A Fresh Start For PR Agencies On Wikipedia

Guest blog post by David Gallagher, ICCO President & CEO EMEA, Ketchum

Last week the US member of ICCO, the Council of PR Firms (CPRF), called on its member agencies to join a growing movement of communications advisors to do right by Wikipedia and their clients with a commitment to transparency, accuracy and disclosure in this blog post.


That this is the right thing to do should be self-evident, and a number of agency networks (including my employer) and other professional associations have also signed on to the pledge – fittingly set forth as an article on Wikipedia, rather than as a press release.


It also has the advantage of being a smart thing to do, and I hope all ICCO member associations will make a similar commitment. Here’s why:


  1. PR consultants need to be part of the discussion on Wikipedia.  Agreeing to respect its principles and rules give us access to an immensely important communications platform.
  2. Cynicism is the enemy of good PR.   As the authors of the CPRF blogs say so well, helping to bridge the gap between communications advisors and the Wikipedia community serves a higher purpose: establishing trust.  This is the heart of what we do.
  3. Leaders lead.  ICCO associations work to advance the ethical practice of PR consultancy worldwide, offering the market a clear choice between agencies that choose to comply with their standards of conduct and professionalism, and those who do not.  This is an opportunity for our associations to demonstrate real leadership.


Thanks CPRF for the early adoption – let’s hope others follow your lead.


As a Senior Partner and CEO of Ketchum’s European operations and chairman of the UK agency, David Gallagher brings more than 20 years of public relations experience, both as a client and as a senior agency adviser, to some of the world’s leading brands and companies.

David Gallagher oversees Ketchum’s nine European agencies and their specialist services, which include consumer public relations, healthcare communications, corporate affairs and social responsibility, public affairs, change management, and clinical trial recruitment.

He is president of the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO), the global umbrella network of 30 national PR agency trade associations, and a fellow and past chairman of the UK Public Relations Consultants Association.  He chairs the World Economic Forum’s global agenda council on the future of media, and was the 2014 PR jury president for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.