Thursday, March 22, 2018

Paul Holmes: Morality is not optional

Paul Holmes is a world-renowned authority on public relations and reputation management.

When Paul talks, several of the global PR giants pause to ponder. But his latest column, In Modern PR, Morality Is Not Optional; It's Foundational could shake the giants out of their slumber and complacency. “Good relations between an organization and its stakeholders are built on trust; trust is gained by acting ethically,” he wrote. “So ethical decision-making is good public relations.”

For the uninitiated, Paul is founder and chair of The Holmes Group. He has been writing about public relations for more than 25 years. Paul created the annual Public Relations Agency Report Card and the Creativity in Public Relations Awards. His group’s flagship title, The Holmes Report, covers the public relations business in the Americas, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and the Asia-Pacific region. In 2011, Paul was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame.

This is not the first time the publication is focusing on ethics. In October 2017, the Holmes Report published a report, ICCO Summit: Helsinki Declaration Outlines Ethical Principles For  PR. 
Last fortnight, the Holmes Report published a report on global PR trade bodies’ decision to set up an ethics task force following the Bell Pottinger scandal.
Equally forthright is Alex Malouf, Corporate Communications Manager, Procter & Gamble, the Arabian Peninsula, who has worked across the Middle East for 12 years. “Are agencies willing to sacrifice a paying client for whom they’d have to undertake work which is unethical or moral?” Malouf raised the question in his column in the Holmes Report in October 2017. “The pressure to continually show growth is relentless, and it’d take an incredibly brave agency country head to turn around to his or boss and say, ‘I’m sorry, but what we’re being asked to do is unethical’… It’s easy to talk about ethics in Washington and London, but is the same message being applied in Africa and Asia?”


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