The Government has pledged to support the establishment of a statutory instrument to guide the practice of Public Relations in Kenya.
The plans will involve the introduction of a Legislative Bill in the National Assembly as part of an effort to streamline professional PR practice in the public and private sectors.
Speaking in Mombasa at the ongoing Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Annual Summit, Broadcasting and Telecommunications Principal Secretary Sammy Itemere said the introduction of a law governing PR practice will be undertaken to build capacity and instil professional ethics and discipline.
The Government, Itemere said, will collaborate with the PRSK in the journey that will also see the umbrella PR Society transformed to the Kenya Institute of Public Relations (KIPR) once the necessary legislative processes are concluded.
“As a government, we consider that we will be beneficiaries because we have over one hundred and fifty Public Communication Officers deployed in various corners of this country. It means we can count on PRSK under the Law that will be established in order to build capacity and instil professional ethics and discipline,” Itemere said.
The PS described the hosting of the PRSK Summit under the theme: Communicating for Behaviour Change as timely as the public and private sectors continue to grapple with challenges arising from transformational agendas.
At the Summit, PRSK Chairperson Jane Gitau confirmed that preparatory work for the introduction of a draft bill in Parliament were now underway.
Public Relations practitioners in Kenya, she said, have already embraced professional practices including the adoption of a continuous professional development (CPD) programme.
The society, she added, will also play a key role in guiding the rollout of globally benchmarked PR practices and ethical conduct.
The Summit featured PRSK members drawn from the public and private sectors and aims to provide informative and interactive sessions on the PR landscape in Kenya.
The Summit will culminate in the Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK) Awards for Excellence ceremony at the same venue on Friday evening. The Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of public relations and communications practitioners in the development, public and private sectors.
Speakers at the PRSK Summit included Mombasa Deputy Governor, Dr. William Kingi, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Deputy Commissioner Marketing and Communication, Grace Wandera, Kenya School of Government CEO Dr Ludeki Chweya, National Assembly Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer Japhet Muthomi, USIU don Dr. Scott Bellows and PSI Kenya Chief Executive Officer Anthony Okoth, among others.
PRSK, with more than 800 active members, was established in 1971 and serves as the professional body guiding the PR practice in Kenya. The Society broadly seeks to advance excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management and to ensure that the practice continues to thrive within the ethical framework defined by the profession.
PRSK is a member of the regional East African Public Relations Association (EAPRA). PRSK is also a member of the Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), the continental body for all PR national associations in Africa. At the global level, PRSK is a founder member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA) among other global bodies such as the International Public Relations Association (IPRA).