It’s great to reach an agreement, but how can we breathe life into the set of words that form the Stockholm Accords?
If the Accords are to have any long term impact on the profession, then associations, individuals, companies, consultancies, educators – indeed, anyone who has the potential to use the Accords as a basis for improving the understanding of public relations and communication management – needs to do something with them.
The Accords challenge us on two fronts; we can use it to advocate within our organisations to argue and demonstrate where public relations provides value, or we can use its contents to improve the function and reputation of public relations and communication management with other professions, management functions and the community at large.
So what does ‘implementation’ look like?
Implementation of the Accords can be small scale or large scale, and will depend on who you are, what you do, in what context you operate and the resources you have at your disposal – although even with limited resources, there is always something you can be involved with.
Here is a ten-step starter plan for you to consider
- Read, understand and interpret the contents of the final text
- Consider how and where the Accords has particular relevance to your situation
- Determine which challenge you can rise to – advocating organisational value or advocating professional and reputational value
- Research and decide on your stakeholder community (if you are a solo practitioner it could be a single client or client group, if you are a professional association, it could be your membership or the business community, if you are an educator, your faculty or school)
- Use your research to benchmark current perceptions, understanding and perceived value of public relations and communications within your community.
- Determine your outcomes – relationship, knowledge, understanding, behavioural etc..
- Plan and implement your mini or macro programme, using the available research and other resources provided to help you present your case
- Monitor as you go, and share your experiences here so we can learn from each other
- Towards the end of our two year time frame – the ‘global report-back’ being at the WPRF in 2012 – repeat your research, collate your monitoring data and evaluate progress
- Tell us how it went. Did it work? How? Was there greater understanding? Why?
Implementation of the Accords is not in the hands of one organisation or body – it is an ongoing, shared task for all of us, which means the individual as well as the large corporate or professional association may participate. There are some examples that you can think about, which we hope will provide inspiration and insight as to the part you can play in a process that will, it is hoped, demonstrate the value of public relations and communication management to a wide variety of stakeholders and increase their understanding of its significance.