My last month’s message to IPRA members concerned the worrisome trend in the US to recast mainstream media as ‘untruthful’ and ‘fake’. Across the globe, Kellyanne Conway’s phrase ‘alternative facts’ was subjected to derision and that is in itself a reason for some relief. However, the recent exclusion of several key mainstream media from the White House press secretary’s briefing room, makes it obvious that the struggle to safeguard the continuing existence of free media is far from over.
A free flow of information
I stated that the IPRA Code is unequivocal on the above issue when it addresses ‘the free flow of information’. PR professionals can only thrive in a communication environment where independent and critical media ensure that populaces can be informed and partake in society’s discourse. For every PR professional, even a cursory glance at IPRA’s Code should make it clear we are not in the business of spin, manipulation or the much maligned alternative facts. But this supposes, too, that all PR professionals who are member of IPRA are aware of our Code. I mean consciously and actively aware. This might not be the case.
Are we all aware of the Code?
As you might know, IPRA recognises three levels of membership. At the entry level, PR professionals can join IPRA for free and over 12,000 communication professionals have done so. They form a very active community within the IPRA Group on LinkedIn. IPRA is proud to be the professional organisation of choice for so many of the world’s best communication practitioners. There is, however, a catch. Entering a free IPRA membership through LinkedIn is easy and takes immediate effect, but does it also mean endorsement of IPRA’s Code? Yet, this is the foundation of a membership of IPRA.
Therefore, IPRA’s secretariat will undertake an effort to approach our IPRA LinkedIn members and ask them to endorse the IPRA Code. We believe this will serve two important aspects: increasing the awareness of the Code and enabling IPRA to better leverage the strength of our tens of thousands of members in the ongoing debate on free media, truth and transparency in communication and an independently informed electorate and public.
The IPRA Golden World Awards 2017
As IPRA members you will undoubtedly have noticed the announcement of our upcoming IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence 2017. As of now entries can be submitted. I urge you to consider entering the GWA with entries of one or more of your best work. Receiving a GWA belongs to the undisputed highlights of anyone’s professional career in communication. Entering IPRA’s GWA means you will be ranked among the world’s most outstanding of PR professionals.
Bart de Vries
President 2016 – 2017Share on Twitter Share on Facebook