Lords report highlights role of CIPR Code of Conduct
The CIPR code of conduct should be used as a basis for ethical behavior in the public relations profession according to the House of Lords Communications Committee report on investigative journalism, published today.
Commenting on the report, Jane Wilson, CEO of the CIPR said:
The Committee has identified that professionalism in both public relations and journalism, particularly openness and honesty, is key to healthy public discourse and accurate reportage. These are among the guiding principles in the CIPR code of conduct, which the Committee referred to and recommended as a basis for ethical behaviour in the wider public relations profession, and to Government and political parties.
At a time when police are investigating corrupt payments by journalists to public officials for information, with a number of journalists arrested for alleged payments to police officers, the need for professional handling of relations between organisations and the media has never been more obvious. I am disappointed that the report is dismissive of self-regulation by the public relations profession. The Institute’s code of conduct currently regulates more than 9,000 practitioners and although this is only one sixth of all public relations professionals, it is still a significant number.
Beyond this core of professionalism, the number of regulated practitioners increases further when you take into account the memberships of other bodies such as the PRCA. Proposals for the registration of journalists have been criticised as impractical, out of tune with the times and unlikely to resolve the misdemeanours of certain parts of the media. Suggesting third party regulation for the public relations industry is equally flawed.
The CIPR code is to be comprehensively reviewed in 2012, with emphasis on strengthening it and extending its reach within the public relations profession.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).