IPR and PRCA set to grow co-operation

The two main PR industry bodies moved a step closer together last

week with the launch of a joint committee to explore ways of working as

one.



Spokespeople for the PRCA and the IPR stressed a merger was not on the

agenda for the first meeting of the Joint Industry Committee. The group

will meet from early next month to build on opportunities for 'closer

working,' a statement read.



The exact composition of the IPR's representatives on the committee has

not been agreed, but it includes institute president Ian Wright and

director-general Colin Farrington. A further two or three members will

be drawn from the IPR's seven-strong executive, according to assistant

director Ann Mealor.



The PRCA's members on the committee are all part of the body's

management board. They are led in the short-term by Barclay Stratton

chairman Christopher Broadbent. They also include GCI UK chairman Adrian

Wheeler, Biss Lancaster chairman Graham Lancaster and Kaizo chief

executive Crispin Manners.



PRCA chairman Tom Watson said the aim of the committee would be to

arrange joint events, promote both organisations to the other's

memberships, to 'de-duplicate' training and education projects and

promote PR as a career to graduates.



But one senior industry figure poured scorn on the bodies' attempts to

strengthen their links. 'This is another layer of bureaucracy that will

meet three or four times a year and will most likely achieve nothing in

the next 18 months,' the source said.



The 6,500-strong IPR and the 128-member PRCA are currently located in

different parts of London, and the committee will consider co-location

as one early step that could be taken. 'There is a chance to co-locate

that should be seized to bring the two bodies closer together,' the

source added. 'This committee sounds good but will deliver little to

both bodies' members.'



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