The Page Principles

In service of the Page Society's mission – specifically embracing the highest professional standards – the founders of the Arthur W. Page Society compiled the following seven principles for the effective practice of public relations. Named for Arthur W. Page, these eponymous Page Principles were developed on the basis of his lifetime of work, including speeches and writings. While Page did not write them himself, the Society founders believed it important to capture, honor and promote the tenets by which Page practiced public relations. Page Society members regard these principles as the guidelines by which they, and indeed all communications professionals, should undertake their role.

1. Tell the truth.

Let the public know what's happening with honest and good intention; provide an ethically accurate picture of the enterprise's character, values, ideals and actions.

2. Prove it with action.

Public perception of an enterprise is determined 90 percent by what it does and 10 percent by what it says.

3. Listen to stakeholders.

To serve the enterprise well, understand what the public wants and needs and advocate for engagement with all stakeholders. Keep top decision makers and other employees informed about stakeholder reaction to the enterprise's products, policies and practices. To listen effectively, engage a diverse range of stakeholders through inclusive dialogue.

4. Manage for tomorrow.

Anticipate public reaction and eliminate practices that create difficulties. Generate goodwill.

5. Conduct public relations as if the whole enterprise depends on it.

No strategy should be implemented without considering its impact on stakeholders. As a management and policymaking function, public relations should encourage the enterprise's decision making, policies and actions to consider its stakeholders' diverse range of views, values, experience, expectations and aspirations.

6. Realize an enterprise's true character is expressed by its people.

The strongest opinions — good or bad — about an enterprise are shaped by the words and deeds of an increasingly diverse workforce. As a result, every employee — active or retired — is involved with public relations. It is the responsibility of corporate communications to advocate for respect, diversity and inclusion in the workforce and to support each employee's capability and desire to be an honest, knowledgeable ambassador to customers, friends, shareowners and public officials.

7. Remain calm, patient and good-humored.

Lay the groundwork for public relations successes with consistent and reasoned attention to information and stakeholders. When a crisis arises, remember, cool heads communicate best.