Global alliance of PR pros pushing for code of ethics

LONDON: The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, an international forum of 28 national and regional PR associations boasting a combined membership of 75,000, will issue a manifesto calling for a universal code of ethics.

LONDON: The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, an international forum of 28 national and regional PR associations boasting a combined membership of 75,000, will issue a manifesto calling for a universal code of ethics.

The consortium, which includes the PRSA, hopes to draw up a common code of ethical best practice to bring consistency to the industry worldwide.

Global Alliance president Toni Muzi Falconi said that most industry ethics guidelines are based on the 1961 Code of Athens, and many are sorely in need of updating to cover issues like privacy and the internet. Signatory associations would be responsible for enforcement of the protocol. A draft resolution will be presented to delegates at the group's 2003 convention in Auckland, New Zealand.

In addition to implementing a standardized ethics code, Global Alliance aims to provide a forum for discussion of issues like regulation and accreditation options, along with a base for industry advocacy.

The group has an office in London, but will function chiefly through the members-only section of its website, globalpr.org.

Falconi said he hopes to see the group expand to key markets such as China, Germany, and Brazil, and expects to see 35 signatories representing more than 100,000 individual PR professionals by the end of 2003.

In addition to ratifying an ethics charter and expanding its membership, the group's priorities for the coming year include conducting a global survey of regulations affecting the industry, and securing funding.

At present, Global Alliance is funded through annual dues of $500 per member group - about enough to run its website.

The consortium was established two years ago at the Public Relations World Congress in Chicago, following initial meetings in London.

In addition to the PRSA, key signatories include the Confederation Europeene des Relations Publiques, the Institute of Public Relations in the UK, and the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa.

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