Why I'm voting Sarah Hall in #CIPRelection

Why I'm voting Sarah Hall in #CIPRelection


The CIPR needs a strong leader with a firm plan. Public affairs and public relations have never had such an incredible opportunity. Public relations and public affairs are professionalising and becoming recognised as a boardroom discipline. Reputation, influence and stakeholder engagement have all become recognised as our domain.

Our tactics are broadening from media relations to include two-way engagement through branded media, social media and online and offline communities.

Every piece of evidence points to a profession that is growing. The data and issues are well rehearsed on my blog.

Modernisation is a fast changing and growing market

The CIPR is a business that is modernising as public relations changes.

It is poised to grasp the opportunity in the market. It is modernising its own membership offer, driving up standards and supporting the career development of professionals.

At the heart of this issue is a business that is rapidly changing and the shift from one off qualifications to life-long training and development.

Chartered status in public relations gives us the standing to sit alongside other professions such as accountancy, engineering, management and human resources. It needs to become a standard.

Membership of the CIPR has hovered around 10,000 for as long as I’ve been involved with the organisation. The opportunity is the 80,000 people that work in public relations and public affairs in the UK. And then there are international markets.

Championing public relations for members and the public

Sarah Hall sat on board and council during my time as President in 2014. We both live in the North East of England and would meet up periodically in Newcastle to talk over the issues facing the CIPR and the profession.

Sarah challenged my thinking by championing the CIPR’s purpose and relevance to members. We didn’t always agree but we always landed in a better place. She’s open and honest in everything she does, doesn’t play games and doesn’t collect trophies.

More recently I’ve had the opportunity to return the favour by lending support to Sarah’s #FuturePRoof project with editing and community management. It started as a means of championing best practice and spotlighting industry issues including gender and professionalism.

#FuturePRoof has become a huge conversation about the future of public relations. 2,500 copies of the first edition have been downloaded and it has led to discussions at conferences and events around the world.

The second edition of the book was published last week consisting of essays from more than 40 contributors. That it was delivered in two months is testament to Sarah’s energy and drive.

Vision, pragmatic plan and transparent reporting

It’s this motivation that Sarah brings to the CIPR and its members. She has a firm vision and plan as prospective CIPR President-Elect. She's outlined five pledges that cut across the CIPR’s business as part of her campaign and committed to setting KPIs in each area if elected.

#1 Organisational empowerment and transparency

To ensure the viability and sustainability of the CIPR through scrutiny and robust business practices, as well as swift action where required. To lead monthly Twitter chats, quarterly reporting and provide support for Influence magazine.

#2 Membership and wider engagement

To use modern media to crowdsource conversation with members and non-members about the future of the profession, the CIPR and its vision and role. To also empower each member of Council to build relationships with a CIPR regional or sectoral group, and a professional organisation.

#3 Career journey for members

To define the member journey and the value to practitioners of membership. To modernise education so that it is clearly aligned with the Global Alliance competency framework.

#4 Industry leadership

To speak out publicly on behalf of the profession in support of the Charter commitment; and embed ethics within all activity and enhance the CIPR’s reputation. To seek partnerships with other professional bodies aligned to the CIPR’s vision and purpose.

#5 Campaigning issues

To publish benchmarks for salary scales within the profession, aligned to the career journey and establish a CIPR staff salary scale and diversity register.

Sarah has blogged consistently through the campaign. She’s listened and engaged members, prospective members and the broader profession around the opportunities facing the CIPR.

She's got my vote and support as voting for the future CIPR President starts today.

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