Message from the IPRA President: Enlarging IPRA’s footprint March 2018


Over the last few years, IPRA has steadily enlarged its footprint across the globe by concluding several new cooperation agreements with regional or local PR organisations. At the start, the aim is to first establish shared vision,  interests and goals and, secondly, seek ways to further those goals.


At the centre of this trend is the mission of IPRA and its Code of Conduct. The cooperation agreements allow us to apply positive influence on the way the public relations profession in a given region is conducted. Often one way to exert this influence is to discuss the Code during the talks preceding a cooperation agreement. An obvious benefit for a national PR association’s agreement with IPRA is direct access to IPRA’s Thought Leadership Essays which are distributed to IPRA members.


IPRA, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our Code

Besides cooperation agreements and other forms of working together with communication institutions worldwide, IPRA is also an NGO in consultative status with both the United Nations and UNESCO. In that latter context, is the importance of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In December last year, I congratulated Ms Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, on the start of a year’s celebrations being organised by UNESCO. In my message I linked the Declaration to IPRA’s ethos and the Code of Conduct we communicate across the world in all our work on bettering human communication. When IPRA adopted our Code of Athens in 1965, a crucial sentence read: RECALLING the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and especially recalling Article 19’.

For those of you not immediately recalling article 19, it says: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers’.  Working from this example, IPRA worded the commitment of the public relations profession to the Globe as follows: Ensure the truth and accuracy of all information provided’ and ‘make every effort to not intentionally disseminate false or misleading information.

These ideas, if not ideals, form the bedrock of IPRA’s existence. They continually inform the way we reach out to other organisations to promote and improve the PR profession. While this endeavour needs to take into account cultural differences, we must never compromise on the underlining integrity.

One off the great things about the recent spate of cooperation agreements with organisations as diverse and far apart as PR associations from Azerbaijan to Serbia is that they offer a valuable insight in the manner that IPRA’s Code of Conduct is echoed in their every day practices. Let’s hope that many more will follow.

Bart de Vries

President 2016 – 2018


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