Editorial: Firms need to take a responsible line

In a week once again dominated by the fall-out from the Observer’s expose, credibility, public accountability and consistency were, not surprisingly, the major topics of debate at the 1998 Hard Commercial Edge of PR conference.

In a week once again dominated by the fall-out from the Observer’s

expose, credibility, public accountability and consistency were, not

surprisingly, the major topics of debate at the 1998 Hard Commercial

Edge of PR conference.



Speakers at the Durrants-sponsored conference on 7 and 8 July addressed

the issue of ’How to succeed in the changing business landscape’,

examining the impact of factors ranging from devolution to emerging

markets on communications in the new millennium.



Peter Frankental business group manager of Amnesty International claimed

that corporate accountability extends beyond responsibility to

shareholders and that organisations now ’require a licence to operate’

from stakeholders in the community at large. A potent combination of

stringent corporate governance rules, an expanding media and access to

information enabled by technology has placed power firmly in the hands

of the consumer.



In his speech, Frankental called for companies to make corporate social

responsibility a core component of leadership and business

principles.



His claim is that PR is too peripheral to act as custodian of social

responsibility.



Frankental pushes home once again the urgent need for communications to

be placed centre stage in the policy making process. As a conduit

between a company and the public, corporate communicators must be the

conscience of tomorrow’s company.



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