The CIPR State of the Profession Survey is a great story for the future of public relations. What we see is a terrific opportunity for anybody that is willing to embrace change.
More than nine out of ten of you say that being considered a professional is important. My challenge to you is how serious are you about putting this ambition into practice?
Professionalism is more than box ticking and abiding by a code of practice.
In this business, we see required skills that continue to change, and our responsibilities continue to grow, each and every individual needs to accept responsibility for their own professional development.
These results also show that CIPR members who have a positive attitude to self-improvement and proactively manage their careers are ahead at every stage in terms of confidence, responsibility, and pay.
Personally I can show a direct and on-going correlation between my skills and my income throughout my career. To me, there is no clearer value in pursuing this agenda.
As we also see social forms of media and communication impacting upon every department within an organisation – we must grab the opportunity to lead that dialogue.
In this climate, developing our own set of rigorous professional standards has never been more important, but we need wholesale commitment for this to succeed.
We must also look to do more about gender pay inequality. A truly professional discipline does not accept having a pay gap between men and women who are doing exactly the same jobs, particularly as this gap significantly increases with seniority.
Embracing all facets of professionalism will also bring about a fundamental change in how public relations practitioners are perceived.
Without a shift to professionalism, the reputation of public relations will continue to suffer. We’re all judged at a bar set by the lowest common denominator, often in position by those without any foundation knowledge. This must change.
Fulfilling our own professional ambitions will be no easy task.
We must accept that in order to be considered as a contender for the board, public relations must be practised by those who candidly embrace principles of ethics and morality, as well as technical skill.
Only by taking this agenda seriously, will we develop an identity and thrive as a professional discipline of our own.
This is my introduction from the State of the Profession Survey. You can view the complete report on Slideshare or download a PDF copy. I’ve posted the executive summary of the report here.
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