The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) was founded 60 years ago, when in the late 1940s several Dutch and British public relations (PR) practitioners discussed the notion of organizing public relations professionals into a transnational society. The objective was to raise standards of public relations practice worldwide and improve the quality of PR practitioners. IPRA was formally established in London on 1 May 1955.
Today, IPRA is a worldwide organization with members in both established and emerging countries. It is governed by a geographical representative Board and run by a Secretariat in the UK. IPRA represents individual professionals, not agencies or companies. IPRA is recognized as an international non-governmental organization by the United Nations and has been granted consultative status by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and by UNESCO. 
IPRA seeks to be the world’s most relevant, resourceful and influential professional association for senior international public relations executives.
IPRA provides both intellectual leadership in the practice of international public relations and make available to its members the services that will help them meet their professional responsibilities and to succeed in their careers, thus enabling the Association to increase membership, grow financially and create a virtuous circle of success.
IPRA Code of ethical conduct
Since its inception, IPRA has adopted codes of practice aimed at highlighting the ethical, moral and socially responsible aspects of the profession. The International Code of Ethics was refreshed in 2011 and is an affirmation of professional and ethical conduct by members of the International Public Relations Association and recommended to public relations practitioners worldwide. The Code consolidates the earlier 1961 Code of Venice, the 1965 Code of Athens and the 2007 Code of Brussels. The Code in its recitals recalls both the Charter of the United Nations which determines “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and in the dignity and worth of the human person” and the 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights". The Code constitutes the Association’s moral charter. It has been promoted widely and presented formally to numerous Heads of State. 
IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence
IPRA works to foster expertise and achievement at all levels of the communication profession. The annual IPRA Golden World Awards (GWA) initiative, established in 1990, recognizes excellence in public relations practice worldwide in a variety of categories. Recipients of the award take particular pride in the recognition granted to their entry as meeting international standards of excellence in public relations. An overall IPRA Grand Prix for Excellence is presented each year to the entry judged as representing the highest standards that year. While there are many national and regional

The concept of establishing an international public relations association first took concrete shape in November 1949 during a meeting in London between two Dutch and four British public relations practitioners. As they discussed their respective activities, the idea emerged of organising public relations professionals into a transnational society with the objective of raising standards of public relations practice in the various countries and improving the quality and efficiency of practitioners.

Participating in the foundation meeting in London were Hans Hermans and Jo Brongers, respectively Chairman and Honorary Secretary of the Dutch Public Relations Club, and four members of the newly formed Institute of Public Relations in Britain: R S Forman (President), Roger Wimbush (Chairman), Tom Fife Clark (Vice-Chairman) and Norman Rogers (Honorary Secretary). As an outcome of this informal talk in London, a group of public relations executives from Britain, the Netherlands, France, Norway and the United States of America subsequently met in Holland in March 1950 under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands International Trade Fair and the Public Relations Society of Holland. Following a review of the needs and challenges entailed in an increasingly international practice of public relations, the participants resolved to set up a provisional committee aimed at promoting exchange of information and co-operation within the profession and eventually establishing an International Public Relations Association (IPRA). During the next five years, regular meetings of this provisional committee were held in England, usually in conjunction with the annual Weekend Conference of the Institute of Public Relations. Participants came mainly from the founding countries mentioned above, but also on occasions from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Italy and Switzerland.

The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) was formally established in London on May 1 1955, with the adoption of a Constitution and the appointment of the first IPRA Council.

Founding Council Members included the following:

Tom Fife Clark, President (Great Britain)
Tim Traverse-Healy, Honorary Secretary (Great Britain)
Roger Wimbush (Great Britain)
Alan Hess (Great Britain)
Etienne Bloch (France)
Jean Choppin de Janvry (France)
René Tavernier (France)
Rein J Vogels (Netherlands)
M Weisglas (Netherlands)
Erling Christopherson (Norway)
Per Johansen (Norway)
Odd Medboe (Norway)
Richard B Hall (United States)
Edward L Lipscomb (United States)


Reflecting a continued commitment to providing opportunities for international association in public relations, the IPRA Council and its Board of Directors meet regularly to review the organisation's activities and future operations and to focus the attention of the membership on emerging issues in public relations practice. Council meetings are held normally in conjunction with an IPRA sponsored public relations conference hosted by individual national public relations associations. Every three years IPRA sponsors a World Public Relations Congress, which brings together practitioners from all sectors of the profession to assess the latest standards and techniques of practice and to explore means of increasing co-operation.


