The UK’s Institute of Public Relations, its professional body, has received chartered status from the Privy Council (finally after 50 years of applying). Colin Farrington, its director general, sees this as ‘a national endorsement of the profession’. For US readers, the IPR is similar to the Public Relations Society of America.
Both bodies want you to join for access to training, some of which is quite good, and also for commitment to its code of ethics. While this is an excellent endeavor, they both lack teeth since a transgression results in little more than a slap on the wrist, with the ultimate sanction of having membership revoked. Since few clients or PR practitioners care about membership, this isn’t much of a penalty – not like being dis-barred from being a doctor or lawyer. Perhaps getting chartered status takes the IPR one step further to having that clout. Not all UK PR-types are in favor of the move though:
Falling into this last
category, presumably, is PR supremo Mark Borkowski (below). ‘What on
earth was the Privy Council thinking of, awarding this shower a
charter?’ he says. ‘Incredibly for over 50 years the IPR or its
equivalent has been told "no, bugger off", but now, in the era of
Alistair Campbell, Downing Street has seen fit to grant PR a
respectability it utterly fails to warrant.
and ironing the reputations of politicians, drug companies, arms
manufacturers, tobacco producers and junk food sellers, is not a
respectable business. It’s a covert, no-holds-barred war, in which
editors and journalists have to be superhuman in their refusal to be
It looks as if Borkowski
will be seeking fellowship of the newly chartered organisation, then.
‘FCIPR? FCKIT’, he ends his missive.