and Neville Hobson
, presenters of the weekly FIR podcast series, recently wrote about the need for more regulation in the public relations industry. PRSA
chair and CEO Gerard Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA
commented on both pieces providing valuable insight into the pitfalls of regulation.
In Holtz’s post on July 30, “Jaw-dropping Abuses Labeled as PR Signal That the Time is Now for Certification
,” he discusses the need to create accreditation or certification boundaries to better define the responsibilities of a public relations professional and to ensure that the profession adheres to a code of ethics. Hobson takes Holtz’s argument one step further in his August 8th post, “Drawing the Line on Ethics in PR
,” suggesting that past and present public relations crises may indicate that there have been “behavior shifts in society that require a re-think on what ‘ethical behavior’ in practicing PR means.”
In a response to both posts, Corbett explained that “PRSA tried for more than 50 years to enforce its Code of Ethics
. Sadly, the effort was vexed by a lack of cooperation; enormous legal and investigative expenses; significant investments of time, money and resources for investigating alleged violations; and a slow but steadily growing realization that the meager results of the effort in relation to the time and resources required, failed to provide a valuable return on investment for PRSA, its members or the broader profession.”
While Corbett expressed that PRSA is interested in being part of a solution with regard to reigning in unethical behavior in the industry, he also acknowledges that there are still potential liabilities in implementing enforcement measures.