As noted above, promotion of higher standards and ethical conduct in the practice of public relations constituted one of the major objectives in the founding of IPRA. This commitment led subsequently to the adoption of various codes of practice aimed at highlighting the ethical, moral and socially responsible aspects of the profession.

An early achievement in this direction was the adoption at the Venice meeting in 1961 of an IPRA Code of Conduct aimed at establishing accepted standards of professional ethics and behaviour in the field of public relations to be adhered to by all members of the Association worldwide. The IPRA Code has served as the inspiration and basis for similar codes of conduct adopted by many national public relations associations.

The ethical outlook and approach incorporated in the code was further enhanced through the adoption of an International Code of Ethics, informally known as the "Code of Athens" from the site of the meeting in 1965 where it was approved by the IPRA Council. The Code of Athens authored by IPRA Emeritus member Lucien Matrat (France), constitutes the Association’s moral charter, its principles having been inspired by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. The Code has been promoted widely and presented formally to numerous Heads of State.


IPRA is recognised as an international non-governmental organisation by the United Nations system and has been granted consultative status Category C by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Category B by UNESCO. The latter entitles IPRA to participate in UNESCO funded programmes.


The IPRA President’s Award was established in 1977, with a view toward celebrating "outstanding contributions to better world understanding." Recipients include individuals or institutions which have utilised the tools of mass communication to promote the principles of peace, social justice, cultural understanding or the role of public relations. The prize was first awarded to the Nobel Foundation. Subsequent winners have included the International Red Cross, Band Aid, The World Wide Fund for Nature and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


In addition to promoting enhanced standards of ethics and social responsibility in public relations practice, IPRA also works to foster greater expertise and achievement at all levels of the profession. The IPRA Golden World Awards initiative, established in 1990, recognises excellence in public relations practice worldwide. Each year judges consider entries in a wide variety of categories. Public Relations programmes submitted for consideration are judged according to the quality of their research, planning, execution and results. More than one award can be given in each category.

There are therefore no winners as such among the programmes submitted for consideration. But recipients of the award can take particular pride in the recognition granted to their entry as meeting international standards of excellence in public relations. Entries are also assessed by a United Nations panel, with a special award being given to the entry which best embraces the aims and ideals of the work of the UN. An overall IPRA Grand Prize for Excellence is presented to the entry judged as most representing the highest standards of public relations practice. Trophies are presented to all award recipients.

Sponsorship for the GWA programme was first provided by Nissan Motor Co. Ltd from 1990 to 1991, then by the NEC Corporation from 1992 to 1999.  Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd sponsored the competition from 2000-2004.


As the International Public Relations Association has grown, the complexity of its operations and the wide geographical representations of its membership have necessitated structural adaptations and increased strategic planning. Today IPRA constitutes the most genuinely international grouping of public relations practitioners worldwide, active not only in promoting exchange of information and co-operation in every sector of the profession, but also in building a programme of professional development opportunities and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the role of public relations in management and international affairs.

Special emphasis continues to be laid on education and professional literature, though the scope of this activity has been increasingly expanded to include promotion of the profession in the developing countries and Eastern Europe and in addressing key issues such as the environment or the assessment of quality in public relations practice. 

As such, IPRA’s own development over the past five decades has mirrored that of the public relations profession as a whole. From its origins as a close-knit fellowship of public relations pioneers to its current status as the most representative international network of top-level professionals in the field, IPRA has been the focus of an ever-evolving approach to management and social communications.

The issues and personalities that have shaped the growth of the public relations function have played a guiding role in the creation and expansion of IPRA. IPRA today is a reflection of its members over the years, a dynamic professional body that still retains the fellowship of its origins.


More information:


Bart de Vries - President Elect  (Netherlands) 

Bart de Vries is general manager of PR/PA agency HvdM in the Netherlands. He is experienced in and advises clients on corporate reputation, government and labor relations and issues and influencer campaigns. Bart has also created Corporate Social Responsibility programs.
Bart has been Board Member of IPRA since 2009 and is a member of the European Association of Communication Directors. In 2004, he was the co-editor of a widely used handbook on public relations in the Netherlands.

