APPC set for merger with PRCA to create 'unified' public affairs body

Written by Rod Muir on 18 July 2018 in News

PRCA boss Francis Ingham and APPC chair Paul Bristow have agreed to join forces.

The APPC is set to merge with the PRCA following an approach from the larger organisation that it is claimed would lead to a "unified representative and regulatory body for public affairs".

The move was agreed by the APPC management committee this week, with the final decision to be taken by its membership at an extraordinary general meeting later this year.

The PRCA represents many of the major PR consultancies in the UK, and currently has over 400 consultancy members from around the world. The APPC has around 80 members which are mainly UK-based lobbying consultancies. Both of the representative bodies also produce a quarterly public affairs register with a list of clients for each member organisation. They also have their own codes of conduct by which members agree to abide.

In a statement on the move, APPC chair Paul Bristow said: "For over two decades the APPC has played a vital role in driving up transparency, accountability and ethical behaviour among the UK's lobbying industry, and our Code of Conduct and Register of Public Affairs Practitioners represent the gold standard. 

“As we look to the future it's vital that we safeguard the unique role of the APPC and the benefits it provides members and the wider industry. That's why, this week the Management Committee offered majority support to a proposal to join forces with the PRCA to merge the two organisations.  

“Following the PRCA's approach to the APPC with a proposition for a merger, the Management Committee undertook a series of meetings with the PRCA to discuss the proposition in depth and to seek reassurances about its impact on both our members and to ensure that our Code of Conduct and Quarterly Register of Public Affairs Practitioners will be unaffected. 

"Following the support offered by the Management Committee to the proposed merger, it has been agreed that APPC members will have the final say. The exact timing and detail of a membership vote is expected to take place later in the year. We will share further details of the merger proposition with our members in due course and we will ensure that all members have the opportunity to ask questions to address any concerns or queries they may have."
PRCA director general Francis Ingham said: “A unified representative and regulatory body for public affairs would bring significant benefits to our industry - clarity for politicians and the public; a stronger voice; an even more effective regulatory system. 

"We therefore welcome this recommendation by the APPC Management Committee, and look forward to engaging with the industry in explaining its merits.”

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