THURSDAY 9 AUG 2018 3:50 PM


In anticipation of the merger between the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and the Association of Professional Political Consultants (APPC) scheduled for 1 November, following a majority vote of APPC members, the two organisations have published details of their proposed merger in a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The result of the MOU will be one public affairs organisation, the Public Affairs Board, also known as ‘The board’, one annual membership fee, one code of conduct one disciplinary procedure and one voice for the public affairs industry.

The merger of the APPC and the PRCA aims to provide transparency through the implementation of an integrated code of conduct, which will ensure a better understanding of how public affairs work to the public. The merger will clarify who regulates and speaks for public affairs to the public. Additionally, by creating one register, the registration load will be reduced.

For the organisations that are members of both bodies, membership fees will be reduced by half. The new board will get to establish relationships with other associations, creating international links, while the new body will have access to the PRCA’s team and resources, and therefore have more opportunities in areas such as accounts, communications, events management and research. Last, the merger will benefit organisations that now won’t have to choose between membership of the PRCA or the APPC.

Earlier this week, the PRCA also commented on the BBC’s plans to spend £2.5m to hire six PR agencies in order to endorse the license fee and stress the consequences of non-payment.
Legible for bidding for the contracts are only UK-based PR agencies. The procedure will begin in April 2019 and will work across London and the southeast, the midlands and East Anglia, northern England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA, says, “The BBC is absolutely right to invest in agency support as it seeks to maximise revenue and to remind viewers of their legal responsibilities. Money spent well on PR and communications activity delivers a significant ROI, and this commitment will undoubtedly repay itself several times over.”
He adds, “There is something frankly tiresome about this ignorant, knee-jerk reaction to any public spend on communications. Not least as it comes from organisations and publications which almost invariably themselves have significant PR and marketing operations, and which therefore know that their apparent outrage is entirely fabricated and false.”

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