More information:

Zehra Gungor - Inmediate Past President (Turkey)

She is a member of TUHID (Turkish Public Relations Association) also a founding member and former board member of KAGIDER (Turkish Women’s Entrepreneurs Association) and Propeller Club.
Dr Güngör has been a member of IPRA for 10 years and has served on both the Council and Board for some 8 years.  She was President of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) for 2014. 
Dr Zehra Güngör is the holder of an MA and Ph.D in communications together with a BA in English Literature. She worked as an economics journalist for 20 years before founding a PR consultancy , STAGE Communications Consultancy in 1999. She also lectures in communications at two private universities in Turkey.

More information:

Nigel Chism - Treasurer (United Kingdom)

Nigel Chism is finance director of Kajima Partnerships, the UK subsidiary of the Japanese Kajima Corporation. Educated at the John Lyon School and (what is now) the University of Westminster, he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in 1979, where he worked on a wide variety of audits.

Following a spell working for the government in Bermuda he returned to the UK to work as Finance and then joint Managing Director of Kingsway Public Relations, which was bought up by the Saatchi brothers. He continued in PR and marketing, becoming Managing Partner of the design company Fitch: London in 2003. He continues his association with PR as non-executive Chairman of Eriskay02, a company that specialises in marketing between Turkey and the UK and as Treasurer of the International Public Relations Association. He is also a director of a publishing company (a thankless task).

He served with the reserve forces in The Royal Green Jackets. He was a long-term trustee of the charity Family Action, is a member of the Garrick, a freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of the Wheelwrights’ Company. He still plays drums sometimes.

  • YK Chung
  • Esra Dillon
  • Jassim Ibrahim Fakhroo  
  • Veera Forsbacka
  • Ed Fuentes
  • Maria Gergova
  • Christophe Ginisty
  • Assel Karaulova
  • Mike Okereke
  • Johanna McDowell
  • Jim McQueeny
  • Svetlana Stavreva
  • Faisal Al Zahrani
  • Loula Zaklam

The IPRA Constitution

Please click here for the IPRA Constitution.

IPRA Codes

Throughout its existence IPRA has always sought to provide intellectual leadership for the public relations profession.

A key part of this has been the development of a number of Codes and Charters seeking to provide an ethical framework for the activities of the profession. Upon joining IPRA all members undertake to uphold these Codes and in doing so benefit from the ethical climate that they create.

In 2011 these Codes were consolidated into a single document updated to reflect the age in which we now live.

The “IPRA Code of Conduct”

Adopted in 2011 the IPRA Code of Conduct is an affirmation of professional and ethical conduct by members of the International Public Relations Association and recommended to public relations practitioners worldwide.

The Code consolidates the 1961 Code of Venice, the 1965 Code of Athens and the 2007 Code of Brussels.

  1. RECALLING the Charter of the United Nations which determines “to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, and in the dignity and worth of the human person”;
  2. RECALLING the 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and especially recalling Article 19;
  3. RECALLING that public relations, by fostering the free flow of information, contributes to the interests of all stakeholders;
  4. RECALLING that the conduct of public relations and public affairs provides essential democratic representation to public authorities;
  5. RECALLING that public relations practitioners through their wide-reaching communication skills possess a means of influence that should be restrained by the observance of a code of professional and ethical conduct;
  6. RECALLING that channels of communication such as the Internet and other digital media, are channels where erroneous or misleading information may be widely disseminated and remain unchallenged, and therefore demand special attention from public relations practitioners to maintain trust and credibility;
  7. RECALLING that the Internet and other digital media demand special care with respect to the personal privacy of individuals, clients, employers and colleagues;

In the conduct of public relations practitioners shall:

1. Observance

Observe the principles of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

2. Integrity

Act with honesty and integrity at all times so as to secure and retain the confidence of those with whom the practitioner comes into contact;

3. Dialogue

Seek to establish the moral, cultural and intellectual conditions for dialogue, and recognise the rights of all parties involved to state their case and express their views;
4. Transparency

Be open and transparent in declaring their name, organisation and the interest they represent;

5. Conflict

Avoid any professional conflicts of interest and to disclose such conflicts to affected parties when they occur;

6. Confidentiality

Honour confidential information provided to them;

7. Accuracy

Take all reasonable steps to ensure the truth and accuracy of all information provided;

8. Falsehood

Make every effort to not intentionally disseminate false or misleading information, exercise proper care to avoid doing so unintentionally and correct any such act promptly;

9. Deception

Not obtain information by deceptive or dishonest means;

10. Disclosure

Not create or use any organisation to serve an announced cause but which actually serves an undisclosed interest;

11. Profit

Not sell for profit to third parties copies of documents obtained from public authorities; 

