers, blogs, and news outlets is constantly flooded with mindless bickering that often turns derogatory and offensive.

    Communication doesn’t always need to be professional, but it should be ethical, legal, and in good taste, which is what IABC emphasizes.

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