Platform - The satisfaction of doing your own thing - Our agency’s standards of professionalism and client commitment don’t rely on PRCA membership, says Joy Le Fevre

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.

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

recognition.



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

communications specialist.



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

the standards.



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

interpretation.



We deliver this promise within a tightly managed business where the

basics of professionalism are already ingrained as absolute starting

points.



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.



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