PR industry shows cautious support for Leveson Report recommendations

London, 29th November – A survey of PR Managing Directors and Communications Directors has revealed that the PR industry supports the general aims of the Leveson Report published today.

A slim majority (43%) of the 110 respondents agreed with Lord Justice Leveson that the press should be regulated by an independent, self-regulatory body that is underpinned by statutory legislation. However, sizeable minorities favoured a model that involved either a newspaper ombudsman (26%) or giving the existing Press Complaints Commission (PCC) tougher powers (31%). No respondents favoured strict statutory regulation.

PR industry leaders demonstrated a greater consensus that the impact the results will have on the PR industry will be positive or significantly positive (52%), with only 18% believing it will have a negative or significantly negative impact.

There is also strong agreement (74%) that the Report’s recommendations will lead to an improvement in media standards in the UK. Only 3% felt the recommendations would lead to a decline in press standards.

Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General, said: “The PRCA welcomes the Report’s proposals to replace the redundant Press Complaints Commission, and establish a new independent body that the press will subscribe to.

“The question of press regulation touches on very sensitive subjects such as the freedom of expression on the one hand, and the right to privacy on the other.

“The press should take the problem away from the Government by creating quickly a new self-regulatory body that all are signed up to. However, the regulatory body must have the powers to incentivise good behaviour.”

 

Do you agree with the Leveson Report’s recommendations on press regulation?            

Yes          43%       

No           39%       

Unsure  18%       

 

What was the best option for Leveson to take regarding press regulation?

The option it has taken: Statutory underpinning of an independent, self-regulatory body             43%      

Statutory regulation: Stricter regulation of the press, enforceable by law              0%        

New Press Complaints Council: Tougher self-regulation body with investigative arm. One proposal suggests body should be independent from newspaper industry 31%      

Newspaper ombudsman: Self-regulatory body, working alongside PCC, to deal with standards

26%       

 

What impact will Leveson’s recommendations have on the PR industry?            

Significantly positive       10%       

Positive                              42%       

No impact                          30%       

Negative                             13%       

Significantly negative         5%         

 

What effect will the report and the Government’s response have on media standards in the UK?          

Standards will improve significantly          8%         

Standards will improve marginally           66%       

Standards will stay the same                    23%       

Standards will decline marginally              2%         

Standards will decline significantly            1%        

 

 

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

For more information on PRCA research, please contact tom.hawkins@prca.org.uk

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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