Edelman Gives Panacea for PR Respectability, Practitioners’ Accountability
In a bid to guide against the tide of growing Public Relations’ gaffes and unprofessional conducts by practitioners cutting across local and international scenes, Richard Edelman, CEO, Edelman global network of PR agencies has proposed a standard for the communications industry on behavior and practices.
Described as ‘PR pinky swear’ by Adage.com, Mr. Edelman speaking at the National Press Club last week in the US calls his panacea “PR Compact,” and it’s comprises of four simple principles which the PR practitioner must adhere to.
According to Mr. Edelman, the PR professionals must insist on accuracy, demand transparency, engage in free and open exchange of ideas and require everyone to take universal online ethics training.
“We must do better. We need a set of principles that are universal, consistent, and well understood across the industry,” Mr. Edelman noted.
He insists that “The time has come to adhere to a single set of strong standards, and to hold all of our people accountable to them.”
This proposition might not be unconnected with the professional infractions that are quite unbecoming of PR professionals in recent time.
A case in point is the Bell Pottingers gaffe and professional hara-kiri committed by the UK based firm through its South Africa office. The firm was removed as member of the PRCA after it was accused of exploiting racial divisions in South Africa on behalf of the Gupta family to the detriment of the common good and the generality of society.
A statement by PRCA repudiated the role played by the PR firm in the construction of the Gupta family’s propaganda empire which consisted of multi-national fake news schemes to hide the family’s growing enrichment at the expense of South African citizens and taxpayers.
Mr. Francis Ingham‚ Director General of PRCA had said: “Bell Pottinger has brought the PR and communications industry into disrepute with its actions.”
Hence, the need for leading practitioners on the local and international scenes to rev up training and professional enhancement schemes to stem the tide of decline.