Press release -
Demonstrate unity and advise clients to exit Russia now
One year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, ICCO President Grzegorz Szczepanski welcomed the visit of US President Biden to Warsaw this week, calling for continued unity from the global PR community in support of everyone affected. In addition, the Ukraine Communications Support Network has urged PR businesses to advise their clients to exit from Russia completely.
The PRCA and ICCO Ukraine Communications Support Network (UCSN) was formed in March 2022 to coordinate support from the global PR community, following the expulsion of Russian PR Association AKOS from ICCO.
This week, B4Ukraine, a global coalition of civil society organizations supported by UCSN and advised by its co-chairs, David Gallagher and Nataliia Popovych, issued a detailed report titled 'Unfinished Business', documenting a lack of progress since sanctions were first introduced. In an article for PRovoke Media, Popovych called on the largest PR firms and their parent companies to advise their employers, parent companies and clients with unfiltered clarity: exit Russia now.
David Gallagher, Co-Chair of UCSN said:
“The contributions of the global PR community have been significant, but we have some unfinished business before us. We must find the courage to advise our international corporate clients that remain in Russia on the ethical, legal and reputation reasons to fully and immediately exit the Russian market.”
Grzegorz Szczepanski, President, ICCO said:
“This is a difficult moment for our friends and colleagues, marking one year of devastation, death, trauma, grief, and destruction. This war has far reaching consequences and a visit from the US President to this part of the world is extremely welcome, and I join him in asserting the importance of the international community’s resolve and unity.
“This includes sharing the results of the B4 Ukraine report and urging our colleagues to shut down cooperation with any entities that continue commercial activity in Russia.
“As well as a tragic humanitarian and political issue, this is a communication issue. Misinformation spreads fast and far, nowhere is immune. It’s important we continue a battle against misinformation at every turn. Our Global Summit will be back here in Warsaw in October, and I urge communicators to act now so they can look back on the year knowing they did whatever they could to support those suffering and be on the right side of history.”
The International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) is the voice of public relations consultancies around the world. The ICCO membership comprises 41 associations representing 81 countries across the globe: from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australasia, Europe, and, the Middle East. Collectively, these associations represent over 3,000 PR firms.