How should a PR professional deal with disinformation? APRA introduced 7 principles

Prague, 18. 5. 2021 – The Association of Public Relations (APRA) perceives an intensive spread of disinformation in the Czech society as a serious problem but also as a great challenge for PR professionals. At the Forum Media Light conference, APRA presented seven principles of how a PR professional should deal with disinformation. The principles represent the first comprehensive set of recommendations on this topic. The aim of APRA is to open a professional discussion through these recommendations.


14.03.2022 – Last year, APRA started to support an initiative called Nelež, which helps to eliminate banner advertising on disinformation websites. “This kind of advertising gives disinformation sites credibility, directly supports their operation and at the same time, also means a reputational risk for the advertiser,” says the chief of APRA, Patrik Schober. “We are glad that the Nelež initiative continues to grow and that there are more than a hundred companies today which have committed themselves to not advertise on these platforms. Many of them are also members of APRA. ”

However, concerns for the relationship between disciplines like PR and fake news are not just about advertising on disinformation websites. Brands can easily become the target of fake news, subsequently impacting them negatively. “It is necessary to be prepared for situations like this, to be able to react quickly and to effectively disprove disinformation,” says Michal Vlasák, a member of the APRA Executive Board.

An additional concern is that by expanding the influence of disinformation, the trust in traditional media is declining. “Strong traditional media and the ongoing democratic debate on them represents a fundamental context for the field of public relations. That is why it is essential for our profession to support and cooperate with such media which strives for factual discussion and quality journalism, “adds Michal Vlasák. According to APRA, PR professionals, as experts in the media scene, can also use their expertise, understand the problem well and explain it to the public. In this way, they can contribute to increasing media literacy, which is at a low level in the Czech population.


How should a PR professional deal with misinformation?

7 principles according to APRA:

  1. Be clear about what disinformation is; be sure about how to discover it and where it most often comes from.
  2. Use your media expertise and educate your surroundings about what disinformation is and what risks it could bring.
  3. Do not advertise on disinformation websites. This is a reputational risk for your organization and a support for the spread of disinformation. Support serious media, you need them for your work.
  4. Do not inform operators of disinformation media. Operators and editors of disinformation media are not the same partner for a PR professional as regular journalists.
  5. Get ready. Disinformation can endanger an organization’s reputation and is a significant source of crisis communication. Define procedures for crisis communication that arises from disinformation.
  6. Ignoring misinformation may not be the solution. In the situation of a reputation threat, carefully consider how to disprove the disinformation so that it is not strengthened.
  7. Find independent sources of objective information, verify the facts with them and, if necessary, involve them in communication. Use fact-checking platforms.



Patrik Schober

APRA Chairman

APRA – Asociace public relations, z. s. | Na Poříčí 12, 110 00 Praha 1

Tel.: +420 224 875 320, +420 775 351 034 | Email: |

PR Agencies Are Changing – And Not A Moment Too Soon

Written by: David Gallagher


Senior Partner/CEO Ketchum Europe
President, ICCO

One of the benefits of volunteering time to be active in industry associations like ICCO is the opportunity to learn from colleagues, thought-leaders and even competitors on what’s going on outside your own agency, and in conversations with smart innovators from the world, there’s a consistent theme: change.

Few of the leaders in the PR business I’ve met over the past year doubt that the agency world is undergoing significant transformation, and most would agree these changes are coming just in the nick of time.  Our business is no less vulnerable to the disruption we’ve seen in other industries – music, travel or, of course, the media – and the best agencies have plenty to teach us all when it comes to providing better service, developing stronger talent and building more resilient business models.

A few of the ways they’re changing (and what we can learn):

  1. Media relations – part of what marketers might assign to the ‘earned’ component of their channel mix (paid, earned, shared/social and owned) – is as valuable as ever. It’s a true differentiator against others that might specialise in advertising or website development for example.  But to survive in an integrated world, the strongest agencies are building their own capabilities to amplify content through paid channels, develop social media strategies and produce content that works across all channels.
  1. Leveraged teams – led by senior (and expensive) experts and supported by less experienced (and less expensive) layers of juniors still has a place in procurement-driven engagements. But this place may be shrinking as clients look for new areas of specialist skill, new ways of pricing work and new expectations for the actual results of an agency engagement.  Some agencies are finding success with more ‘liquid’ teams and flexible structures to accommodate changing client expectations and budgets.
  1. The boundaries between ‘independent’ and ‘network’ offerings are blurring. There are advantages to both, but many independent agencies are building their own networks of like-minded consultancies to provide expertise and reach wherever their clients need it, while many network agencies are developing their own ‘boutique’ offers and specialist services to offer widely to clients of all sizes.
  1. The talent coming into PR is stronger than ever – we need to nurture it. Most markets report greater numbers of stronger applicants entering the agency business than ever before – welcome news for business models that rely almost entirely on human brain-power.  Once in, however, great hires are not always easy to hold, with many lured into corporate assignments or other industries.  Great agencies learn how to anticipate and meet the needs of the ‘millennial’ generation for more sustainable, dynamic teams.
  1. Data, analytics and measurement are finally here.  Really. One of the most discussed but least-realised topics in PR has been the need for stronger research and robust measurement.   We have all discussed, agreed and, mostly, ignored.  No longer.  The most innovative agencies see that easily accessible data, simple analytics and a client orientation to proven results can offer a competitive advantage, which they are putting to work.

Another great thing about being active in local, national or international industry organisations like ICCO is the opportunity to meet the people leading the way in these areas, and hearing first hand of their successes in ways you can apply to your agency and your own career.

I know – I have had the pleasure to meet and learn from the best, from my own agency and our fiercest competitors.

And now you can too – at the global ICCO summit in Milan this October. If any of these topics are vexing you and your teams (or if you have successful solution to share), you won’t have a better opportunity to interact with our industry’s leading thinkers and problem solvers than this one-of-a-kind conference.

ICCO Global Summit 2015: Click here to register today!

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 in 31 countries across the globe in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australasia. Collectively, these associations represent over 2,000 PR firms.

Contact Binta Kristin Hammerich, ICCO Global General Manager