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CIPR Election: Relevance and relationships

I’m standing for President of the CIPR in 2014. I’ve set out ten words and ten pledges that I would focus on during my period in office.

The election will take place from 7 to 21 May. You need to be a member of the CIPR to vote. The President for 2014 will be announced on 24 May.

Throughout the election period I’m going to blog about two of my words and pledges each week and answer any questions that have been raised by members.

Last week was professional and excellence. This week I’m onto pledges and words five and six: relevance and relationships.

Relevance

In January 2012 the UK Advertising Association published an independent report by Deloitte called ‘Advertising Pays’ which claimed that the advertising industry contributed £100 billion to the UK economy.

Advertising Pays set out to quantify and qualify the economic effects of the £16bn spent on advertising in the UK every year. It claimed that for every £ spent on advertising the economy grows by £6.

Deloitte’s research is the start of a conversation for the advertising industry with business leaders in the public or private sector about business performance, return on investment and value.

The public relations industry simply doesn’t have the same weaponry. I propose that CIPR quantifies the benefit of public relations to the UK economy through a bold research initiative to provide the industry with a confident authoritative voice.

We need to collate the data to assert the role of public relations as a management discipline and then use this as the basis to forge stronger relationships with business organisations such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Institute of Directors (IoD).

I’ve had lots of conversations through the election process about how the CIPR could deliver value to members. In almost every case from the agency boss in Manchester to the sole trader in Cardiff, and from the communication director in Northumberland to internal communication manager in West London, the root lies in helping practitioners assert their value.

Relationships

Which leads neatly on to relationships. Building relationships is critical to delivering on the CIPR’s Charter objectives.

Each and every piece of work that the CIPR undertakes should seek to engage partners as a means of amplifying its message and reaching a larger audience.

This means we need to garner working relationships with key national and international organisations in advertising, business, digital, marketing and public relations, in the UK and beyond.

One of the great successes of the CIPR Social Media Panel that I chair has been producing industry best practice guidance including the Wikipedia Best Practice Guidelines for Public Relations in conjunction with the Canadian Public Relations Society, PRCA and the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

It’s a great tactical example of the potential opportunity.

Relationships also mean engaging with new audiences in order to realise the Charter objectives to ensure that we serve the wider community. There are two areas that need ongoing attention, namely diversity and reaching younger audiences.

As President I’d actively support the work of the CIPR diversity group and engage through the CIPR’s programme with school and college students, and the wider public, about public relations as a profession.

Questions and Answers

PR Moment has posted a Q&A with the candidates for the CIPR Election for 2014. It covers the future of the profession and the role of professional bodies.

Meanwhile the lively discussion continues in the CIPR LinkedIn group.

Thanks to everyone who continues to participate and please jump in if you have a question or point of view.

Finally, if you have any other questions please get in touch either via the comments below or email

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.

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