PRISA welcomes PRCA decision to expel Bell Pottinger for unethical conduct


The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) acknowledges the Public Relations and Communications Association’s (PRCA) decision to expel Bell Pottinger for breaching the Professional Charter, and Public Affairs and Lobbying Code of Conduct through the work the company did in South Africa. The finding should be an eye-opener for public relations firms and their clients to establish relationships based on ethical conduct and professional standards. 

PRISA members must adhere to the local body’s Code of Ethics and Professional Standards and to that set by its international partnership with Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management. Conduct of the Institute’s individual and consultancy members is governed by the Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.

“Ours is not the business of deception or alternative facts, but the business of accurate information, positive perceptions, mutually beneficial relationships, professional standards and ethical conduct. Public relations and communication management professionals have the power and opportunity to influence behaviour – positively or negatively, and it is our responsibility to ensure that power is used in the right way,” says Malesela Maubane, PRISA President Elect.

The ‘Paid Twitter’ or ‘War Room’ debacle, which gained momentum in the run up to the 2016 Local Government Elections in South Africa, is in PRISA’s view also an illustration of irresponsible use of communication channels, unethical conduct and unprofessional standards in public relations and communication management.

Maubane further says that advancing the 2012 Draft Green Paper on Legislated Regulation for the communication management profession remains PRISA’s top priority. Accelerated discussions and vigorous engagements with relevant stakeholders is ongoing. PRISA is urging closer collaboration among industry bodies, due to the Institute being only able to only sanction public relations and communication management professionals who are its members.

As an organisation with a Diamond Jubilee heritage, PRISA’s focus remains on regulatory aspects, transformation, advocacy, professional standards and ethics, the development of the body of knowledge, and being the go to place for latest development and training pertaining to the industry.


About Author

Thabo Mphahlele is the BizNis Africa Head of Sales and Marketing. Mphahlele was previously MultiChoice Production Support Analyst responsible for developing and monitoring applications. In addition, Mphahlele develops and automates batch scripts and is responsible for the daily infrastructure maintenance at MultiChoice. As a Production Support Analyst, he is responsible for incident analysis solving , developing and constructing business reports for SQL and Oracle and implement change controls for the business. Additional responsibility includes monitoring system performance via SOA, Kibaba (Elasticsearch), H.P BSM, HP Sitescope. Mphahlele is responsible for creating infrastructure performance reports through HP Ops Analytics, monitoring payments via Splunk and in-house built-in tool and disaster recovery simulation and testing. At Nashua Mobile, he was responsible for application development and enhancing the web sites At South West Gauteng College, he was the IT Technician and Network Administrator. During his tenure at Double Digit Media, he was he focused on application and web site development for new and existing clients Mphahlele contributes as a Content Manager for BizNis Africa.

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