PRCA launches Intern Guidelines to improve industry standards in treatment of interns


London, 16 January – The PRCA has today issued strict guidance to the PR industry to pay interns the National Minimum Wage, as just one recommendation in its newly-published Intern Guidelines, a wide-ranging publication aimed at improving communications industry standards in internships.

The Intern Guidelines, compiled by the PRCA and its members, form part of its campaign to end unpaid internships in the PR industry and fulfil a commitment recommended by its Access Commission to produce best practice guidance for internships. The Guidelines feature guest sections from Intern Aware and the Taylor Bennett Foundation.

To see the Guidelines please click here

The Guidelines strictly state that internships are ‘contracted, non-voluntary work’ and that organisations are legally obligated to pay interns, as legislation states all workers in the UK that are older than the compulsory school leaving age have an entitlement to be paid at least National Minimum Wage.

Since the PRCA intern campaign’s launch by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, in October 2011, the number of PRCA member agencies that have signed up to a list of agencies that pay their interns at least the National Minimum Wage has tripled. Currently there are 79 agencies signed up to the list.

Introducing the Guidelines, PRCA Director General Francis Ingham said: “It is now our duty, and our responsibility, to attract the very brightest talent, regardless of background - and to remove the barriers to accessing our industry that unpaid internships are creating.”

Mike Maynard, Napier PR Managing Director, and a key contributor to the Guidelines, stated: “Using interns as cheap labour is dumb: you might imagine your clients don’t realise what’s going on, but they probably do, and they’ll question the value.”

Ben Lyons, Director of Intern Aware, said: “"The PRCA's guidelines represent a really positive step forward for the PR industry. We hope PR firms adopt them as a means of ensuring fairness - and recruiting better staff."

The Intern Guidelines cover all stages of the internship from the selection process all the way through to the exit interview. The Guidelines also provide valuable information for aspiring interns in public relations, from interview conduct to how to make the most of internship opportunities.

All PRCA members will be receiving a hard copy in the post, while non-members can order a free hard copy here.



Notes to editors

For more information on the PRCA's intern campaign, please contact or visit  our intern campaign page 

About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 300 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

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