Letter - With PR's influence comes responsibility

PR people claim they are now more influential than the media, following the passing of that manipulative, regrettable Alastair Campbell era.

Well, aside from this absurd boasting, they had better prepare for the downside as well as the accolades. The recent cases of BAE Systems and British Airways are cautionary tales. Both could potentially result in the PR industry having to answer questions about serious business malpractice.

There were suggestions that communicators at BAE could be questioned as part of a fraud investigation into foreign deals. Meanwhile, at BA, the airline faces record fines over collusion on fuel surcharges, with its former heads of media and marketing both having resigned after being placed on leave of absence.

Communicators claim they have a stake in managing reputation and a seat at the executive table. Their reality is that if they won't deal with questionable behaviour, then shareholders or regulatory groups certainly will.

Alan Lane, CEO, VASGAMA.

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