FRIDAY 17 FEB 2012 3:08 PM


PR professionals are advised to adopt “a stringent code of behaviour,” by the House of Lords Communications Committee report, which was published today.

The report addressed the issue of the potential adverse impact of the public relations industry on investigative journalism, and advised PR practitioners to follow the existing CIPR code or something similar, as a guide to ethical behaviour in the industry.

The report stated that as there is no way to prevent any individual from issuing a press release and, as there are no real barriers online to publishing links to full versions of press releases, it can be difficult for recipients to establish its credentials.

Commenting on the report, Jane Wilson, CEO of the CIPR says: “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.”

She continues: “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.”

The CIPR code is to be comprehensively reviewed in 2012, with emphasis on strengthening it and extending its reach within the public relations profession.