Short explanation about how the German PR Council operates and how it understands its mission.
The German Public Relations Council (DRPR) is the institution of voluntary self-regulation for the professional field of public relations. The PR Council is legally and conceptually supported by an association comprised of the Deutsche Public Relations Gesellschaft (DPRG, German Public Relations Association), the Bundesverband deutscher Pressesprecher (BdP, Federal Association of German Press Spokespersons), the Gesellschaft Public Relations Agenturen (GPRA, Association of Public Relations Agencies), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Politikberatung e.v. (de’ge’pol, German Association of Political Consultants).
The members of the PR Council are industry experts from companies, trade associations, agencies and other organizations. The work of the PR Council is based on the German Communication Code and other current codes. The German PR Council acts in responsibility towards the entire professional field.
The members of the PR Council work independently, and are answerable only to themselves and their conscience. The main responsibility of the German PR Council is to identify deficiencies and instances of misconduct in the way organizations communicate with the public and issue a reprimand if necessary.
The German PR Council deals with all the cases that are brought to its attention in the form of complaints, as well as taking up cases on its own initiative (e.g. due to media coverage). The PR Council reserves the right to proactively address undesirable developments in the industry and, if necessary, take part in the discussion by means of public statements. Once the PR Council has accepted a case for processing, it always researches the current state of affairs with regard to the issue, based on the relevant body of source material. All the organizations or individuals involved will be asked for statements about the complaints. In individual cases or if there are very complex issues at stake, the PR Council holds an oral hearing. The PR Council subsequently forms an opinion and decides by a majority. If a reprimand or warning is issued, this takes the form of a well-founded expression of opinion and must not be confused with the judgement of a court.