African PR Industry Unites Around New Ethical Vision

ICCO has endorsed the PR Gaborone Declaration, launched today at the African Public Relations Association (APRA) Conference in Botswana. The Declaration has been designed to manage ethical challenges in PR practice across Africa and beyond. Nkechi Alli-Balogun, CEO at NECCI proposed a statement for ratification by APRA members as part of a progressive and ambitious agenda, which will pave the road ahead for PR in Africa.

The Gaborone Statement 2018 reads:

“Public Relations is a relationship management function that fosters understanding and unity, strengthens diversity, builds a strong brand and encourages good governance”

The clear, concise statement will inform and educate those working outside of PR as well as guide those within the sector. Throughout the conference, challenges including mistrust of media and governments, fake news and the fallout from the Bell Pottinger scandal have been confronted head on. By committing to this declaration and cementing it into the minds of businesses and politicians across the content, PR agencies and practitioners can boldly shape perceptions of Africa, and shift focus back to telling the multitude of positive stories taking place.

APRA is a member of ICCO and has already signed up to the Helsinki Declaration, which commits professionals to act under ten ethical principles. The Helsinki Declaration was created by collaboration from 40 national and regional PR associations, including APRA.

ICCO welcomes the new Gaborone Declaration and together with APRA will be seeking to spread and implement its message across Africa, alongside the Helsinki Deceleration.

ICCO Chief Executive Francis Ingham welcomed the Gaborone Declaration tweeting it was “an excellent African-owned imitative”. Ingham has been speaking at the APRA Botswana Conference about the importance for industry bodies to be tough on bad ethical practice, no matter how big or powerful the organisation may be. Bell Pottinger’s expulsion from the UK’s PRCA, at which Ingham is Director General, provides an illustration of how an industry really can take a stand for what is right.

To find out more about the Gaborone Declaration, please contact

To find out more about the Helsinki Declaration, please contact

ICCO Global Summit 2018 call for speakers now open!

ICCO is pleased to announce that applications to speak at the 2018 Global Summit are now open. The application deadline is Thursday, 24th May, 2018

The ICCO Global Summit will be held at Clontarf Castle in Dublin, Ireland on 4th-5th October, 2018, with a theme of Shaping the Future’. If you have a proposal that demonstrates the power of PR to innovate and harness technology in new and creative ways then we would love to hear from you!

Tickets for the ICCO Global Summit and details regarding accommodation for attendees will be released in due course.

The ICCO Global Summit is an annual two day gathering of senior PR and communications practitioners from around the world. Global Agency Heads and in-house Communications Directors will be in attendance to witness your insights in what has become an essential event for PR practitioners with a global remit.

The ‘Call for Speakers’ is now open, with a deadline for applications on Thursday, 24th May. To apply to give a presentation or curate a panel discussion, please complete and return the application form via email to ICCO General Manager Rob Morbin. Alternatively, if you are interested in sponsoring the event, please again contact Rob Morbin for further details.

We look forward to hearing your proposals and seeing you in the thriving, creative city of Dublin in October! Good luck!

ICCO Board builds out three business priorities to 2020

The ICCO Board of Management met in Bratislava on 20 April last week to focus on its three business priorities for supporting members under the organisation’s President, Elise Mitchell.

Having undergone substantial expansion over the past two years, ICCO now speaks for some 2,500 PR agencies, in 55 countries, across six continents. Board members met together and also in working groups to review progress to date on the priorities and identify potential initiatives going forward.

The first of three priorities for members is to raise professional and ethical standards of the public relations industry. In October 2017, ICCO launched the Helsinki Declaration: ten modern, robust ethical principles that were created through dialogue and consensus with industry on a worldwide scale. The widespread commitment to the declaration is just the start, it will be the genuine embedding of these ten principles in agency life across various regions that will be that will lead to a greater level of consistency in ethical practice.

Since the declaration was launched, we have received official support from XX associations, direct members and industry bodies.  If your agency or organisation has not yet pledged commitment to the Helsinki Declaration, you can find what the principles are and more here. Please also get in touch with ICCO if you want support in embedding the principles further into your organisation’s culture.

The second priority is to support members in shaping the future of public relations, which is also the theme of the 2018 ICCO Global Summit. This directly relates to skills, talent, converging sectors, new technologies and positioning PR to take advantage of the great flux. As a profession, practitioners must work together to ensure PR takes a lead on issues like data privacy and fake news. Ensuring members have access to resources and specialist knowledge from outside of the PR world is essential in this endeavour.

The third priority is to increase visibility for the role and value of public relations, which will see ICCO bolster relationships with business groups, academia as well as our growing list of partnerships with complimentary groups across marketing, advertising and corporate communication.

