Doomsday is approaching for industry self-regulation

This is number 5 of an 8 part series of observations following a study of  ethical, moral and codified guidance provided by a variety of respected Public Relations Associations from the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

On May 4 2012 the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) published the first sector supplement for media. This covered areas such as transparency on decision making processes and public policy, editorial independence, financial assistance and advertising revenues from governments and non-government sources and freedom of expression ((GRI), 2011).

This year it also launched the first GRI sector supplement for event management with a special focus on the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

These supplements do not appear to have PR industry backing (see Participants in GRI Sector Supplement Development below) and are influenced by NGOs and pressure groups looking to ensure public interest are at the forefront of the agenda.

(i)                  Participants in GRI Sector Supplement Development

Event Management Supplement Media Sector Supplement
  • Sustainable Events Ltd
  • The Austrian and Swiss governments
  • The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG)
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
  • Julie’s Bicycle, UK
  • MeetGreen, USA
  • Vancouver Olympics, Canada
  • IYCN, India
  • IMEX, UK
  • Hillside Digital Trust, South Africa
  • Meeting Change, Canada
  • MCI Group, Switzerland
  • Service Employees International Union, USA
  • CSO Network, Japan
  • International Annual Meeting on Language Arrangements (IAMLADP) & Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), UN, Chile
  • Austrian Institute of Ecology, Austria
  • Live Earth, USA
  • Reed Exhibitions Ltd, UK
  • Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE), Switzerland
  • Rolf Schwery Consulting, Switzerland
  • European Sponsorship Association (ESA) – Gameplan Limited, UK
  • Transparency International, Germany
  • Ibero-American New Journalism Foundation
  • The Avina Foundation
  • The Program for Journalism Studies of the Javeriana University
  • Bertlesmann, Germany
  • Vivendi, France
  • Global Forum for Media Development, USA
  • UNI Global Union, Switzerland
  • Gestevision Telecinco, Spain
  • Sustainable Investments Institute, USA
  • The Guardian, UK
  • Transparency International, Germany
  • NSJ Trust, Mozambique
  • TNT Broadcasting Network, Russia
  • The Nature Conservancy, USA
  • Reed Elsevier, UK
  • Grupo Clarin, Argentina
  • Warner Brother Entertainment Inc., USA
  • Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
  • Media Development Loan Fund, USA
  •  Antena de Television S.A, Spain
  • Gazprom Media Holding, Russia
  • Brazilian News Agency for Children’s Rights, Brasil
  • Alianzas para la sostenbilidad (Alisos), Colombia

If the many communications and public relations associations do not come together quickly to identify a common code and a methodology for enforcement, then it will be the GRI or another third party that eventually sets the standards.

The author believes is an inevitable outcome. Therefore, it is highly recommended that Associations now begin to reach out to the GRI and begin dialogue with other public interests groups and each other and begin the process of defining what should measured and how.


About stephenking2012

In 2012 I volunteered to hold the position of Chair - Standards & Ethics Committee for the Middle East PR Association (@MEPRA_org). I have set up this account to assist in this effort. You may also like to follow my Blog or connect with me on LinkedIn. In any case, please do visit, and if you are not yet a member, please do sign up!
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