CIPR president elect Lionel Zetter moots ties with PRCA

Newly elected future CIPR president Lionel Zetter has called for closer ties with the PRCA to heal the 'damaging' divisions between the two organisations.

Unity: Lionel Zetter has suggested an umbrella organisation
Unity: Lionel Zetter has suggested an umbrella organisation

Zetter, senior counsel at APCO Worldwide and CIPR president in 2007, has suggested the two bodies might work on a joint board after beating Miticom’s Miti Ampoma to take the president role in 2014.

Having won 54 per cent of the vote on a platform of unity between the two industry bodies, Zetter said: ‘Relations have cooled between the organisations in recent years, and in pure reputational terms, it has been damaging for the industry.

‘When it comes to important issues such as talking to the Government, we would have a much louder and clearer voice if we spoke as one voice.’

Zetter suggested the formation of an ‘umbrella organisation’ of the bodies, adding: ‘Whether it is that, or creating a closer relationship through a joint board or sharing certain office functions we shall see, but it needs trust and political will.’

His words come after several spats between the two bodies in recent years, including the CIPR accusing the PRCA of ‘replicating’ its member grades, qualifications and workshop details after the latter launched individual membership last year.

PRCA CEO Francis Ingham responded to Zetter’s call: ‘I’m certain he and I can do business. Competition between the two has driven up quality in many areas but there are areas where we can co-operate. We’ve made it clear that we have an open mind about co-operating with the CIPR.’

CIPR CEO Jane Wilson said that the CIPR was ‘always up for’ working together, but she added: ‘In terms of anything such as a merger, that is a big proposition with big implications for our chartered status, and one that would take an awful lot of work. It would have to be done for the right reasons.’

Zetter, a former employee at Conservative Central Office, will serve on the CIPR executive board in 2013 as president elect, alongside next year’s president Sue Wolstenholme.

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