Foundation and Governanceglobal_alliance_logo.jpg
The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA) was founded in Chicago, Illinois on October 25, 2000[1]. The GA was created in response to an expressed need for a global governing body and acts as an international forum for communication practitioners around the world[2].

The GA is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland and is ran by an Executive Board that concerned with the daily affairs of the organization, and consists of a minimum of five officer positions: chair, chair-elect, past chair, secretary and treasurer[3]. The current chair of the GA is an American, John Paluzsek[4]

Missions and Values
The core mission of the GA is to improve the standards of public relations through its practitioners around the world[5]. The Alliance aims to realize this goal through placing emphasis on four specific areas:
- unifying practitioners despite their geographical differences
- creating a cohesive viewpoint on the professional standards within the field
- aiding member organizations in their own membership development
- becoming the leading global authority on public relations[6]
Through understanding the importance of these specific areas the GA can work to foster feelings of camaraderie amongst members, which will enhance networking and the ability to freely share knowledge between associations[7]

Membership
The GA is comprised of members from over forty – five professional public relations and communications organizations around the world, encompassing over 160 000 members[8]. The GA does not enrol members on an individual basis; instead anyone who is a part of a member association gains a membership to the GA[9]. As a member, practitioners have access to conferences, invaluable knowledge sharing exercises as well as knowing that they are playing an active role in establishing industry standards for their field[10].

The GA and Ethics
Ensuring that ethical standards are created and followed is one of the main mandates of the GA[11]. The GA serves as a watchdog of sorts, ensuring that corporations adhere to ethical standards while at the same time providing practitioners with information to make certain that their personal ethical goals are met[12].

As a foundation for their Global Protocol on Ethics, the GA has been responsible for analyzing professional codes from public relations and communications groups around the world, aiming to establish listings of which countries adhere to ethical codes[13]. The first cross-country comparison study was completed by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) between 2000 and 2002[14], and researched such aspects as whether or not the organizations code of ethics were based on the Athens model, and also which words appear frequently across ethical codes[15]. Based on this compiled information, members of the ethics committee created the global protocol on ethics.

The Global Protocol on Ethics
An initial version of the Global Protocol on Ethics was discussed in June, 2002[16], with the actual protocol being ratified in 2003[17]. The original protocol includes three sections: a Code of Professional Standards, a Code of Practice and Advancing the Code, along with two appendices which include guiding principles and case studies of ethical situations[18].

Within the declaration of principles, members of the GA who follow the Global Protocol make a pledge to:
- “Conduct [themselves] professionally, with integrity, truth, accuracy, fairness, and responsibility to
their clients, [their] client publics, and to an informed society;
- To improve [their] individual competence and advance the knowledge and proficiency of the
profession through continuing education and research and where available, through the pursuit
of professional accreditation
- To adhere to the principles of the Code of Professional Standards for the Practice of Public
Relations.”[19]

The Code of Professional Standards strives to preserve trust, and communicate excellence to all publics through a devotion to ethical practices[20]. Both the Code of Practice and Advancing the Code sections provide a call to action for those involved in the GA to embrace ethics and ensure that they are practicing ethical behaviour within their professional lives[21] . The entire protocol urges participants to share their experiences with fellow practitioners in order for everyone to gain invaluable experiential knowledge[22].

The Protocol has been updated for the 2009 – 2010 year, and features many of the same aspects as the original version.



[1] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) History. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/6/history
[2] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) History. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/6/history
[3] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) Our Board. Retrieved from
http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/3/about

[4] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) About. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/3/about
[5] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) About. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/3/about
[6] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) About. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/3/about
[7] Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management (n.d) Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/4/manifesto
[8] Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (n.d) Membership. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/391/membership
[9] Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (n.d) Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/4/manifesto
[10] Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (n.d) Membership. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/391/membership
[11] Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (n.d) About. Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/3/about
[12] Shockley – Zalabak P., Ellis, K. (2006). The Communication of Trust. In T. Gillis (Eds.), The IABC handbook of organizational communication, public relations, marketing and leadership. Retrieved from http://books.google.ca/books?id=0xL_cHiMfLoC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=&f=false
[13] Skinner, C., Merhsam, G., Valin, J. (2003) Global protocol on ethics in public relations. Journal of Communication Management 8(1) Retrieved from www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/13632540410807510
[14] Skinner, C., Merhsam, G., Valin, J. (2003) Global protocol on ethics in public relations. Journal of Communication Management 8(1) Retrieved from www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/13632540410807510
[15] Skinner, C., Merhsam, G., Valin, J. (2003) Global protocol on ethics in public relations. Journal of Communication Management 8(1) Retrieved from www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/13632540410807510
[16] Skinner, C., Merhsam, G., Valin, J. (2003) Global protocol on ethics in public relations. Journal of Communication Management 8(1) Retrieved from www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/13632540410807510
[17] http://www.globalalliancepr.org/content/1/8/work
[18] Valin, J. et al (2003) Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/project.php?id=5
[19] Valin, J. et al (2003) Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/project.php?id=5 p. 2
[20] Valin, J. et al (2003) Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/project.php?id=5 p. 2
[21] Valin, J. et al (2003) Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/project.php?id=5
[22] Valin, J. et al (2003) Global Protocol on Ethics in Public Relations Retrieved from http://www.globalalliancepr.org/project.php?id=5