A senior group of PR professionals is seeking to join the venerable
ranks of City of London liverymen by forming a Guild of Public Relations
Supported by the IPR, while remaining independent of it, the group has
prepared a draft petition to the Court of Aldermen for permission to
form a guild.
The livery movement, which dates back over 1,000 years, is designed to
enhance the status of professions. Over 20 new guilds have been set up
this century, such as the Worshipful Company of Information
Technologists and the Worshipful Company of Marketors.
The Guild of Public Relations Practitioners will have four main aims: to
promote the profession in its broadest sense; to raise money for
education and training; to raise money for charity; and to provide
The nascent PR Guild has informed the Worshipful Company of Marketors of
its intentions. The latter has expressed its surprise and disappointment
that PR people feel the need for a separate entity.
’Membership of our guild is far-ranging and includes PR practitioners,’
said master of the company of marketors John Petersen, who was
vice-president at American Express in charge of marketing, public
affairs, communications and PR until three years ago.
IPR director general Colin Farrington is acting as the PR Guild’s
initial secretary and the application is being co-ordinated by Ric Foot,
former corporate relations director at electrical giant Philips and a
founder member and master of several companies.
Foot said that over 50 signatures had been gathered in favour of the new
guild, which is enough for an application.
If it is accepted, the guild is expected to be formed by the end of the
year. It would then take seven years before it could become a company
and another seven before it could attain livery status.