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More On Pay-To-Play

Paul covers the Pay-to-Play issue, pointing to Richard’s comments. Paul makes a fair point that lisencing a first ammendment right isn’t a good move. Richard has some good ideas as well:

“…have CEOs of PR firms sign onto a code of proper behavior, that forbids payments to reporters, that mandates transparency on arrangements with third party experts and that bars a media company from having a licensed PR firm in the family. These standards must be enforceable, with the group given power to expel transgressors, then to demand a public apology and remanding of questionable earnings to the aggrieved client.”

At the end of the day, we do need an industry code of ethics backed by some kind of certification standard. You break the rules, you loose your certification. If accountants, lawyers, even sailors can organize this, why can’t the PR industry?

Then what we need is the CEOs of all PR firms to mandate certification for all employees, and for clients to only hire certified practioners. While this will take many years to implement I beleive it would ultimately put us in a better place.

The PRSA and IABC could act as vehicles for certification, but if they aren’t able to do this, maybe it’s time to form a new, independent group to handle this.

One Response

  1. By Michael Sommermeyer on January 26th, 2006 at 3:56 pm

    PRSA reorganized the APR to make it more relevant and more binding on the professional who earns it. While the organization may be smarting from that experience, I think it’s time the national asssembly considered an institutional APR which would hold agencies and firms accountable for their actions. While the APR has been hard to earn lately (I’m preparing for my second readiness review and I’m told others have struggled) perhaps it this type of hard test that would force all of us to shun pay-for-play and other schemes and work harder at maintaining higher ethical standards.

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