Guest post: Be (part of) the change you want to see

Guest post: Be (part of) the change you want to see

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Alister Foye has been an ardent critic of the CIPR in the past. But he signed up as a member this week. Here's his story. By Alister Foye

I've had a change of heart.

Up to a couple of months ago I remained critical of the CIPR. I called it an oil tanker that had been going in the wrong direction for ten years.

I was encouraged at the appointment of Stephen Waddington as President for 2014, but dubious that he'd be given the mandate for change, given the many inherent issues I saw in the CIPR's ability to truly act as the voice for our dear profession.

Then I remembered a mantra I was told at Britannia: be the change you want to see. I have always been a strong advocate for PR and intended to continue my one-man war against the many detractors, until Stephen's' feet were firming under the presidential table and his powerful rhetoric had translated into powerful action.

But then I realised the opportunity to be part of the change from day one. A bit like taking on a client who has great potential, but has woefully under performed. There is no need to make a silk purse from this sow's ear, no resorting to smoke mirrors: we are not polishing a turd.

The CIPR is an excellent organisation in many ways, and has thousands of great professionals in its ranks. With an incoming President keen on reform, and a new CEO with a mandate for change, these are exciting times.

But challenging.

PR has lost ground to management consultants, allowed marketeers to park their tanks on our lawns, but the most ironic issue is the terrible reputation of our craft.

And at a time when corporate reputation is more important than ever.

All this can be addressed though. And to be part of the change, rather than an passionate observer, now makes more sense to me. Hence the volte face.

I look forward to helping you all make this industry great.

About the author photoAlister Foye is a passionate, commercially-minded and versatile communications professional; currently working as PR consultant, university lecturer and national journalist. You can connect with him on Twitter @alfoye or via his blog Life in the Shadows.

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