London, 08 August 2014
The PRCA has today written to the Electoral Commission calling for clarity on ten ‘fundamental questions’ that remain unanswered about the impact of the Lobbying Act on charity campaigners and PRs.
The Government’s Lobbying Act was passed by the House of Lords in January, which gained significant criticism for attempting to regulate the campaigning activities of charities during the 2015 General Election in Part 2: Non-party Campaigning.
The new rules will come into force on 19th September and are being overseen by the Electoral Commission.
The PRCA Not for Profit and Charity Group has today written to the Electoral Commission with ten key questions that need to be addressed about how the rules will affect the work being done by charity campaigners and PRs. Please click here to read the ten questions.
Simon Francis, Director at Claremont and Vice-Chair of the PRCA’s Not for Profit and Charity Group, said: “It’s of huge concern to in-house teams, agencies and freelancers alike that with just weeks to go before non-party campaigner regulations coming into force, there are still fundamental questions that remain unanswered about the impact of the Lobbying Act.
“The concerns the PRCA’s members have raised range from fundamental questions about what is covered, to the extent to which spending limits apply to staff or volunteer activity, and into the detail of how any spending should be reported.
“While the general advice to PRs is to keep calm and keep campaigning, the industry needs to be aware that the Lobbying Act does not just have an impact on lobbyists.
“All PRs need to ensure they will not fall foul of these highly complex and bureaucratic regulations.”
The PRCA has previously campaigned for changes to the Lobbying Act’s Part 1, which relates to the introduction of a statutory register of lobbyists, dubbing it “not an Act which will stand the test of time”.
The PRCA has called on the Commission to respond by the 19th August, to enable in-house teams, agencies and freelancers adequate time to prepare prior to regulations coming into force.
Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the largest PR association in Europe, representing 12,000 people in agencies, in-house communications teams, and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal 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 represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 350 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 150 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.