Helping to PR the PR industry – why I’m joining the CIPR
Posted by Paul Allen on 5th June 2013 / 0 comments
I’ve worked in tech PR for 13 years now, with another 18 months prior to that working in-house at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Throughout that time I have never felt the need to join any of the PR industry bodies, particularly so the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Until now that is. I have submitted my membership form and will be a fully-fledged CIPR member just as soon as it is processed.
My previous apathy towards the CIPR was partly due to the agencies I worked at not having a culture of CIPR membership and partly because it seemed archaic and not related to the PR industry that I worked in. The former director general’s oft-quoted ‘social media is a fad’ remark in 2006 only served to reinforce my perceptions of the CIPR as an organisation out of touch with the PR industry it was supposed to be serving.
A NEW PRESIDENT-ELECT
So what has changed? Firstly, the recent election that saw my old mucker and boss Stephen Waddington voted in as president for 2014 was a significant factor. Wadds has always been a passionate spokesperson for PR and social media and his election pledges made me realise that the CIPR has changed as an organisation. In fact, it has been steadily modernising over the past few years, without it really being on my radar.
PR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Secondly, there are a number of personal benefits to be had from joining the CIPR - networking, potential new business opps, access to the Central London member’s lounge and a range of training courses and webinars. As a freelance PR consultant and MD of freelance PR agency Rise PR, I do my best to stay abreast of current trends and ways of working. But it isn’t always easy without the support you get working for a bigger PR agency, so I’ll be relishing the chance for improved professional development.
TAKING A STAND FOR THE PR INDUSTRY
Finally, it felt like time to take a stand for the PR industry. It sometimes feels like we get it in the neck from everywhere: the general public not liking our ‘spin’; ceaseless whining from journalists about badly targeted pitches; other comms disciplines moaning we don’t ‘get’ digital and hoovering up all the budget in the process…the list could go on. We even occasionally turn on each other, blogging /tweeting / commenting on how other PR consultants are giving the industry a bad name.
PR is what I do and I want to stick up for the industry and improve its reputation – helping to PR the PR industry if you will. If we can’t get our own house in order then we’ll always be under the cosh from others, so I’m looking forward to fighting PR’s corner and showing that it is a serious, ethical, transparent and professional industry with a lot to offer.