We resigned from the PRCA last week. No major fall-outs, we just
don’t jive any more. And ’jiving’, or being completely confident that
your industry association shares and represents your views, is clearly
important if any meaningful relationship is to exist and prosper.
Now that we’re over the initial round of ’tut tuts’ it’s time to discuss
our decision. Which, perhaps surprisingly, has very little to do with
the work of the PRCA and everything to do with ourselves, our ideology
and a fervent belief that authentic communication is key.
Being authentic in this sense means being true to your beliefs. It
recognises that words can come cheap and therefore it is not enough to
say the right things - you have to act with integrity, walk your talk
and bring your personal creed alive. So if you have a particular
philosophy and approach which, for instance, sits largely outside
establishment walls, you would be acting ’inauthentically’ by seeking
endorsement of an essentially establishment body - like the PRCA.
We know that the PRCA is a champion of professional standards and this
is to be applauded. Indeed most of the initiatives steered by the
various committees to market professionalism among clients and to set
standards for international PR are highly commendable and deserve
We have been members for five years - attending the do’s and adhering to
the don’ts. Until now, we have obligingly put our contribution into the
collective pots intended for flying the flag, courting client opinions
and measuring everyone’s efforts. The end result, for us, have been a
roar of averages. An inevitable consequence, perhaps, of encouraging
bluster over lustre.
The association’s preoccupation with process does not excite us and,
alongside other emergent ’new wave’ corporate communicators who share
our desire for dynamism, we feel we have simply left it behind.
Contentious? Perhaps. But we believe that clients understand
professionalism - it is the basic entry level in their pursuit of a
They demand it, select it and, if denied it, go elsewhere. Clients are
the essential arbiters of PR’s professional status and it is their free
will to pick and choose among the best practitioners which will dictate
Our part in this deal is to work on the quality of our ideas, service,
advice and creativity and deliver them authentically - as professionals
dealing with professionals.
We talk about PR with latitude. We promise to be unconstrained by tunnel
vision, to value freedom from narrowness and employ liberality of
We deliver this promise within a tightly managed business where the
basics of professionalism are already ingrained as absolute starting
It frees our people to think outside the boxes which, very often,
unsuspecting clients have put around their understanding of PR. And when
we present this approach to receptive audiences, it mostly shakes and
elevates their attitudes to public relations.
Of course this places a huge responsibility upon us to deliver our
creativity within professional conventions. It also provides immense
opportunities for us to filter out those who will never appreciate the
true value of communication - providing us with the happy result of
working only with those broad minded, enlightened organisations who
recognise lustre when it shines.