Public Relations and Communications Association

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is a trade association for the public relations sector in the United Kingdom. The association lobbies on behalf of its member companies and also provides a forum for sharing information.[1] It is the largest PR association in Europe, with more than 12,000 members including agencies, in-house communications teams and individual media professionals.[2]

PRCA Office Interior
Public Relations and Communications Association
FormerlyPublic Relations Consultants Association (1969-2016)
IndustryTrade association
Founded1969 (as Public Relations Consultants Association)
2016 (as Public Relations and Communications Association)
United Kingdom
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Number of locations
United Nations
San Francisco, California, United States
Area served

The PRCA aims to raise standards in the PR and communications industry by sharing industry data, information, and best practices, as well as creating networking opportunities.[2]


It was founded in 1969 (as the Public Relations Consultants Association), and was originally an organisation for PR agencies; its membership includes 400 agency members, including most of the top 100 UK consultancies; over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and public sector organisations. The PRCA launched in-house membership in February 2009 and individual membership in October 2011.[3]

In 2001, the PRCA sought a meeting with the Financial Services Authority to develop a code of practice for financial PR consultants.[4]

The PRCA was one of three organisations which founded the UK lobbying self-regulation body, the UK Public Affairs Council, in 2010 - alongside the Association of Professional Political Consultants and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.[5] However, the PRCA resigned from the UKPAC the following year, in December 2011.[6]

It changed its name to the Public Relations and Communications Association in August 2016.[7]

The PRCA expelled Bell Pottinger in September 2017 after a disciplinary hearing found that a secret campaign by the company to spread racial hatred in South Africa was the worst-ever breach of ethics by a member company. Francis Ingham, the PRCA's director-general, said: "the PRCA has never before passed down such a damning indictment of an agency’s behaviour," and condemning the campaign, which incited racial hatred, as "absolutely unthinkable".[8][9]

See also


  2. "Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)". GCS - Government Communication Service. Retrieved 2020-04-02.
  3. "PRCA launches individual memberships for PR professionals". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  4. Julia Day (14 November 2001). "PR body plans to work with City watchdog | Media | MediaGuardian". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-31.
  5. "The History of UKPAC". UK Public Affairs Council. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  6. "CIPR responds to PRCA decision to leave UKPAC". CIPR news, 9 December 2011. CIPR. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  7. Griggs, Ian (12 August 2016). "A whole new word: PRCA announces new name and brand refresh". PR Week. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  8. Key, Alys; Harris, Julian (4 September 2017). "Bell Pottinger senior management criticised in damning South Africa report as chief executive resigns". City AM. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  9. Sweney, Mark (4 September 2017). "Bell Pottinger expelled from PR trade body after South Africa racism row". Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  10. "The Art of Perception by Bob Leaf". Public Relations Consultants Association. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014.