- PRSA and Council for PR Firms take no stance. With the opportunity to take a stand, and put out a strong statment on the Armstrong Williams issue, and PR's future, both PRSA and Council for PR Firms decided that all the blame lay at the feet of ... Armstrong Williams.
From the NYT article:
Judith T. Phair, the president and chief executive of the Public Relations Society of America for 2005, condemned the decision by Mr. Williams to, as she put it, promote the law "without revealing that his comments were paid for by a public relations agency under contract to the government."
"Any paid endorsement that is not fully disclosed as such and is presented as objective news coverage," Ms. Phair said, is a violation of the group's code of ethics, "which requires that public relations professionals engage in open, honest communications and fully disclose sponsors or financial interests involved in any paid communications activities."
The agencies' trade association, the Council of Public Relations Firms in New York, also has an ethics code, but Ketchum did not violate it, the council president, Kathy Cripps, said.
"Public relations needs to express total accuracy and truthfulness," Ms. Cripps said. However, she added, referring to Mr. Williams, "it was the spokesperson's responsibility to disclose the affiliation" rather than Ketchum's.
I'm not excusing what Williams did - and we all know that he's paying the price, losing Tribune and possibly Sinclair - but there is enough blame to be spread around.
My main thought, though, is are these associations afraid to come out with anything too strong which would offend the member base that is employed by Ketchum?
- Greg Hoffman's Blog ... I added a new blog to my list, which is usually not Snippets material. But, I wanted to point out what else Greg Hoffman is involved with: Yahoo Group's Small PR Agency Pros.
The Small PR Agency Pros list is a great message board for any individual practioner. It's a group of open dialogue, where members ask for brainstorming ideas and actually provide input and thought. If you are in PR or starting out in PR, it's a group that's worth joining because the members are proactive.
Greg also has a cool security focused blog, which is something all PC users should be aware of at all times.
- NewComm Forum is a comin' ... As I continue to prepare for the NewComm Forum, I have had a lot of great conversations with different companies, and learned what they are doing in regards to the blogosphere.
Some of the stuff is very cool, and more attuned to the average PR person, our less tech-savvy peers.
Hope to see you there!