12. Remuneration

Whilst providing professional services, not accept any form of payment in connection with those services from anyone other than the principal;

13. Inducement

Neither directly nor indirectly offer nor give any financial or other inducement to public representatives or the media, or other stakeholders;

14. Influence

Neither propose nor undertake any action which would constitute an improper influence on public representatives, the media, or other stakeholders;

15. Competitors

Not intentionally injure the professional reputation of another practitioner;

16. Poaching

Not seek to secure another practitioner’s client by deceptive means;

17. Employment

When employing personnel from public authorities or competitors take care to follow the rules and confidentiality requirements of those organisations;

18. Colleagues

Observe this Code with respect to fellow IPRA members and public relations practitioners worldwide.

IPRA members shall, in upholding this Code, agree to abide by and help enforce the disciplinary procedures of the International Public Relations Association in regard to any breach of this Code.

Adopted by the IPRA Board 5 November 2010


This consolidated code is available in following languages:

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Frequently Asked Questions

The attached list of FAQS has been compiled to assist in the understanding of the Code

Click to download

IPRA would like to thank those who contributed to the translations

The english version of the historic codes from which this consolidated Code was derived are below:

Code of Venice

Adopted in 1961 and amended in 2009, the Code of Venice is an undertaking of professional conduct by members of the International Public Relations Association and recommended to Public Relations practitioners worldwide.

Code of Athens

Adopted in 1965 and amended in 1968 and 2009, the Code of Athens is an undertaking of ethical behaviour by members of the International Public Relations Association and recommended to Public Relations practitioners worldwide.

Code of Brussels

Adopted in 2007 and amended in 2009, the Code of Brussels is an undertaking of ethical conduct on public affairs by members of the International Public Relations Association and recommended to Public Relations practitioners worldwide.


