The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, an umbrella clearing house for examining ethical standards, professional accreditation options, advocacy and other initiatives designed to strengthen the profession around the world, has come up with a Public Relations Protocol.
According to the Alliance website, “For several years, practitioners and the associations who serve them have felt a need to share ideas and best practices, seek common interests and standards, and better understand the unique aspects of each culture in which practitioners operate.”
The alliance of national associations is a forum where member organizations from around the world can “collaborate to the fullest degree possible, share knowledge and resources, and access documents, professional development events, conferences and handbooks to be offered at member rates.” According to the site, “Through cooperation, the associations and their member practitioners will be able to strengthen the influence of the public relations industry among our constituents around the world.”
In its Declaration of Principles, the Alliance states:
“We base our professional principles therefore on the fundamental value and dignity of the individual. We believe in and support the free exercise of human rights, especially freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the media, which are essential to the practice of good public relations.
“In serving the interest of clients and employers, we dedicate ourselves to the goals of better communication, understanding, and cooperation among diverse individuals, groups, and institutions of society. We also subscribe to and support equal opportunity of employment in the public relations profession and lifelong professional development.
· To conduct ourselves professionally, with integrity, truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to our clients, our client publics, and to an informed society;
· To improve our individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the profession through continuing education and research and where available, through the pursuit of professional accreditation;
· To adhere to the principles of the Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations.
“We believe it is the duty of every association and every member within that association that is party to the Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations to:
· Acknowledge that there is an obligation to protect and enhance the profession.
· Keep informed and educated about practices in the profession that ensure ethical conduct.
· Actively pursue personal professional development.
· Accurately define what public relations activities can and cannot accomplish.
· Counsel its individual members in proper ethical decision-making generally and on a case specific basis.
· Require that individual members observe the ethical recommendations and behavioral requirements of the Protocol.
“We are committed to ethical practices, preservation of public trust, and the pursuit of communication excellence with powerful standards of performance, professionalism, and ethical conduct.”
The Protocol also pledges to uphold responsible advocacy to aid informed public debate, accuracy and truth, integrity, responsible use of and advancement of expertise, and loyalty.