Ethical standards remain crucial for the African PR industry new report finds

Adhering to ethical standards remains essential for the best practices in public relations and communication. All members of APRA and PRCA are required to follow the APRA Code of Conduct and PRCA Professional Charter and Codes of Conduct, respectively, and are accountable for doing so.


The African Public Relations Association (APRA) and Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) have jointly released their report on the state of ethics and public relations industry in Africa for 2023. The report is based on a survey conducted across 21 African countries with 274 respondents.


The report highlights a shift in priorities for PR activities in the past two years, with crisis management (44%) taking over from digital and social media (40%) as the highest priority. Reputation management (42%) is also considered to be a high priority. Ethics management (16%), sales promotion (14%), and event planning (14%) have decreased in importance due to the impact of COVID-19 and the shift towards digitisation.


The joint research also found that training and development in communication strategy development (59%), reputation management (51%), crisis management (42%), and ethics management (41%) are highly recommended in the region. Respondents also expressed a strong interest in training sessions on the metaverse, highlighting the importance of keeping up with contemporary matters such as artificial intelligence.


Other key findings:


  • Most respondents work within an organisation that has between two to five employees (17%), followed by 11 to 15 people (15%).
  • Communications strategy development (61%) is the most common response for the main function of PR practitioners' roles.
  • Crisis management has taken over from digital and social media as the highest priority, with a 10% decrease compared to last year.
  • Ethics management, sales promotion, and events planning have decreased in importance.
  • Flexible working and remote working are valued only 14% and 10% of the time, respectively.
  • 46% of respondents reported working in a hybrid model, 34% are in the office full time, while 17% are fully remote.

Reputation Matters Managing Director Regine le Roux said:

“Prioritising ethics is crucial within the public relations landscape, more so than ever before on our continent. At Reputation Matters we believe that research is the springboard to success, and with this collaboration, the insights will help to build and strengthen the industry to help build individual, organisational, and country reputations. We are thrilled to play a part in quantifying value across the continent."