PR professionals should grab the growing opportunity to become ‘the
conscience’ of their clients or employers, according to Des Wilson,
corporate and public affairs director at airports authority BAA.
Convincing employers that businesses should be ‘good neighbours and not
just producers of goods’ is now a key task in maintaining corporate
reputations, said Wilson, former chairman of Friends of the Earth.
He said environmental concern had created a need for business to
establish its ‘licence to operate’ among consumers but criticised PR for
failing to seize the moral high ground.
‘For far too long our business has been to explain away behaviour and
values of clients which are simply wrong,’ he said. ‘We should be there
as the conscience of the management, not to cover up what goes on.’