PRCA revises Client Consultancy Partnership Charter in line with modern industry needs


The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has today launched the 2024 edition of its Client Consultancy Partnership Charter, a comprehensive framework designed to develop collaboration and effectiveness within the public relations industry. This 11-Point Charter underscores the PRCA’s commitment to promoting true partnerships between PR practitioners and their clients, clear communication, and the highest standards of professionalism. For the first time, AI is included in the Charter.

Since the last edition was published in 2013, PR has changed dramatically, with new technology, a more diverse workforce, and more flexible organisational structures. The new Charter extends beyond traditional PR agencies and clients, encompassing freelancers and individuals, recognising the need for clear and open communication between all stakeholders involved in public relations projects.

The Charter does not tackle issues such as payment terms as these are covered in standard contractual arrangements. It aims to supplement legal standards with fundamental principles that enhance the effectiveness of relationships and improve overall results.

The 2024 revision is a result of the collaborative efforts of the PRCA Public Relations and Communications Professional Board’s working group. Key features of the relaunched Charter include:

1. Confidentiality: Ensuring the protection of sensitive information.

2. Transparency: Promoting openness in communication and operations.

3. Codes of Conduct: Adhering to ethical and professional standards.

4. Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines: Encouraging a diverse and inclusive industry.

5. Protection of Intellectual Property (IP): Safeguarding creative assets and ideas.

6. Unplanned Work: Addressing unexpected tasks and their implications.

7. Overservicing: Managing workload to avoid overcommitment.

8. Staff Movement: Guidelines for employees transitioning between client and consultancy roles.

9. Annual Review and Adjustments: Periodic assessment of consultancy fees and adjustments.

10. Costs of Specialist Tools: Transparency on expenses related to specialized resources.

11. Budget Transparency: Clear communication on how budgets are allocated and spent.

12. AI Integration: Incorporating AI in strategic planning and evaluation.

PRCA members are encouraged to utilise the Charter in their engagements with clients, freelancers, and other stakeholders. Those who publicly commit to using the Charter will receive a Charter Mark, symbolising their dedication to industry best practices. Additionally, the name of their organisation and testimonial will be added to the website. To sign up, please contact Debbie Little.

James Hewes, PRCA Chief Executive, said: “The original Charter was developed to be mutually beneficial for PR agency and client alike. We have updated the Charter, in line with considerable feedback from within our industry, so that it reflects modern best practice – but it remains true to the original concept: that consultancies and clients that work effectively together build longer-lasting and successful business relationships.”

PR industry leaders have welcomed the new edition of the Charter.

Alex Silcox, Hill & Knowlton Chief Client Officer, said:

“We welcome the updated Client Consultancy Partnership Charter. The pace of change in our industry, driven by scaling technologies and shifting cultural and social headwinds continues to challenge as well as inspire. The importance of true partnership as we help our clients innovate for growth, manage risk and protect reputation can’t be overstated. And that partnership is always stronger based on mutual respect, transparency and understanding – all aspects the charter helps champion and protect.”

Grayling Chief Commercial Officer, Jonathan Curtis, said:

“I’m delighted to see the updated iteration of the charter. It has always been so useful to have a clear set of principles that can guide all parts of the client/agency relationship. I’m particularly delighted to see the new guidance around AI which will help us all as we navigate this transformational technology.”

Amanda Meyrick, Clarion Communications Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The PRCA’s Client Consultancy Partnership Charter could be a very powerful agreement if adopted by enough agencies and clients. I like to think that we all behave fairly towards each other, but it will certainly help to have gold standard behaviour spelt out for all to embrace.”

Victoria O’Brien, Head of Marketing, 72Point, said:

“In our industry, true success stems from partnerships built on mutual commitment and understanding. The PRCA Charter embodies this ethos, fostering collaborative relationships where clients and consultancies align their efforts to achieve shared objectives. By prioritising transparent communication and respecting each other’s commercial imperatives, this 11-Point Charter empowers us all, whether PR agencies, freelancers, or organisations, to deliver their utmost while ensuring clients receive exceptional value and most importantly, impact from their campaigns.”

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