“As a global organization, ICCO has a unique opportunity to provide diverse thought leadership on these priorities as well as best practices and tools to drive opportunity for our members and the industry overall,” said Mitchell.

Francis Ingham, Chief Executive, ICCO, added “Our meeting in Bratislava showed the enormous progress we’ve made over recent years. At this time of change and discipline collision, now’s the time when ICCO can deliver most to our members and our industry -and that’s exactly what we intend doing.”

If you would like to understand more about the benefits of ICCO membership and how your agency is represented, either as a multinational or through your local association, please contact ICCO General Manager Rob Morbin,

Here comes Hungary’s second ‘Crisis Map’

BKK’s hacker scandal, the tragedy in Verona and the #metoo movement among the most important crises

The Hungarian authors of ‘Crisis Map 2017’ have collected and analysed around 400 cases that had harmful effects on brands, organizations or celebrities. The research which is based on international models and methodology was carried out for the second time by the Crisis Communication Department of HuPRA (Hungarian PR Association) and with the contribution of market leading communication experts.

The authors have studied scandals which required some kind of crisis communication procedures and actions to retain reputation. It was also investigated in which sectors, and how often, scandals occurred reaching the stimulus threshold of the public, and also to what extent each industry is crisis sensitive and exposed to reputation issues. More than 40 percent of the cases were public affairs, but transportation and logistics-related issues were also highly represented. The smallest set was constituted by the crises of tech firms – just like in the previous year. As for chronology, January and August were the most crisis-struck months in 2017. For-profit organizations made up almost half of the cases, whereas more than one third was ‘produced’ by firms owned by the state or national economy organizations.

A huge amount of the crises (293 issues) occurred abruptly drawing the attention to the importance of prevention and preparation. Regarding causes, mismanagement, accidents and crimes ‘succeeded’ in getting to the top 3. As for severity, most of the crises in 2017 can be categorized as critical; and according to manageability, we can consider 314 issues as hard to handle. The most remarkable conclusion is, though, that weak management and problematic decisions caused most of the issues: usually these are the ones that can be be handled easily with care, experience, and consideration.

“The first research paper was highly acknowledged in the communication sector: we got a lot of positive feedback, supportive comments and further perspectives for a would-be report. As we indicated after its publication, the report will become relevant only if we are able to reproduce it year by year; i.e. the trends can be compared with each other. This way we might have an overview about the intensity and extent of exposure to crises in specific industries and sectors” said Kornél Bőhm, Director of Crisis Communication Department at HUPRA, at the opening ceremony of the report. As he stressed they are aware that this work will always be subjective in nature: others would consider other issues as crises or they would use a different system for categorization. “Relying on our own professional experience, we take responsibility for the subjectivity of this work: our methodology and criteria for categorization were taken over from renowned academic and scientific circles” emphasized the Director of the Department.

The report is a suggesting read for company managers, communication professionals, and researchers in the field of crisis communication and also for industry analysts and university lecturers. This Crisis Map does not merely provide useful tips and tricks, it also attracts the attention to conclusions to consider: A thorough, extensive and crisis-sensitive organizational approach and a preventive attitude might reduce the risk of crises significantly, as well as mitigate their destructive impact.

With this report, we have prepared communication professionals a mirror to face. During the year, we simply register crises, and at the end of the year we analyze them from a bird’s eye view. This map is not only for communication experts; corporate leaders can also realize the importance of reputation management. We are happy to introduce this report for an international audience: our methodology has been simplified to an extent it could be relevant in other countries, so we do hope this report is going to reach larger audiences abroad as well.” said András Sztaniszláv, managing director, PersonaR.

View and download the Crisis Map 2017

ICCO announces new General Manager

Rob Morbin has been named ICCO’s next General Manager, replacing Charlene Corrin, who stepped down at the beginning of the month.

Morbin was previously the CIPR’s Head of Engagement, prior to this he served as Member Relations Manager at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Morbin will take up the London-based role on 19th March, and will report to ICCO’s CEO, Francis Ingham.

Ingham said: “It has been a true pleasure working with Charlene Corrin over the past couple of years. She’s definitely a hard act to follow, but I’m confident Rob will be a fantastic replacement. Drawing on his membership body expertise and knowledge, our plan is to entrench even more deeply ICCO’s role as the undisputed voice of public relations around the world.”

Morbin said: “I’m really pleased to be joining ICCO as General Manager at this exciting time for the PR industry, and will aim to build on the good work that has been done to grow the organisation and champion PR excellence globally. I look forward to working with members in fostering even greater international collaboration across the PR community.”

Elise Mitchell, ICCO President said: “Charlene has contributed so much to ICCO, helping us expand the organisation’s reach and impact on many fronts. She is a delight to work with and will be greatly missed. At the same time, we welcome Rob and look forward to the many capabilities and insights he brings to ICCO. I know we will continue to grow and thrive as a result.”

