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PR professionals - join the NUJ today

20 March 2014

Mark Whitehead

A recent survey found that nine out of 10 people in PR roles consider being a professional to be important.

That comes as no surprise to us in the PR and Communications branch of the NUJ. We have always believed that upholding high ethical standards, producing the best work and dealing constructively with colleagues and clients to be at the heart of our professionalism.

Our code of ethical conduct spells out what this means in practice and many of the issues we actively campaign on - lobbying transparency, local authority publicity and defending PR in the NHS, for example  -  are based on our fight for high professional standards.

But professionalism depends on the ability of individuals to stand up for themselves when called on to do things they know to be wrong. That is where being a member of a union is essential.

The survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations is interesting in many ways. Less than half of those surveyed held any professional qualification and two thirds believed on-the-job experience was the most important asset to them. At the same time more than nine in ten thought they had the right skills for their current role.

What the NUJ adds to that picture is that we know many PR people face a hard time defending themselves in tough situations.

The NUJ fulfills a unique role in supporting members upholding high standards when it becomes difficult because of pressure from managers, clients or third parties. The union offers the kind of support needed to challenge unreasonable demands and fight for decent working conditions.

We support members facing the threat of redundancy, low pay and unfair treatment. And with colleagues in our union who work in newspapers, magazines, books, new media and other sectors we have the strength to make a difference.

If you have colleagues who are not yet members, please ask them to join the NUJ  -  the union for PR professionals!

Mark is the secretary of the NUJ PR & Communications branch and member of the PR & Communications council

More information to help recruit PR professionals to the NUJ

To join the NUJ today, visit the dedicated section of the NUJ website and complete an online application form. Any questions please email:

This comment piece was orginally published in the branch newsletter, for more information about the branch, visit their website: NUJ PR and Communications branch website

Download the NUJ PR ethical guidance

Download the NUJ PR recruitment leaflet

To order NUJ recruitment materials for your area, please complete the online request form.


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