ICCO launches #PowerofEthics campaign a year after Bell Pottinger closure

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is launching a month dedicated to ethics in PR, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the ignominious closure of Bell Pottinger.

The ICCO's #PowerofEthics campaign to help PR practitioners navigate ethical landscape
The ICCO's #PowerofEthics campaign to help PR practitioners navigate ethical landscape

Dubbed #PowerofEthics, the global campaign will kick off in September, a year after Bell Pottinger went into administration and as the agency's actions in South Africa are examined in a public enquiry.

The campaign will encourage PR professionals to share the #PowerofEthics hashtag and embody the campaign slogan of "Walk the talk", in terms of implementation and self-improvement in comms.

Commencing on 3 Monday September, the campaign will run for a month until Friday 5 October.

ICCO is no stranger to promoting ethics in PR. In November 2017, it launched its Helsinki Declaration principles at its Global Summit, with 40 member organisations creating a set of ethical PR principles.

This month also sees ICCO support the development of a set of guidelines to complement the Global Alliance's 'Global Principles of Ethical Practice in PR and Communication'.

The #PowerofEthics is designed to encapsulate an array of messages around ethics, including:

  • The need to educate professionals about high ethical standards, teaching them how to embed them into agency culture and working practices.
  • Celebrating the efficacy of PR as an ethical tool, how ethics need PR as much as PR needs ethics. ICCO wants to celebrate and promote the great work PR has done around ethics and related issues.
  • ICCO has outlined a number of ways associations and agencies can participate in #PowerofEthics, including knowledge sharing via blogs and best practice case studies, and by taking part in training courses led by ICCO and other organisations. For instance, the PRCA will be offering a 15 per cent discount off several ethics training courses throughout September, while professionals are being encouraged to read and circulate ICCO's ethics resources. Organisations are also being encouraged to become a Helsinki Declaration Advocate, sharing best practice and displaying the logo on corporate stationery, email comms and web pages.

Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA and chief executive of ICCO, said: "The importance of maintaining and promoting a high standard of ethics within the PR industry cannot be emphasised enough.

"Having recently stood with our global sister organisations to defend the free press, and having supported the Global Alliance’s 'Global Principles of Ethical Practice in PR and Communication' in their work to complement the ground-breaking ICCO Helsinki Principles, there has never been a better time to launch the #PowerofEthics campaign."

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