Today is the last day of voting for the CIPR President for 2014 and for new members to the CIPR Council for a three-year term starting 2013.
I’m a member of the CIPR PR Council and Social Media Panel. But my interest in this election goes beyond the CIPR.
The public relations industry is at a threshold of opportunity as a result of media change. It’s an upbeat story that Steve Earl and I told in Brand Anarchy. Its the lesson from Dr Jon White’s Future 2020 review of the industry for the CIPR and the findings of the 2011 PR Week PRCA Census.
The UK public relations industry needs a strong professional institute to help it modernise.
That’s not just my view. It’s the view of a CIPR that has been reinvigorated under new leadership in the last three-years supported by a strong team and is shared by everyone that has commented on the CIPR elections on the social web in the last two weeks.
Here’a summary for the future President.
- The CIPR has industry leadership in the UK regions, and areas of professional practice such as internal communication and social media. These groups are a force for good and lead the industry. They need to be nurtured, promoted and celebrated amongst CIPR members and used as the basis of a recruitment proposition.
- The CIPR has a Charter from the Privy Council but it has done little to promote Chartered Practitioner status to members or to the wider business community. As a result members question its value. This needs to be fixed.
- Merger talk has dominated the election for CIPR President. The relationship with the PRCA needs to be addressed for the benefit of the CIPR and the broader industry. The two organisations need to address areas of competition and work as a united voice to represent the industry. A full blown merger is almost certainly a call too far.
- If the public relations industry is the make the shift from a craft to a profession it needs to put qualifications and professional practice at its core. This isn’t an option in my view and needs firm leadership and a roadmap to put Continuous Professional Development (CPD) at its core.
- The CIPR is a regional organisation that happens to be headquartered in London. The new President needs to be more visible in each of the 14 regions and help to address a perceived London bias. Beyond this strong engagement and continued investment in technology to remove geographical boundaries would start to go a long way.
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