‘Dubai Declaration’ on PR Industry Practices
The 20th Public Relations World Congress (PRWC) closed last week with the reading of a new ‘Dubai Declaration’. This is a set of principles aimed at ensuring the highest ethical and professional standards among PR industry practitioners and fostering a culture of dialogue in the PR industry.
Held in the Middle East for the first time, the Congress attracted more nearly 500 delegates from 28 countries. The programme was packed with workshops, presentations and panel debates. Centered around the theme “From the Arab Street to Wall Street: Communications in the Age of Dialogue”, the three-day event saw more than 35 international and regional speakers congregate in Dubai to address the challenges and opportunities that face the PR industry.
Participants agreed to follow unified PR industry principles, which were developed and agreed during the 20th Public Relations World Congress. These principles shall henceforth be known as the ‘Dubai Declaration.’
These principles build upon the IPRA Code of Conduct, which was adopted 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 is an integral part of this Declaration.
The Dubai Declaration:
In the conduct of Public Relations, practitioners shall:
1. Foster the development of a culture of dialogue among stakeholders and encourage open and transparent communication
Foster the mutual exchange of ideas and the promotion of dialogue among all stakeholders – including, but not limited to, clients, media and civil society – by encouraging open and transparent communications, which will support the development of shared interests and the greater good of society.
2. Recognise and utilise digital communications in a responsible and effective way
Recognise and utilise new technologies to promote the free flow of information – including promoting connectedness among and between peoples, cultures and nations – so as to ensure that the Public Relations industry is at the forefront of the responsible and effective use of social media channels.
3. Contribute to the development of young professionals and promote Public Relations as a rewarding career choice
Contribute to the education and development of Public Relations students and young professionals – as well as those from related fields, such as social sciences, economics, healthcare and technology – and ensure that they perceive the profession to be an attractive career choice, so as to advance the field of Public Relations.
4. Observe the IPRA Code of Conduct
Observe and abide by the IPRA Code as adopted in 2011 and ensure the upholding of best practice, and the highest standards of professional conduct.
***”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.
(a) 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”;
(b) RECALLING the 1948 “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and especially recalling Article 19;
(c) RECALLING that public relations, by fostering the free flow of information, contributes to the interests of all stakeholders;
(d) RECALLING that the conduct of public relations and public affairs provides essential democratic representation to public authorities;
(e) 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;
(f) 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;
(g) 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:
Observe the principles of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
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;
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;
Be open and transparent in declaring their name, organisation and the interest they represent;
Avoid any professional conflicts of interest and to disclose such conflicts to affected parties when they occur;
Honour confidential information provided to them;
Take all reasonable steps to ensure the truth and accuracy of all information provided;
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;
Not obtain information by deceptive or dishonest means;
Not create or use any organisation to serve an announced cause but which actually serves an undisclosed interest;
Not sell for profit to third parties copies of documents obtained from public authorities;
Whilst providing professional services, not accept any form of payment in connection with those services from anyone other than the principal;
Neither directly nor indirectly offer nor give any financial or other inducement to public representatives or the media, or other stakeholders;
Neither propose nor undertake any action which would constitute an improper influence on public representatives, the media, or other stakeholders;
Not intentionally injure the professional reputation of another practitioner;
Not seek to secure another practitioner’s client by deceptive means;
When employing personnel from public authorities or competitors take care to follow the rules and confidentiality requirements of those organisations;
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.