PRCA comments on unpaid internships in London
Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, has commented on an article in the Evening Standard which mentioned PR and communications internships in London, and stated that 61 per cent of PR internships that young people are being asked to do for free are in the city.
Francis Ingham said:
"The Evening Standard has misunderstood Intern Aware and the PRCA's 61% figure - which is actually our estimate of the number of the UK’s interns who are based in London, either paid or unpaid.
“Regardless of that, the fact that the practice of unpaid internships is still taking place at any level in London’s thriving PR and communications industry is an embarrassment to our business.
“By failing to pay interns, PR and communications employers are barring access to all but the most privileged; and by doing so they are maintaining a PR industry that is resolutely white and middle class. Not only is that unfair, but there is also the danger that PR could become out of touch with the world with which it wishes to communicate.
“We are committed to making sure that every intern gets a paid, meaningful internship, which is accessible to all. And we are campaigning to make this a reality by working alongside organisations such as Intern Aware.
“The PRCA has published Intern Guidelines to ensure that employers treat their interns fairly. It also publishes a list of PR agencies that we know pay their interns. We launched the PR Internships for All scheme, a concerted drive from the PRCA and PRWeek to bring more young people from diverse backgrounds into the PR and communications profession at entry level. And the key to bringing them into the industry? Paying them, of course.
"I am certain that there is still much to do to change attitudes to the payment of interns in the PR industry. Our work continues."
You can find out more about the range of campaigning activities that the PRCA has carried out to fight for paid internships in the PR industry here.
About the PRCA
Who we are: Founded in 1969, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is a UK-based PR and communications membership body, operating in 48 countries around the world. We represent in excess of 20,000 people across the whole range of the PR and communications industry. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.
What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.
How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.
Who we represent: The PRCA currently has more than 400 agency members; 270 in-house PR and communications teams from multinationals, charities and leading public sector organisations; and thousands of individual members.