Join the movement to improve the reputation of the PR profession
This week the public relations industry is being beaten up for a scandal that isn’t of its making. Media stings highlighting the behaviour of politicians have placed the public relations industry under scrutiny. The government has put a statutory register of lobbyists back on the table. It’s an issue that APPC, CIPR and PRCA has been seeking to engage with the government on since 2010.
Enough is enough. I campaigned to become President of the CIPR on three issues: reputation, professionalism and member engagement.
There are lots of reasons why you should consider joining the CIPR if you aren’t a member, but for me professional development supported by a Code of Conduct is critical to building the reputation of the public relations profession.
We need to follow our own professional guidance as practitioners.
It turns out that I’m not alone. Several practitioners have taken up the CIPR’s offer to waive the £50 joining fee until 14 June meaning that you just pay the annual subscription cost depending on your grade. Please quote the code @wadds.
In their own words, here’s why.
Our own reputation is at stake
“Whilst the public relations industry has always been a dynamic and exciting place to work, the profession must now more effectively embrace a number of unprecedented opportunities, such as the massive growth, and impact, of social media. It also needs to address significant challenges, such as protecting and developing its own reputation. If the industry is serious about demonstrating value to board level executives, I believe it’s important to have one unified, intelligent and confident voice, on the issues that matter.”
We’re at the crossroads of value or irrelevance
“The public relations profession is at a crossroads. We either take the right turn towards adapting to the new realities of marketing brought about by the impact of the Internet and the massive shift in power from brands to customers, or we take the wrong road and become irrelevant, wedded to outdated working practices especially around measurement and our obsession with media results as proof of success when often they are no such thing. I really believe the choice is that stark.”
“All of us need to work towards a common goal of improving the professionalism, training, and reputation of public relations so that we can lead the industry into a new era of opportunity and success. To do that, we need a strong professional body supporting us. I’m going to actively get stuck into the measurement and evaluation side of things as it’s here where I think we’ve got the greatest opportunity to show our true value and I’m going to listen and be a sponge to whatever I can soak up.”
Standing up for what we do
“There are a number of personal benefits to be had from joining the CIPR - networking, potential new business opps, access to the Central London member’s lounge and a range of training courses and webinars. I do my best to stay abreast of current trends and ways of working. But it isn’t always easy without the support you get working for a bigger public relations agency, so I’ll be relishing the chance for improved professional development.”
“Public relations is what I do and I want to stick up for the industry and improve its reputation. If we can’t get our own house in order then we’ll always be under the cosh from others, so I’m looking forward to fighting public relation’s corner and showing that it is a serious, ethical, transparent and professional industry with a lot to offer.”
Time to be bold
“We need visionary leadership as never before, to continue to value our traditional roles and to clearly articulate our place in the new landscape. We need leadership that can help to ensure that the industry leverages the unprecedented opportunity to showcase why public relations practitioners are best placed to leverage narrative, engagement, influence and information strategies which support global business – for the first time in 30 years we may just have that and so I’m signing-up. I do wish you the very best of luck Stephen.”
Jenny has contributed a longer guest blog post for my blog. If her comments or those of Paul Allen, Paul Wooding, or Simon Glazer inspire you, please consider signing-up yourself.