8 ways you can use the Global Alliance’s Melbourne Mandate
By Daniel Tisch, APR, FCPRS, Chair, Global Alliance
Following a year of global research and dialogue, more than 800 professionals from 30 countries unanimously adopted the Global Alliance’s Melbourne Mandate at the 2012 World Public Relations Forum. In this article, GA chair Daniel Tisch, co-author of the Melbourne Mandate, offers eight practical ways that professionals can use the Melbourne Mandate in their day-to-day practice.
- Define what you do – in terms your employer or clients will value. By defining organizational character and values, PR guides the organization’s reputation; by building a culture of listening, PR helps the organizations detect both risks and opportunities; and by identifying the organization’s responsibility to society, PR helps the organization create and demonstrate value.
- Know your professional responsibility. A PR professional has a duty to be truthful, and to use ethical communication to create mutual benefit over the long term. Do you know our profession’s Global Code of Ethics, and the Melbourne Mandate’s principles of personal and professional responsibility?
- Plan your professional development – and that of your team. Using the roles identified in the Melbourne Mandate, identify the areas where you can develop as a professional. If you’re a manager, use them to consider where your colleagues can grow.
- Start a conversation: ‘Are we a communicative organization?’ It’s a question to ask your manager, CEO or client, using the Melbourne Mandate’s research-based vision of the characteristics of a communicative organization. If the organization falls short, discuss a plan for improvement.
- What are your organization’s character and values? If you don’t know, perhaps it’s a discussion worth initiating. Your organization’s reputation exists in the minds of others, and your best hope to influence it is to define its character and values – and ensure employees and stakeholders know them, too.
- Build a listening strategy by collaborating with other disciplines. Communication touches many disciplines: HR, marketing, customer service, and community, labour, government and investor relations – among others. Use the Melbourne Mandate principles for collaborative discussions about how well the organization is listening and responding to each stakeholder, and considering their expectations before making decisions.
- Is your organization sustainable? The Melbourne Mandate’s vision of a sustainable organization is one that creates shared value for its shareholders, stakeholders and society. Do you have a strong value-creation story that goes beyond the financial? Use the Melbourne Mandate to evaluate and strengthen it. Consider the principles of integrated reporting for your organization.
- Measure the quality of your organization’s communication. Use the concepts in the Mandate – and tools such as the Integrity Index, which measures an organization’s adherence to its own stated values – to benchmark PR practices within their own organizations.