1955-57    † Sir Tom FIFE CLARK, United Kingdom

1957-58    † Odd MEDBOE, Norway

1958-59    † Ed LIPSCOMB, USA

1959-60    † Jean CHOPPIN DE JANVRY, France

1960-61    † Rein VOGELS, Netherlands

1961-63    † Pierre JANSEN, Belgium

1963-65    † John A KEYSER, United Kingdom

1965-68    † Robert L BLISS, USA

1968-69    † Albert OECKL, Germany

1969-73    Tim TRAVERSE-HEALY, United Kingdom

1969          † Hans LUDEKER, South Africa

1973-76    † Manos B PAVLIDIS, Greece

1976-77    † Ivy LEE Jr, USA

1978          † Dennis BUCKLE, United Kingdom

1979          † Sanat LAHIRI, India

1980          † J Carroll BATEMAN, USA

1981          † Jacques COUP DE FREJAC, France

1982          † Sam BLACK, United Kingdom

1983          Göran SJÖBERG, Sweden

1984          † Arturo JESURUN, Netherlands Antilles

1985          † Jon I ROYCE, Australia

1986          † Amelia LOBSENZ, USA

1987          † Paul KOOP, Netherlands            

1988      Alain MODOUX, Switzerland

1989      Anand AKERKAR, India

1990      William J CORBETT, USA

1991      Charles VAN DER STRATEN WAILLET, Belgium

1992      James C C PRITCHITT, Australia

1993      Kaarina ALANKO, Finland

1994      Pierre André HERVO, France

1995      Betûl MARDIN, Turkey

1996      Colin CHURCH, Kenya

1997      Roger HAYES, United Kingdom

1998      Zelma LAZARUS, India

1999      † Roy SANADA, Japan

2000      Carolyn FAZIO, USA

2001      Alasdair SUTHERLAND, United Kingdom

2002      Jacques DINAN, Mauritius

2003      Ceyda AYDEDE, Turkey

2004       Donald WRIGHT, United States

2005      Charles VAN DER STRATEN WAILLET, Belgium

2006       Loula ZAKLAMA, Egypt

2007       Philip SHEPPARD, Belgium

2008       Robert GRUPP, USA

2009       Maria GERGOVA, Bulgaria

2010      Elizabeth ANANTO, Indonesis

2011      Richard LINNING, United Kingdom

2012      Johanna MCDOWELL, South Africa

2013      Christophe GINISTY, France

2014      Zehra GUNGOR, Turkey

2015      Amybel SÁNCHEZ, Peru 





1955-61                 Tim TRAVERSE-HEALY

1961-64                 Guido DE ROSSI DEL LION NERO

1964-70                 † Manos B PAVLIDIS

1970-76                 † Jean-Jacques WYLER

1977-80                 † Sam BLACK

1981-83                 † Dennis BUCKLE

1984-88                 Anthony J MURDOCH

1989-92                 Roger HAYES

1998-2001            † Frans VOORHOEVE



1961-64                 Fabrizio LA TORRE

1964-70                 Marcel M YOEL

1970-76                 Keith KENTOPP

1977-80                 † Sam BLACK

1981-83                 † Dennis BUCKLE

1984-87                 Anthony J MURDOCH

1988-92                 Thomas M BROCKETT

1993                       Betûl MARDIN

1994-96                 Ray ARGYLE

1996-97                 Volker STOLTZ

1997-00                 Colin THOMPSON

2001-                      Nigel CHISM



Membership Emeritus status is granted to Members who have played a distinguished part in the affairs of IPRA, and made a substantial contribution to the advancement of the public relations profession.

     Anand AKERKAR (India)

     Kaarina ALANKO (Finland)

†   Michael BARZILAY (Israel)

†   Dr Edward L BERNAYS (USA)

†   Prof Sam BLACK (United Kingdom)

†   Robert L BLISS (USA)

†   Dennis BUCKLE (United Kingdom)

     Harold BURSON (United States)

†   Sir Tom FIFE CLARK (United Kingdom)

†   Claude CHAPEAU (France)

†   Jacques COUP DE FREJAC (France)

†   Prof Mahmoud EL GOHARY (Egypt)

     Jacques DINAN (Mauritius)

     Carolyn FAZIO (USA)

     John W FELTON (USA)

†   Denny GRISWOLD (USA)

     Roger HAYES (United Kingdom)

†   Arturo JESURUN (Netherlands Antilles)

     Zelma LAZARUS (India)


     Betûl MARDIN (Turkey)

†   Lucien MATRAT (France)

†   Gene G MCCOY (USA)

†   Odd H MEDBOE (Norway)

     Alain MODOUX (Switzerland)

†   Prof Albert OECKL (Germany)

†   Manos B PAVLIDIS (Greece)

†   Roy SANADA (Japan)

†   John E SATTLER (USA)

     Göran SJÖBERG (Sweden)

     Alasdair SUTHERLAND (United Kingdom)

     Prof Tim TRAVERSE-HEALY (United Kingdom)

     Prof Anne VAN DER MEIDEN (Netherlands)


†   Rein J VOGELS (Netherlands)

     Donald K. WRIGHT (USA)

†   Jean-Jacques WYLER (Switzerland)

     Marcel YOËL (Greece)



The award was founded in 1977 and is presented annually at the discretion of the President, and with the approval of the Board of Directors, to an organisation or an individual to recognise ‘outstanding contribution to better world understanding’. Recipients to date have been:


1977       The Nobel Foundation

1978       The International Red Cross

1979       Edward L Bernays

1980       The Foundation for Public Relations Education & Research

1981       Sean McBride

1982       Yehudi Menuhin

1983       The United Nations University for Peace

1984       KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines

1985       Band Aid

1986       Rosalynn Carter

1987       WWF – World Wide Fund for Nature (formerly the World Wildlife Fund)

1988       PR News and its Founder and Editor Denny Griswold

1989       The National Geographic Society

1990       Cable News Network (CNN)

1991       Amnesty International

1992       Archbishop Desmond Tutu

1993       The World Scout Movement

1994       Lucien Matrat, author of the Code of Athens

1995       The editors and staff of the Sarajevo newspaper ‘Oslobodjenje’

1996       Al Gore, Vice President, United States of America

1997       The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum

1998       Aung San Suu Kyi

1999       Rotary International for Polio Plus Programme

2001       J.K. Rowling

2002       The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Committee

2003       United Nations, Dept. of Public Information

2004       Harold Burson

2005       The Founding Members of IPRA

2006       Transparency International

2007       The Economist

2008       John Graham

2009       Unesco

2010       James & Larissa Grunig
2012      Universidad de San Martín de Porres, Lima, Perú.
2013      Hisham Zaazou, Egypt's Tourism Minister

2014      Muhtar Kent, The Coca Cola Company Chairman & CEO
2015     Johan Leuridan Huys, dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences, Tourism and Psychology                 from Universidad de San Martín de Porres (Perú)

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The benefits of becoming a member of the International Public Relations Association have a professional, financial and intellectual character.
IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence offer world-wide recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programmes