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PR Body Pre-empts Government Company Reporting Legislation

Submitted by: Institute of Public Relations (IPR)

Categories: Business Ethics

Posted: Aug 01, 2003 – 12:00 AM EST

 

The Institute of Public Relations (IPR) has launched industry guidelines on how companies should report on their corporate reputation.
CSRwire Note: The IPR report will soon be available on CSRwire.

Aug. 01 /CSRwire/ - LONDON - Earlier this month Trade and Industry Secretary, Patricia Hewitt MP, announced that the Government will ‘fast track’ the introduction of non-financial reporting for large companies. Originally, the DTI indicated that reporting on non-tangible assets through a new Operating Financial Review (OFR) was likely to be included in a company law bill in 2006. Now the Government intends to introduce this early in the next parliamentary session.

Pre-empting the legislation, the IPR in association with Business in the Community and MORI has published ‘Reputation and the Bottom Line’ a guide to reporting on environmental, social, ethical and reputational issues.

Colin Farrington, IPR Director General said: “Reporting reform is long overdue. Recent corporate scandals in America have dramatically highlighted the impact that a collapse in stakeholder confidence can have on corporate reputation.

“Intangible assets represent a major proportion of a company’s value and systematic non-financial reporting will help companies minimise risk to the advantage of shareholders and customers.“

By making the reporting of non-financial performance mandatory for large companies, the public relations industry has the opportunity to demonstrate its strategic role in corporate business.

“The OFR must not become tick-box regulation or cosmetic spin and gloss.” said Farrington. “The leadership challenge to the public relations industry – which is all about improving long-term stakeholder relationships through effective communication – is to help organisations meet the legislative requirements.

“The IPR’s guidelines will help communication advisors play a lead role in reviewing corporate strategy and raising awareness of the business case for non-financial reporting.”

Copies of "Reputation and the Bottom Line: A Communications Guide to Reporting on Corporate Reputation" are available from the IPR at www.ipr.org.uk

Editor's Note

The guidelines are underpinned by the expert input of a multi-discipline Steering Group and MORI research on the role of senior communicators in corporate reporting.

The IPR commissioned MORI to do a survey among 85 corporate communication directors of FTSE 1000 companies. The findings, concluded in October 2002 showed these directors believed publishing non-financial information enhances a company’s reputation and makes for better management decisions. Most had heard of the OFR, but less than a third knew much about the requirements. Half resisted the idea of mandatory non-financial reporting, but most agreed the guidelines should be simplified.

The IPR’s guidelines cover preparing for an OFR; the business case for non-financial reporting, the content of the OFR; examples of best practice.

For further information, please contact:
Ann Mealor on +4420 7553 3772,
email AnnM@ipr.org.uk
mobile 07971 596 925

The Institute of Public Relations has over 7000 members, involved in all aspects of the public relations industry. It is the largest professional body of its type in Europe, with rigorous qualifications for membership (based on educational qualifications and/or multi-disciplinary experience).

For more information, please contact:

Ann Mealor The Institute of Public Relations
Phone: +44207 253 5151

 

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