Is two too many?

Agony uncle and University of Westminster's visiting professor of PR Trevor Morris gives it to you straight.

Trevor Morris: PRWeek's agony uncle
Trevor Morris: PRWeek's agony uncle

Why do we need two PR trade associations? Surely the industry would do better with a united front ?

Yes, in theory. As PR people, we would generally recommend to our clients that they speak with one voice and show a united front. The problem comes when the voice is weak and the front is feeble. Trade associations without competition are, of course, monopolies – and monopolies tend to become complacent. As in business, competition bet­ween trade organisations can keep them on their toes. The ‘one voice’ argument isn’t as clear cut as it first looks.

The PRCA and CIPR seem to do a good job of speaking with pretty much one voice on the big issues, such as lobbying and paying interns. On everything else, they fight like two weasels in a sack. I suspect the competition is good for them and us.

Got a problem? Contact Trevor at agonyuncle@haymarket.com

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