CIPR has gathered momentum – now we need to collaborate

The CIPR Election has spurred on discussions and the election appears to be successful from that point of view.

Lots of chat is great but we need to ensure CIPR members vote! Why? The CIPR is a member-led organisation and members need to have a voice and ensure the leadership teams are relevant and driven with purpose.

Over the last few years I’ve been on Board and Council, I have seen some great changes in the CIPR and how it drives forward the march to professionalism. The new Chartered Practitioner route, the increase in CPD uptake, and the discussions (and some actions) about making training and development more relevant, more up-to-date and future proof.

What we need now is the same focus on professionalism, the same fire to be leading the way in the industry, but we need to be quicker to act.

At the last Council meeting there was great discussion around social capital, the three-year plan, and where I am trying to make the most difference, engaging the groups – national, regional and sectoral.

We have 400+ volunteers who serve on committees up and down the country, each with passion to serve the Institute and to help members develop in their roles and indeed personally.

How do we engage? Well, we need to get better at two-way conversations, collaboration and sharing. That’s a project I’m leading on just now, along with Jason Mackenzie, Jenni Field and other practitioners who serve on Council.

The question is often “What’s in it for me?” and that’s a fair question. What are the benefits? Well, often practitioners want to give something back. They have a passion for sharing and for helping others. Personally, I want to make a difference to the profession. I want PR to be recognised as a serious industry – not one associated with ‘spin’ and solely publicity.

How many times have you had to explain to someone exactly what you do in your job?!

Listening to what others think and say PR is, is important. It’s the current perception. But what do we need to do to ensure PR is understood? Often the industry is accused of over analysing itself. Analysis can lead to paralysis! “We don’t need to redefine PR, we need to reframe it” said Sarah Hall at #PRFest earlier in the summer. I believe this is true.

We’ve changed, we’ve developed, we’ve adapted but we must cease the opportunity. This means the CIPR has to run with it, adapt and lead the way for members to become the best they can be.

In saying all that, members need to grasp the opportunity too. You can only lead the horse to water!

So, you’ve got passion, you’re keen to develop throughout your career, you want others to understand what you do. Well, we need to keep sharing and start collaborating.

The opportunity to work with other organisations and learn from them is important and it’s there. Anne Gregory said that there are other organisations in other countries which we should be looking to learn from. In addition, there are organisations such as Global Alliance and AMEC which are globally adapting and we need to be working more closely with them.

#PRFest was all about collaboration. My own practice is about collaboration. We need to collaborate to learn, we don’t have all the answers, we need to collaborate to ensure consistency and most importantly we need to collaborate to set standards.

You can follow all the Election chat on Twitter #CIPRElection and you can read my original campaign post here and what I’ve learned as a long-term volunteer here.

If you’ve not already voted in the election, you have three days left! Please consider giving me one of your top votes so that I can carry on making a difference and so I can use my experience, skills and knowledge to help shape our future. Your future.

Please be sure to read the candidate statements for President-Elect and Council. You can find them on the CIPR website or via the link you should have received via email to vote.

Thanks and I hope to continue serving on Council in 2017 and 2018.

If you do decide to vote for me, thank you. Please feel free to share my content on social media and retweet/share my posts.


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