Talking Point

Looking forward to 2015

So, it is almost 2015 (well it is in New Zealand, where I am on holiday) and it will soon be the start of my year as President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

I am honoured, excited, organised (of course) and slightly daunted by the task ahead.  There is much to accomplish in 2015, building on the legacy of what has been acheived in 2014, @Wadds leaves the institute in great shape.


Thank You

Firstly I would like to thank all my fellow CIPR members, friends and family, who have already given me so much support and encouragement in my year as President Elect.  I have appreciated that enormously, especially from three committee members from the CIPR in the South West.  Our supper club has given me encouragement in spades.  Thank you Meryl, Sylvie and Julie.  The support from my fellow board members of 2014, has been immeasurable and whilst we are much stronger together, Sarah Hall and Wadds deserve special mention for their personal support, as well as their professional challenges and encouragement.

I am currently on maternity leave, back full time on 1st February.  2014 would not have been nearly as successful, or enjoyable, without the support of my husband and 2015 is only going to be possible with his ongoing commitment to support me in what I am setting out to achive.  Thank you John.



I am acutely aware that teams are much better at delivering than individuals.  Strong leadership, yes, but I’m not going solo.  I will continue to look for the support and guidance of my board colleagues, fellow council members, group chairs and the wider membership.

All the volunteers throughout the CIPR give our time to help the institute and our profession succeed and if you are reading this and would like to get involved, please do get in touch.  I promise to thank everyone who joins us on this journey.


The Mission

In June 2014 I set out my ambition for my Presidential Year:

  • To make membership more meaningful to clients and employers
  • For the CIPR to stand up for a profession confident in its high standards and able to demonstrate its value
  • For the Code of Conduct and our CPD system to be positioned as assets that build trust in our practice
  • To reach audiences beyond the industry.

In 2015, I, along with Stephen Waddington, Rob Brown and the officers of the CIPR believe this can only be achieved once the majority of the people who work in our industry are:

  • accountable to a code of conduct,
  • skilled or qualified to carry out their role,
  • engaged in continuing professional development, and
  • that these points are validated in a way the public can access and understand.

This is the key to making membership meaningful, building trust, standards and making public relations relevant beyond our base.



In 12 months, the CIPR will have taken a step forward for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). A considerably greater number of members will be participating in professional development activities in the year and completing CPD records than is the case now. More members will be working towards achieving individual Chartered Status on a clearly articulated pathway which will be at the core of the CIPR’s work. Membership of the CIPR will be increasingly understood in terms of professional standards and ethical competence.

If I have one absolute priority for 2015, that I believe can achieved by working together with the CIPR’s volunteers and staff, it must be to move the CIPR even further forward for professionalism.


Leading from the front

It is great that everyone who has been elected to Council for 2015, has already nailed their colours to the mast by being actively enrolled and engaged in CPD.  And you cannot stand for the board unless you are an accredited or chartered practitioner.

I am an accredited practitioner and I am going to start my own journey to chartered practitioner in 2015 – assisted by Matt Appleby, who has rather generously agreed to be by buddy – and to join the CIPR board as a co-opted member to lead the work on chartered.



So as you prepare to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another, so does the CIPR.  2015 is the tenth anniversary of our Royal Charter and we will be awarding ten honourary fellowships and holding a series of special events throughout the year.

The first of those is the President’s Reception in February at the Institute of Directors.  It will be an opportunity to outline my mission and goals to colleagues from other industries, professions and those who have the power to instigate change.


Thank you

Thanks for reading, I wish you and those you love, a very Happy New Year.  I am looking forward to working with some great people to make my mission a reality.

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