MGA was pleased to see PRSA’s op-ed last week in Roll Call, in which the organization urged the U.S. Senate to avoid actions that might diminish or severely restrict the federal government’s use of approved public relations and public affairs contractors. PRSA also issued a news release.
PRSA’s action is in response to a Senate investigation of the federal government’s use of public relations and advertising firms. In the op-ed, and letters submitted to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D–Mo.) and Sen. Rob Portman (R–Ohio), who are leading the investigation, PRSA urges the Senate to avoid actions that might diminish or severely restrict the federal government’s use of approved public relations and public affairs contractors.
MGA’s consultants have nearly 30 years experience working with government employees who are responsible for public outreach at all levels of government, including the federal government. We consistently find they firmly believe in the value and essential right of members of the public to learn about issues affecting them and their right to be heard on issues before government makes decisions impacting their lives.
For many different reasons these government agencies, because their staffs are too finely stretched or lack the experience or necessary expertise, often reach out for assistance from the business community and retain consultants from public relations and advertising firms for assistance. The result is a better informed public and better decisions. To prevent federal agencies from having this resource is contrary to appropriate and sound public policy. Any step that lessens the public’s ability to participate in government is simply wrong.
According to an e-mail from PRSA Chair and CEO Gerard F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, the investigation is in a preliminary state and no immediate outcome is expected. Corbett said PRSA feels it is prudent to explain to Sens. McCaskill and Portman, along with other legislators, the significant value the public relations industry brings to the American public.
Besides contacting Sens. McCaskill and Portman as PRSA suggests, we believe it is appropriate to contact your own senators to express your opinion. Coloradans may reach Sen. Mark Udall at 202-224-5941 and Sen. Michael Bennet at 202-224-5852. Those living in other states can find their senator’s contact information here.