The IPR is planning to draft in board members of FTSE 100 companies
and local councillors to its complaints panel.
The move to recruit six well-respected senior lay people to the panel is
aimed at increasing the credibility of the IPR complaints process and at
giving clients a voice within the institute. The move is part of a wider
bid by the IPR to emphasise its professional status and ethics.
The complaints panel currently consists of nine senior IPR fellows,
headed by chairman Robert Hodges. To qualify for the panel, members must
have been IPR members for at least ten years and must have achieved some
form of distinction in the industry.
’We want to ensure that we have representatives from across as wide a
range of PR clients as possible, from the public sector to commerce,’
said IPR director general Colin Farrington.
The IPR is also to tighten up its complaints procedure. Under the new
procedure, complainants will be informed of any specific action the
disciplinary panel has taken, be it a letter of warning, a reprimand or
expulsion from the IPR.
Previously, a complainant was only told that the panel was investigating
a complaint and that due action had been taken. Specific information was
not given. This often led to a feeling of frustration among complainants
that their concerns were not being given due consideration.
The changes are to be put up for consultation by IPR members before