Talking Point

Continuing the March to Professionalism

Two weeks ago, I wrote a blog for the CIPR website encouraging CIPR members to consider standing for election.

I become President of the CIPR on 1st January 2015, taking over from Stephen Waddington, who will become Immediate Past President and will therefore still be an active member of the CIPR’s board.



Steve Waddington and I

It has been fantastic to see the number and variety of people, who have come forward.  After altering the make-up of the CIPR Council, to make it more responsive to members’ needs and to clarify the role of governance within the institute. It has been so encouraging to see every category of seat contested.

For the named posts, those of Honorary Treasurer and President Elect, for the first time that I can recall, the Honorary Treasurer post is being contested between Dan Large and Grant Thoms.  The role of President Elect has gone to Rob Brown, who has stood with a very strong statement and on a very well respected reputation.  I am looking forward to working with him.

So what am I actually thinking of doing?  I stood for election on five key promises and I am currently working with the CEO of the CIPR, Alastair McCapra to develop ideas which will then be debated and discussed at the CIPR’s next Council meeting on 16th September.  If you are a member and have ideas about what we should be discussing, please get in touch, with me or with your group chair.

My five promises are:

Meaningful membership  The value of your CIPR membership should be as valid to you and your business, clients or organisation, wherever you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Confidence  As a profession, members often tell me they want to grow their business, their team – or themselves in confidence and strive for the highest standards in every area, including diversity and education. Through working with the Professional Development and Membership Committee – and the Professional Practices Committee of the board, we will continue to drive this agenda through.

Demonstrating value  As President I will work with the staff at Russell Square to ensure we give every member the tools to be able to demonstrate their value and work to quantify how membership can help to win new clients, secure that promotion and win respect around the board table.

Trust  I know how important it is that members who are not upholding professional standards are challenged, the role of our Code of Conduct is central to this and I’m delighted that all new membership cards now carry a commitment to the Code.  Through Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Chartered Practitioner status we will further support senior PRs who sit on boards and management committees to uphold ethics and professionalism in all aspects of PR and communications.

Telling our story Stephen and I have both been inspired by Tim Traverse-Healy’s thinking about the roots of our profession and of the CIPR, to do good and bring about change. The CIPR must look forward and outwards, reaching  different audiences  to  explain what public relations is, and how we do it.

And please, set a reminder for 1st September when voting opens for the CIPR Council seats and for the Honorary Treasurer, with so many people offering their time and talents, it would be great to see an increased number of members voting for their representatives.



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