DTI and IPR join forces for industry research

The Department of Trade and Industry has joined forces with the IPR to launch the largest study of the PR industry in almost a decade.

DTI and IPR bosses are launching a study into best practice within the PR sector with the ultimate aim of improving the competitiveness of UK firms overseas.

The initiative is the first of its kind since the DTI led a study of the PR market in 1994, and is the first to see the DTI and IPR work in partnership on such a scheme.

The study will examine the PR industry and its contribution to British businesses in a bid to promote best practice among PROs and in turn provide a boost to UK business.

DTI and IPR bosses have launched a steering group to oversee the project, led by hatch-group chief executive Michael Murphy.

The group, which is set to meet for the first time at the end of the month, comprises in-house and agency PROs, business and client representatives, IPR and PRCA members and academics.

Murphy said: 'The project is crucial to the future success of the UK PR industry - it will help PROs grow the businesses they support.

'On completion, we will have a database of best practice, which will also help the IPR represent the industry more effectively by identifying and responding to industry needs,' he added.

The European Centre for Business Excellence will run the study, due for completion at the end of the summer.

DTI Minister of State for E-Commerce and Competitiveness Stephen Timms said the best practice study is being carried out 'to help increase the PR industry's contribution to the UK economy'.

'Effective, strategic PR has a key role in building the international competitiveness of UK industry as a whole,' he added.

- The IPR this week launched a specialist group dedicated to members working in PR consultancies. IPR members from more than 35 consultancies attended the inaugural meeting held this week. The launch marks the body's first agency-focused forum since the 1960s.

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