Handling of Guarantees

Guideline for Handling of Guarantees
Public relations professionals are not allowed to enter into contractual arrangements in which they give their client or employer guarantees of quantifiable success (Code of Lisbon, art. 10).
A member company, i.e. a PR agency, shall not give any guarantee of success that goes beyond its direct scope of influence (Rome Charter of the International Committee of Public Relations Consultancies Associations, art. 3.9).
Assessment of the German Public Relations Council (DRPR):
Guarantees of success may not be given if the agreed PR service can only be achieved with the help of external parties not included in the contract, or due to the free decision-making of such third parties. This is usually the case when the success of the PR cannot be attributed to the “direct control” of the contractor (US Code) or is outside of the contractor’s “direct scope of influence” (Rome Charter). The freedom of the press and the media cannot and must not be affected by agreements on the goals, content and measures of public relations. Therefore, media resonance cannot be guaranteed. Nor can public perceptions and reactions be guaranteed. PR agents who promise such things are acting dishonestly and unprofessionally. Guarantees may be given concerning the quality of supplied PR instruments: press releases, event preparation, printed material, advertising material etc. In this case the contractor has to guarantee flawless work and, if applicable, compensate the client.
January 22, 1999
Guideline for Handling of Guarantees