PRCA launches Global Ethics Council to elevate ethical standards in the public relations and communications industry


Today the PRCA launches its Global Ethics Council (PRCA GEC) with an aim to uphold and elevate ethical standards in the public relations and communications industry.

The council will provide advice to associations on the content of their codes, and offer practical suggestions for improvement. Additionally, it will work with associations currently without codes to formalise their commitment to ethics by helping them write them. An international forum for debating common ethical issues is also in train. 

The PR industry’s “interest in raising standards around the world has been a goal for a long time” says David Gallagher, International President of Omnicom Public Relations Group and Global Ethics Council Chairman. Gallagher believes that ethics addresses one of the criticisms levied against the PR community “that we practice dark arts or spin, and give unfair advantage to undeserving businesses or government.”

David-Gallagher-PRCA Global ethics Council

“As a professional community we have spoken for decades about the need to set and maintain higher ethical standards in communications around the world; now the time has come to act"

David Gallagher

Rather, ethical rigour “adds value to business, by reducing corruption, improving the integrity of professional advice, and reducing future liabilities by steering boardrooms or cabinet offices away from trouble” affirms Gallagher. 

In theory, ethical communications “should make the world a better place” says Gallagher “by reducing misinformation, establishing desirable behaviours related to health and nutrition, or promoting democracy”.

The council will meet at least twice a year: at the PRCA International Summit, and at the ICCO Summit. Each council member will take turns hosting a monthly twitter chat on topical ethical issues. A global ethics monthly newsletter will be also be introduced.

PRCA Director General Francis Ingham MPRCA, said: “The launch of the PRCA Global Ethics Council is a key moment for our industry. The creation of this global body will help us to set and then to raise even higher global standards of ethical behaviour. The seniority of the Council‘s membership is unparalleled, and we are grateful that such an esteemed figure as David Gallagher has agreed to be its Chairman.” 

PRCA Global Ethics Council members

  • Bob Pickard. Principal of Signal Leadership Communication Inc.
  • Bridget von Holdt. Business Director of BCW. President of ICCO Africa.   
  • Claire Walker. CEO of Firefly Communications Group. Chairman of PRCA UK Professional Practices Committee.
  • Francis Ingham. Director General of PRCA. Chief Executive of ICCO
  • Gustavo Averbuj. CEO and Regional Director Latin America of Ketchum. Chairman of PRCA Latin America.
  • Kim Sample. President of PR Council.
  • Kiri Sinclair. Founder and CEO of Sinclair, Partnerships Chair of PRHK.
  • Lee Nugent. Executive Vice President APAC of Archetype. Chairman of PRCA Southeast Asia.  
  • Mary Beth West. Senior Strategist of Fletcher Marketing PR.
  • Massimo Moriconi. General Manager & Amministratore Delegato of OmnicomPRGroup Italy.
  • Matt Neale. Global CEO of Golin. Former Chairman of PRCA UK.
  • Nitin Mantri. Group CEO of Avian WE. President of ICCO. President of PRCAI.
  • Omar Qirem. CEO of Edelman Middle East. Chairman of PRCA Middle East and North Africa.
  • Philippa Foster Back CBE. Former Director of the Institute for Business Ethics
  • Rob Flaherty. Chairman of Ketchum.
  • Simon Goldsworthy. Former Professor of Public Relations and co-author of the forthcoming PR Ethics: The Real World Guide
  • Stephane Billet, President of We Agency. Former President of SCRP. 

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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