Institute of Public Relations Scotland
The Institute for Public Relations in Scotland is a trade association for those working in PR, and includes some lobbyists. It is the Scottish part of the UK Chartered Institute of Public Relations (and has now been renamed as Chartered Institute of Public Relations Scotland). Members join in an individual capacity. The IPR has been active in Scotland in running professional development seminars and courses aimed at boosting the professional reputation and legitimacy of PR, a sector that is widely perceived as somehow murky and sleazy.
Prior to the 'Cash for Access' scandal involving Derek Draper in 1998 the IPR had instigated a review of their members' code of conduct. The then president of the IPR, Peter Walker, had visited Edinburgh in May 1998 to advocate to the Consultative Steering Group (the group preparing the rules and procedures for the new Scottish Parliament) and to the Scottish IPR's AGM, a system of regulating lobbyists akin to that operating in Brussels. Walker remarked:
- Consideration has gone into rights of access to the new assemblies for the media and politicians, but not lobbyists. The opportunity is there for transparency and sanctions along the lines of the model so successfully operated in the European Union. Individual parliaments should adopt some form of common framework.
Walker's message was not well received by several IPR members in Scotland. His repeated references to the new 'assembly' (rather than Parliament) and misnomers like 'Hamish' McLeish (instead of Henry McLeish) doubtless did little to counter the perception of metropolitan distance from Scottish affairs.
The idea that the Brussels lobbying system is one that might be copied to ensure openness and transparency was also seen by many as rather simplisitic and fanciful.
- S. Barker, PR Week, 5 June 1998 National assemblies urged to follow Euro lobbying codeavailable on the brand Republic website, accessed, Nov. 2008