Unethical practices "unrecognisable to CIPR members" and must be condemned
An article published by Buzzfeed and The Reporter - ‘Disinformation For Hire: How A New Breed Of PR Firms Is Selling Lies Online’ - has highlighted the practices of firms offering so called “black PR” services to spread lies and manipulate online discourse.
The article points to the numbers of those offering these services as a growing concern, particularly with the rise in availability of automation and artificial intelligence technologies.
Although the report highlights that despite these firms often referring to themselves as offering PR services, they are in reality operating as troll farms.
CIPR reminds all members that these unethical practices are a breach of our Code of Conduct. We also are using the opportunity to reiterate our calls for new regulations for social media companies to act against harmful or illegal behaviour.
“Practices like this will be unrecognisable to CIPR members and do nothing to reassure the public that our profession is an ethical one that benefits society. This article reinforces CIPR’s call for stronger regulation but, in the meantime, I urge all members to act in accordance to your Code of Conduct, join us in condemning these practices and be at the front and centre of efforts to promote the truth.”
For further information or advice on the CIPR Code of Conduct, or to make a complaint about a CIPR member please visit this page.
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).