After two years with ICCO, Corrin will join lighting design firm Mindseye as Studio Director.

Corrin said: “ICCO keeps going from strength to strength, and I’m very proud to have contributed to the growth of the organisation during my time here. As I take a new direction in my career, I take away special memories and look forward to following ICCO’s continued development.”

Communications Leaders Breakfast Roundtable

We would like to thank all of you who attended the Communication Leaders Breakfast Roundtable – Spotlight on Russia on Wednesday, 28th February.

We realise the weather conditions were not ideal and therefore your participation was much appreciated.

We hope you gained valuable insight from the discussion and that you also enjoyed meeting other guests and exchanging experiences and observations.

You can find a summary of the key discussion points here.

Please stay tuned for more information regarding Creative Culture’s future roundtables and do not hesitate to give your feedback at or +44 (0) 20 7798 2002.

PRCA and ICCO support EUPRERA Awards.

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is thrilled to announce it will be sponsoring two of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) Awards.

The first being ‘Master Thesis Annual Award’ which honours and rewards Master Theses that make a significant professional/practical or academic contribution to the field of public relations in Europe. The second being ‘PhD Award for Excellent Doctoral Theses’ which is a bi-annual prize for excellent doctoral dissertation and awards academic excellence in the fields of public relations and communication management.   

Speaking on this exciting opportunity Francis Ingham, Chief Executive, ICCO, said: “ICCO is delighted to be sponsoring these two EUPRERA awards. EUPRERA’s contribution to our industry is enormous, and as part of the new relationship between our two organisations, it’s a pleasure to be able to support its work in this way.” 

Sue Wolstenholme, Managing Director, Ashley Public Relations Ltd, added: “The EUPRERA awards, for the internationally judged best PhD and Master thesis, are the most prestigious for students and professionals wanting to use research to extend their knowledge. The awards celebrate brilliant research and it is a mark of their commitment to professional development at the highest levels, that PRCA and ICCO have jointly become the sponsors for both these awards. It also confirms my confidence in the two organisations as bodies dedicated to the future for public relations and communication practitioners internationally.” 

About ICCO: 

The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises national trade associations operating in 55 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Americas and Australasia, as well as agencies and networks with an international agenda. Collectively, these associations represent over 2,500 PR firms. 


The European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) is an autonomous organisation with nearly 500 members from 40 countries interested in advancing academic research and knowledge in strategic communication. Several cross-national and comparative research and education projects are organised by affiliated universities. In order to spread new methodologies and research results, EUPRERA organises a highly regarded annual congress each autumn in collaboration with a selected university or college in Europe.

PRCA launches Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines with cross-industry support

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has launched its Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines, the latest step in its work to improve the diversity of the PR and communications industry.

The comprehensive guidelines examine the current state of diversity in the industry, outline the business case for improving diversity, and offer clear and manageable steps to making the workplace more diverse and inclusive. Click here to take a look at the guidelines.

The recommendations in the report range from offering flexible working practices and reforming recruitment practices to make them more fair and transparent, to offering paid and structured internships and apprenticeships and monitoring diversity metrics. It also offers steps on how organisations can manage their diverse workforce. The report features case studies from leading organisations in the industry such as Cicero Group, Dynamo PR, Forster Communications, Golin, and The Taylor Bennett Foundation.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, PRCA Director General, said: “I am delighted to announce the launch of the Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines. The consensus in the industry is that diversity must improve and today we are providing the industry with clear steps to make that change. Businesses must address diversity as a key priority for their business to grow and ultimately for the industry to grow. We cannot perform our roles as communicators if we are not representative of the UK’s changing demographics.

“These guidelines prove that there are organisations in the industry that are doing exceptional work in this area but there is a great deal more that we can do. Our hope is that the PRCA Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines will encourage organisations to take the first steps to improve diversity.”

Sarah Hall MPRCA, CIPR President 2018, said: “The PRCA’s work on diversity and inclusivity takes the industry another step forward. Our State of the Profession research highlights the need for this work and we look forward to collaborating to drive real change.”

Sarah Stimson, CEO, Taylor Bennett Foundation, said: “We were thrilled that Taylor Bennett Foundation was selected as the PRCA’s Charity of the Year and this report is indicative of its wider commitment to diversity across the industry in all forms. It covers the issues comprehensively and gives practical guidance on addressing diversity in the PR workforce. We welcome it wholeheartedly.”

Pema Seely CMPRCA, Chairman, PRCA Diversity Network, said: “Bright young people want to work in modern and inclusive environments. Simply put, people want to come to work knowing that they will learn and develop. For me, diversity is a key part of that, otherwise we will have the same people, with the same ideas, and ultimately the same results.

