The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has urged global PR bodies to encourage two-way communication and transparency on discussions relating to ethical conduct, after its US-based members expressed concern with existing ethics enforcement frameworks.
U.S.-based PRCA member, Mary Beth West, MPRCA, raised legitimate concerns about the lack of enforcement measures adopted by the Global Alliance and was subsequently ordered to cease future communication with the organisation.
“This is a conversation we should be welcoming as an industry – not shutting down,” said Francis Ingham, MPRCA, Director General, PRCA.
“Two-way communication is at the heart of our practice. PR professionals around the world should be able to engage in constructive dialogue with one another, particularly on an issue as important as ethics.
“We share our US-members’ concerns regarding the lack of enforcement measures adopted by global and national PR bodies. Ethics do not exist if they are not enforced. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss these points further with our colleagues in the US.
Mary Beth West, MPRCA added “I am disappointed that the Global Alliance has chosen to lecture others about ethics – when the GA itself is failing to adhere to its own ‘Advocacy’ and ‘Disclosure’ principles in its own Code.
“Those principles assert that the GA will ‘offer transparency’ and ‘be forthcoming,’ as well as ‘provide a voice in the market place of ideas, facts, and viewpoints to aid informed public debate.’”
“I asked reasonable questions about whether the GA requires its member organisations to comply with its ethics code, and I’ve now received a ban on future direct communication with the GA.”