PRSK demands ethical, responsible communication from political parties and candidates during election period

PRSK demands ethical, responsible communication from political parties and candidates during election period

The Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK), the Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK) and the Association of Public Relations Management Firms (APReCoM) have called for ethical and responsible communication from political parties and candidates during this election period.

Having carefully considered the prevailing political climate, the organisations have expressed their concerns, aiming them at aspirants eyeing seats in the upcoming polls.

“We are cognisant that communication is key to sharing and selling political ideals of political parties and candidates, as well as persuading and influencing voters’ choices within ethical and responsible parameters,” the groups said in a statement signed by PRSK Chairperson Jane Gitau, APReCOM Chairperson Lawrence Gikaru and MSK CEO Joseph Karamoja.

The organisations stated that they remain concerned at the growing level of political intolerance and unethical communication practices.

“Our institutional media monitoring frameworks have confirmed the growing dissemination of deliberate misinformation and propaganda on several media platforms designed to appeal to base emotive instincts,” the trio added.

They argued that the dissemination of such information is being blatantly and openly perpetuated by groupings which appear to be closely related to the leading political parties and or presidential candidates.

“Our fears are particularly heightened by the fact that the candidates and sponsoring parties have not seen it fit to denounce the platforms or messages ostensibly crafted to advance their campaigns,” they said.

To ensure professional integrated communication standards, the groups reiterated that they shall not hesitate to institute disciplinary action against any of their members cited for involvement in activities that are not consistent with their respective professional codes of ethics.

Members of the public are encouraged to report any professional malpractice incidents to their respective secretariats.

“We call upon the respective constitutional and law enforcement agencies including the IEBC, National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Kenya Film Classification Board, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, National Police Service, Media Council of Kenya, Communications Authority of Kenya and the Judiciary among others, to handle their respective dockets with the seriousness it deserves at this crucial period. These agencies cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostrich,” the organisations’ representatives said.

PRSK, with more than 500 individual active members, was established in 1971 and serves as the professional body guiding the PR practice in Kenya.

The Marketing Society of Kenya is the national umbrella body for all marketers in Kenya whose key mandate is to empower and regulate the marketing industry by creating policy that governs the Marketing Industry (self-regulated), education and training of professionals, corporates and entrepreneurs, marketing and business mentorship and arbitration through the Advertising Standards Board. MSK has over 5,000 corporate and individual members.

APReCoM is the trade association for Kenyan firms engaged in the practice of Public Relations and Communication management. APReCoM is a professional body that has a mandate to streamline operations of Kenyan PR firms. The association operates under a charter and code of Ethics that have been benchmarked on global standards.

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