“If we want to attract and retain the very best talent, it’s something we need to address urgently. In 2017, the PR and Communications Council committed to increasing diversity within the industry. These guidelines are a direct response to that. They will support PR practitioners with the practical steps and guidance to develop a more diverse workforce.”

This launch follows a pledge by the PR and Communications Council to improve diversity within the industry. This pledge was inspired by statistics in the PR Census 2016, which revealed that the industry is 91% white and 83% British. In addition, 64% of the industry is made up of women but the gender pay gap in 2016 was £9,111 in favour of men. Only 2% of PR and communications practitioners consider themselves to have a disability. These statistics highlighted the need for a collaborative, industry-led approach to tackle the problem.

The PRCA has always been committed to improving diversity within the PR and communications industry. The launch of the PR and Communications Census 2018 later this year will be another defining moment for diversity.

If you would like to get involved in the PRCA’s work on diversity, please contact

For the original article, click here.

Global public relations associations commit to enhancing public trust through ethics

Madrid, February 6th.

The current crisis in trust is diminishing the ability for institutions, governments and organisations to operate effectively in society. Fake news and an inappropiate use of automated communications in particular, erode trust and reputations in our institutions.

To counteract this and take a leading position on the global practice of public relations, several professional associations met in Madrid to explore possible enhancements to their codes of ethics that, as a whole, guide hundreds of thousands of professionals around the world.

Participants in this global discussion on codes of ethics agreed to explore ways to enhance and elevate public relations´ reputation as the guardian of trust through the enhancement of codes of ethics and an agreement on an overarching set of principles to guide the profession.

Through a collaborative effort, participants agreed to work on raising the standards for the public relations profession on a global scale.

A task force of the organizations involved will examine in detail the building blocks that currently exist in how practitioners should practice public relations. We believe there is value in having a single set of principles and behaviours that everyone can promote. This will not replace existing individual association codes but will provide an agreement on an overarching set of principles.

Participants recognize the need to launch a campaign around the importance of a trustworthy practice of public relations while also examining current codes.


Participants and representatives

International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA). Francis Ingham, CEO and Director General, respectively.

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Dianne Chase, Inmediate Past Chair.

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Joe Truncale, CEO.

African Public Relations Association and Public Relations Institute of Ireland (APRA and PRII). Justin Green, Global Ambassador and Vicepresident, respectively.

Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS). Sarah Hanel, President.

Asociación Española de Directivos de Comunicación (Dircom). Montserrat Tarrés, President.

Associaçao Portuguesa de Comunicaçao de Empresa (APCE), Paula Portugal, Managing Director.

Fundacom. Teresa Mañueco, Board Member.

European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA). Ángeles Moreno, Executive Director.

Corporate Excellence. Ángel Alloza, CEO.

Richard Edelman, President and CEO Edelman Public Relations.

Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management. José Manuel Velasco, Chair.

Jean Valin, founding member and Past Chair of the Global Alliance.

GWPR Deutschland Launches

We are delighted to welcome GWPR Deutschland to our growing global network.

On 16th January 2018 over 60 of Germany’s most senior communications professionals joined together in Munich to celebrate the launch of Germany’s very first female networking group for senior PR and Communications professionals.

The group is being led by Cornelia Kunze (formerly at Edelman and now an independent consultant) supported by three of Germany’s top professionals – Barbara Schaedler from E.ON, Sabia Schwarzer from Allianz and Monika Schaller from Deutsche Bank. They are joined by a further 10 senior women from leading German businesses and PR agencies – including Ogilvy, Edelman and Hering Schuppener.

GWPR Deutschland Founder Members

Commenting on their decision to launch GWPR Deutschland and the thinking behind the establishment of the first German group Cornelia Kunze had this to say:

“Compared to other professions there are a large number of  women working in communications. However, relatively few hold senior management positions. We want to change that. Our goal is to encourage women and help them to take leadership roles in our profession. We want to exchange views, strengthen and support each other and be mentors for young women developing their careers. We offer regular meetings and events and the opportunity for a personal exchange, cross-company discussions and mentoring.”

Incorporated in January 2018 as a non-profit association the group will be financed through membership fees and sponsorships. Women in communication professions with a minimum of ten years of professional experience can apply for full membership and those with of five years professional experience can apply to be associate members.

The Group, which is now actively recruiting members, has already put in place an impressive calendar of events for the year.

The celebration for the launch took place in Allianz’s stylish corporate offices in Munich. Included in the evenings event was a thought provoking debate on leadership – What is stopping women becoming leaders? Is it women themselves, or is it the working environment which prevents them?

GWPR Deutschland e.V. · Pelkovenstraße 147 · 80992 München · · @GWPRDeutschland


Author: Global Women in PR (GWPR).