PRCA Ethics Council Announces New Leadership

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has announced that Nitin Mantri and Israel Opayemi will join Mary Beth West MPRCA as Co-Chairs of the PRCA Ethics Council for 2021-22.

The move sees inaugural Chair David Gallagher FPRCA step down from the role after successfully leading the Council over the past twelve months.

The new leadership has set its sights on dismantling systemic organisational non-compliance with globally shared PR ethics standards.

The PRCA Ethics Council was launched in May 2020 to elevate ethical standards in the public relations and communications industry across the world.

Mary Beth West, Nitin Mantri, Israel Opayemi

Mary Beth West, a senior strategist for Tennessee-based Fletcher Marketing PR and co-host of the firm’s #MsInterPReted podcast, has more than 25 years’ experience managing communications strategies and campaigns across the US. Her commentary on PR ethics and workplace issues has been included in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, the USA Today Network, Business Insider, PR Week, PR News, The Public Relations Strategist and other business publications.

Israel Opayemi, Managing Director/Chief Strategist of Chain Reactions Nigeria, joins the Council as one of West Africa’s leading consultants working as the Exclusive Nigerian Affiliate and Preferred West Africa’s Partner of Edelman. He is also President of the Public Relations Consultants’ Association of Nigeria (PRCAN).

As Group CEO of Avian WE and the President of International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO), Nitin Mantri brings an exceptional pedigree to the position. Based in New Delhi, he has over two decades of experience in diverse sectors and was named ‘Global PR Leader of the Year’ award at the 2015 ICCO Global Awards for his contribution to the PR industry.

PRCA Director General Francis Ingham MPRCA:

“Over the past year, the PRCA Ethics Council has elevated our industry’s thinking on the critical issue of how we behave and with whom we work. As David Gallagher steps down from his role, I’d like to thank him for everything that he’s contributed during the past twelve months.

“I’m delighted that Mary Beth West has agreed to stay in her Co-Chair role, being joined by Nitin Mantri and Israel Opayemi. Together, their leadership, energy and breadth of international experience will enable the Council to intensify its work.”

David Gallagher FPRCA said:

“It was a privilege to help get this discussion going internationally, but there’s clearly so much more to do in practice and on the ground. I’ll look forward to contributing however I can, and wish the new leadership and entire council continued success in this important work.”

Mary Beth West MPRCA said:

“It is an honor to work alongside Israel, Nitin, and such a committed leadership team across the full PRCA Ethics Council, as we seek to tackle root-cause issues of organizational disinformation and non-compliance with globally shared PR ethics standards.

“Public relations practitioners must serve as leadership catalysts for stronger workplace cultures that drive informational quality and accountability. We anticipate the PRCA Ethics Council’s work will yield significant value, as we undertake a multi-year strategy.”

Nitin Mantri said:

“I am excited to be appointed Co-Chair of the PRCA Ethics Council, along with Mary Beth and Israel. It is not only a great honour but also a huge responsibility and I hope we will be able to fulfil the Council’s aim to raise ethical standards in the global PR industry.

“The lifeblood of our profession hinges on credibility and our dedication to upholding honesty and transparency. So, ethics must be the cornerstone of our work, especially in this new era when authentic, purpose-led communication is the only way forward.”

Israel Opayemi said:

“I am delighted that we are standing in one common resolve to confront the challenge that the lack of adherence to ethical standards represents to the practice of Public Relations in a world without boundaries. As I assume the responsibility of working as Co-Chair of the PRCA Ethics Council along with Mary Beth and Nitrin Mantri in one global village, we will work with the minds of advocates to promote the acceptable gold standards that must be upheld regardless of where PR is practised.

“This collegiate leadership is a testament to the commitment of the Ethics Council itself to widen PRCA’s circle of influence and to ensure our prescriptions on standards can be heard across borders. Those standards must run through the labyrinth of cultures. Without this, our noble profession will lose its soul. We are nothing without standards. Standards are nothing without their acceptance and adherence.”

Read the PRCA Ethics Council Annual Perspective here.