Too many members of the IPR view the trade body for PR
professionals as stuffy and old school, incoming IPR president Philip
Dewhurst told the body’s first annual congress in London on
Research conducted by the IPR in a four-yearly survey showed that
although 58 per cent of respondents thought the IPR professional and 31
per cent found it relevant, 25 per cent believed it to be ’old school’
and 13 per cent described it as ’stuffy’.
Almost no one thought the words ’innovative’, ’exciting’, ’formidable’
or ’fast moving’ applied to the IPR. ’It’s good to know that most of our
members feel we are professional, but there are too many who view us as
stuffy and old school,’ said Dewhurst.
He used the congress to announce a task force, chaired by Fishburn
Hedges director Philippa Dale-Thomas, which will look at ways to
re-invigorate the IPR and boost the numbers of young and female members.
Only 12.2 per cent of IPR members are under 29, while 7.3 per cent are
over 60. Women account for 47.8 per cent of the membership.
Dewhurst said: ’With more young people choosing PR as a career, we must
do more to attract them into membership. We must also recognise the
growing percentage of women in membership - within a few years, they
will greatly outnumber men, especially in the under 40 category, but
only five of our 50 presidents have been women.’
P IPR director general Colin Farrington told the congress on Wednesday
that the institute is reviewing all its training programmes with a view
to becoming the largest provider of training and related services to the
PR profession. Currently pounds 300,000 of the IPR’s pounds 900,000
turnover comes from training.