The Institute of Public Relations (IPR) has sought to increase its
credibility in government circles with the appointment of Nigel O’Connor
as its first policy officer.
The role, reporting directly to director general Colin Farrington, has
been created to look at legislative and regulatory issues affecting PR
agencies. ’The members expect the IPR to lead on issues of concern for
them,’ said Ann Mealor, head of PR and marketing. ’We didn’t have a
dedicated person to take issues forward.’
Issues such as lobbying and regulation have grown in importance, she
said, and O’Connor was appointed with a brief to boost the IPR’s
activity in this area.
’I shall be building up the policy remit,’ O’Connor explained. ’The IPR
wants to ensure that its ability to influence policy is maintained. I
shall be looking at some of the legislative issues affecting members and
building up our capacity to respond.’
The job will be split between research into issues and briefing IPR
members and staff. O’Connor will work with the Professional Practice
Committee - one of the IPR’s four main internal bodies, dealing with
similar issues to those covered by the policy officer.
O’Connor was previously policy officer for the Committee of Vice
Chancellors and Principals of UK Universities and a former Northern
Ireland president of the National Union of Students.