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New Report Unveils Vital Role of Ethics in Shaping Africa's PR Landscape

Press release -

New Report Unveils Vital Role of Ethics in Shaping Africa's PR Landscape

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) Africa has published its third annual study, the second in its partnership with the African Public Relations Association (APRA), examining the state of PR and communications practice and ethics in Africa. This collaborative effort underscores PRCA Africa and APRA's commitment to advancing ethical standards and industry excellence across the African continent.

The 2024 research marks a significant milestone with the highest number of responses to date, totalling 365 participants from various African countries. Among the key findings, South Africa emerged as the leading contributor with 45% of responses, followed by Zambia (19%), Nigeria (15%), and Ghana (5%). The study provides unprecedented insights into industry trends, challenges, and opportunities.

The survey encompassed professionals from diverse industries, with Media and Marketing comprising the largest segment (35%), followed by 'other' industries (18%), including communication, law, events, PR, and the energy sector.

One of the highlights of the research is the exploration of ethics and reputation management within the PR industry. The findings underscore the critical role of ethical conduct at both individual and organisational levels, with integrity and values emerging as primary drivers of ethical behaviour.

Other key findings:

  • Smaller teams of '2-5 individuals' dedicated to PR are prevalent (32%), a significant proportion (14%) of larger organisations have between '11 -25 people' employed for PR roles.
  • Despite progress, the majority of respondents (45%) feel that 'the role of PR and Communications is not appreciated at board level,' highlighting the need for continued efforts to elevate PR's influence in organisational decision-making.
  • Respondents express varied levels of concern regarding the potential risks or limitations of heavily relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies in PR and communications, emphasizing the need for proactive management of AI-related challenges.
  • Amidst challenges such as corruption and governance issues, respondents advocate for proactive engagement, ethical leadership, and strategic communication to navigate the complexities of reputation management in Africa.

Regine le Roux, Founder and Managing Director of Reputation Matters shares, “This is the fifth year that Reputation Matters has been the research partner to conduct the Ethics and PR Landscape survey in Africa.

“Every person, entity and country has a reputation that is built through consistent behaviour, which is driven by values. Unlike reputation, ethics are binary; one is either ethical or not. You can’t be ‘a little bit’ ethical; there's no middle ground. However, questionable ethics invariably tarnish one's reputation. Which in turn impacts whether people want to be associated with, and conduct business, with you."

Chanell Kemp, Reputation Specialist at Reputation Matters and lead researcher on the project, adds "This year saw the highest number of responses to date. The online survey was distributed among Communication and PR professionals across the continent. The results underscore a growing emphasis on ethics within the PR profession and the important role that PR professionals play in communicating ethics. Notably, the 2024 responses revealed an increase in reported cases of unethical behaviour compared to 2023. This trend signals a growing intolerance toward unethical conduct, with individuals increasingly willing to speak out. Recognising that in the long term, ethical businesses will contribute to an ethical economy, country and continent.”

To mark the launch of the research findings, PRCA Africa and APRA invite industry professionals to join a live panel discussion hosted by the Ethics and Practices Network. Moderated by Katy Katopodis, an independent member of the Network, the panel will also feature Dustin Chick, Network Chair, and Bridget von Holdt, Network Board Member. The Network will be joined by Regine le Roux, Founder and Managing Director of Reputation Matters and Arik Karani, Lead Communications Specialist (Community Resilience & Sustainability) at Wikimedia Foundation, and Current President of the Public Relations Society of Kenya. Together, they will explore the implications of the research findings, discuss industry advancements since 2023, and outline the path forward for 2024 and beyond.

The live panel discussion is open to all and will take place on Friday, May 24th at 13:00-14:00 SAST. Registration is free, and participants are encouraged to join the conversation and contribute to shaping the future of the PR industry in Africa. Secure your spot by registering here.

For more information about the PRCA Africa Ethics and Practices Network, visit here.


The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.

Representing 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations. Our teams across Europe, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific work with professionals around the world to co-ordinate our operations across six continents.

Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion - and enforce - professional standards around the world through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.

We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking, and development opportunities.

We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) - the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world. Additionally, we support the delivery of the Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA).


Gabriela Weiss

Gabriela Weiss

Press contact Communications Manager +44 (0) 207 233 6026

Welcome to PRCA!

The PRCA is the world’s largest professional PR association, representing more than 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide. Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous global PR industry.

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