ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Is the PR industry being held back by lack of trust and co-operation?

Peter Gummer blamed lack of progress on issues such as regulation and evaluation on lack of trust

Peter Gummer blamed lack of progress on issues such as regulation and

evaluation on lack of trust

Keith Henshall Henshall Centre

‘That’s far too gloomy a view. It’s a young industry, it takes time for

people to work out what they agree and disagree on. Look at what

happened to the Law Society last year, someone was elected to the post

of president on practically the same platform I was elected president of

the IPR. He came in for criticism from one part of the industry, support

from another. It’s natural that we’re going to have arguments...we

mustn’t be scared of controversy.’

Quentin Bell Quentin Bell Organisation

‘While I think that Peter Gummer is absolutely right in what he says,

it’s not very helpful. The big issue is that people, notably journalists

don’t understand what we do. If there’s a lack of trust, or

miscommunication, that’s where it is. Peter Gummer isn’t doing anything

about it. I tried, maybe I failed - I think its going to take a decade

or two to change things.’

Fiona Driscoll Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart

‘Self-regulation, training and evaluation are critical to how the PR

industry is rated and I don’t think we are pushing ahead fast enough.

Ironically, this is because we are being too co-operative and dancing

around the issues. Standards are, by their nature, exclusive; once

adopted, parts of the industry may not qualify. If Peter Gummer is

right, and we wait until we are driven by external events, we will have

missed a major opportunity to shape our own future.’

Peter Walker Pielle & Co’

‘I would stand what Peter Gummer said on its head: it is the lack of a

proper professional regulatory structure which is inhibiting the

development of PR. Certainly people don’t work together as much as they

should. One particular thing is the failure to take up references on

people. I think we would do a lot better for ourselves if we had a more

accomplished professional ethos.’

James Maxwell Scope Communications

‘It is highly competitive but mistrustful, no. We have good relations

with those with whom we compete. Peter Gummer and other leaders of the

large agencies could show the way through jointly promoting common

standards of training, evaluation and use of technology. If they play a

more active part in the PRCA - and lead towards a merger with the IPR -

agencies might take membership more seriously and we could bring the

sector together.’

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