Ethical standards and quality criteria are high on the agenda for PR agencies in Austria to assure potential and existing clients of their trustworthiness following a series of scandals over the past few years, and subsequent image problems. Now a certification based on the ICCO CMS standards has been developed.
The Austrian PR Quality Trust Seal has been developed by the PRVA (Public Relations Verband Austria*) and the PR Quality Austria. This new system is suitable for agencies as well as in-house communications departments and institutions.
To qualify for the Austrian PR Quality Seal ethics, content material and organisational criteria are assessed together with guidelines for corporate governance and/or departmental management. The requirements are clearly formulated and then the individual agencies and communications departments decide on how to implement the standard as required by their own specific benchmarks, all of which ensures the greatest degree of flexibility.
Since its introduction on 26 March 2014 eight PR agencies, one company and one government department have been awarded the trust seal and several others are in the process of preparation. The more companies, agencies, NGO and governmental departments that are awarded the trust seal the more likely PR Quality is to reach one of its overriding objectives: to make the trust seal a decisive criteria in the bidding process.
ICCO President, David Gallagher, commented, “Austria has shown that our CMS-criteria can easily be adapted to local conditions and are seen as a role model for a national trust seal. The industry needs transparent and high quality standards as an answer to the scandals and image problems it was facing. With the Austrian PR Quality Trust Seal the Austrian PR industry is on its way to ensure trust in the industry again.”
Susanne Senft, said, “It is important for the industry in Austria to get back on track and the seal will be of great benefit in helping all involved in the industry to do just that.”
For further information on the Austrian PR Quality Trust Seal visit http://www.prquality.at/en.html
*PRVA is the biggest independent public relations association in Austria and is based on voluntary membership. It represents communication experts in companies, agencies, organizations and consultants across Austria.