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
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.'