[Pic: Gurjit Nahal]
The winner of the President’s Medal for 2010 is Chakrabarti, director of Liberty. Founded in 1966, the award is made annually at the president's sole discretion for distinguished service to public relations and exemplary use of communications.
Winner of the Sir Stephen Tallents Medal for 2010 is Wheeler, a CIPR fellow, chairman of the CIPR’s Professional Practices Committee and a partner at Agincourt Communications. Founded in 1984, this medal is awarded by the president in recognition of exceptional achievement in, and contribution to, the development of public relations practice by a CIPR member.
Jay O’Connor, the 2010 CIPR president, said: 'It’s a real privilege to recognise the achievements and contributions of two outstanding individuals. Shami, together with her colleagues at Liberty, has campaigned tirelessly for individual human dignity, equal treatment and fairness - the foundations of a democratic society. Shami’s ability to engage, communicate and to campaign on behalf of all sections of society is a perfect example of how public relations can be a force for good.
'Wheeler has led the development of the CIPR’s Code of Conduct standards as Chair of the Professional Practices Committee. He is an advocate of best practice, articulate and vocal on issues of quality and conduct. He has given many years of service to the Institute, quietly, effectively and with the belief in how public relations, conducted ethically, can have a positive impact on organisations, individuals and society.'
Accepting the award Chakrabarti said: 'Members of the CIPR will understand the importance of a clear message better than most. Liberty’s is simple but powerful – that every human being has a right to dignity, equality and justice, and that these rights must be protected within the rule of law.'
Wheeler added: 'I love public relations and the people who work in it, so it is nothing but a pleasure for me to be able to contribute to the CIPR's efforts on the industry's behalf. I hope I will have the opportunity to continue being involved, behind the scenes, for a good many years to come.'