Letter: No place for 'monsters' among PR professionals

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The Independent Online
Sir: Very few of the 5,000 members of the Institute of Public Relations would recognise the fantasy figures described by Bryan Appleyard in his imaginative piece 'John Major ate our monsters' (11 February). If, indeed, there are people who purport to practise public relations and act as described, then what they do bears no resemblance to the activities of most 'non-monster' public relations professionals.

Certainly the daily lives - and even the worst nightmares - of our 5,000 members do not contain the sort of 'quick fixes' that he described.

More important than the monsters are the public relations staff and consultants employed by many of Britain's most successful, and respectable, companies. Members of the Institute of Public Relations are bound by the strict guidelines of our code of conduct, and work to professional standards to achieve clearly measurable results for their employers and clients. Those looking to employ public relations practitioners should demand such protection against reckless behaviour.

As we have seen demonstrated time and again, high-profile Machiavellian behaviour in the name of public relations is very far from successful; sometimes it may provide a quick fix, but in the longer term it is highly damaging.

If Mr Major really is eating such monsters, I for one wish him a hearty appetite.

Yours faithfully,



Institute of Public Relations

London, EC1

12 February