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An update on the CIPR’s 70th anniversary crowdsourced project

History and members are informing the CIPR’s 70th anniversary project. We need submissions from across its communities. You’ve two weeks to pitch.

Ten days in and we’ve had almost 20 pitches for the CIPR’s anniversary project, covering a wide variety of topics. Thanks you to everyone who has contributed to the project.

My vision is to create a legacy for CIPR members and the broader business community that will inspire practitioners and support continuous learning and development.

It is envisaged that the book will consist of 30 to 50 essays, each of 800 to 1,200 words in length.

The project will support 2018 President Sarah Hall’s theme of public relations as a strategic management discipline. We want to gain an audience beyond the public relations profession.

I’ve had some great conversations. The most frequently asked question is what should I write about? I’ve written this blog post in an effort to answer this question and so everyone has access to the same information.

All pitches will be reviewed on merit and in the wider context of the book.

Your invitation to contribute to the project

Essays are invited in five areas of public relations, related to the CIPR’s history, purpose and campaigning.

  • Perspective – reflections on the CIPR’s history and its communities
  • Practice – a discussion of modern areas of public relations practice
  • Performance – the impact of practising public relations as a management discipline on modern organisations
  • Provocation – issues relating to the profession such as diversity (age, ethnicity, socio-economic background and gender); and mental health
  • Potential – exploring the future of the profession such as automation, artificial intelligence, and tools

Work in progress

The pitches received so far range from milestones in the CIPR’s history to the career journey for practitioners; and from modern two way engagement in areas such as media relations, public affairs and the third sector to planning and measurement.

CIPR members interested in contributing to the project should read the contributors’ guidelines (opens as a PDF) and submit a pitch by 3 November, 2017.

There are some biases emerging that I would like to try and breakdown, and some shortfalls in other important areas of practice.

There are currently numerous communities within the CIPR that aren’t represented. These include diversity, international, internal communications and teaching. It would also be good to see the story of iProvision represented.

I’d like to see the following areas of practice addressed: analytics, influencers, listening, and planning, and in particular paid, earned, shared and owned.

Sarah is particularly interested to secure some CEO voices and the perspective of human resources professionals who favour the recruitment of Chartered CIPR members. Perspectives from the media industry would also be welcomed.

Lessons from the CIPR archives

I’ve looked back through the archives as part of the project with the help of the CIPR’s Phil Morgan. It turns out that the anniversary project has a rich heritage within the CIPR.

It’s easy to believe that crowdsourcing is a new phenomenon. I’ve been involved in several CIPR projects in the past decade that culminated in Share This, Share This Too and Chartered Public Relations.

In fact the CIPR has used this approach in 1973, 1988 and 1998 to produce 25th, 40th and 50th anniversary projects. We’ve dug out the content pages from each of the previous publications.

1973: 25th anniversary

1988: 40th anniversary

1998: 50th anniversary

It’s striking how many issues such as ethics, professional development and the reputation of the public relations profession, remain a constant through the history of the CIPR.

Public relations is a reflective business but we’ve clearly a need to learn from a broader community of practice, and tell our story better to the business community and wider public.

I look forward to receiving your ideas.

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Stephen Waddington

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

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