Friday, October 22, 2010

Public Affairs professionals should be transparent and adopt best practices to enhance credibility

PodUniversal Edition 115
In the recent years, Public Affairs (PA)  is emerging as a sub-sect of Public Relations (PR) Profession.  While PR is a traditional one, dealing with the relationship of all stakeholders, PA focusses on the  public policy and relationship with the Government.  In the developed nations like US and Europe, PA has become one of the recognised and reputed professions.
Roger Hayes
In the developing nations like India, this profession is yet to get good recognition and credibility.  There are many reasons for this phenomenon.  Now, many of the Public Relations Agencies have also started PA divisions to provide this special services.  In the anxiety to get the works done, some of the professionals involve themselves in un-ethical practices and resort to 'quick-fix' solutions.  This also brings down the credibility of the profession.
Recently, one of the CEOs of a well known Indian Public Relations Agency was debated in Indian  Parliament for the alleged role in 2G spectrum scam.  Media carried negative perception about this profession itself.   With this background, we wanted to bring out our October 2010 issue of ezine PreSense on this theme 'Public Affairs'.
Though we approached the CEOs of many Indian PR Agencies, who claim to offer Public Affairs Services, none of them even acknowledged our mails. Now, probably, they are highly scared of investigation by Government agencies, if they say openly that they offer PA services. They should not fear, if they follow ethical practices. 
However, Indian CEO of  APCO Worldwide, one of the globally reputed Public Affairs firm responded to our mail and connected us with Mr Roger Hayes, their Senior Counselor.  Mr Roger is one of the globally renowned  Public Relations and Public Affairs specialist.
In a free-wheeling conversation with me over telephone  for PodUniversal, he shared frankly his views on the present state of affairs of this profession globally and also suggested ways to improve the credibility. He suggested that the PA professionals should not resort to quick-fix solutions and should be more transparent.  He also suggested that they should come together and share the global best practices.  Please listen to his interview by clicking 'play' button.
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