I was elected as president of the CIPR last year on a modernising ticket. My plan for 2014, combined with CEO Alastair McCapra’s drive and operational rigour, has provided both a framework and the means to refocus the organisation around the purpose as outlined by our charter. That is simply to promote the highest level of professionalism in public relations, through skills, knowledge and research. We exist to serve the public interest and advance the expertise of our members.
During this period of intense change the CIPR board and team have been working tirelessly to shift the organisation from a centrally run business to a networked member-led institute. This transition will take time but with a consultation on governance structure now under way it is time to pause briefly and reflect on the progress we have made.
My personal highlights for the quarter are the #PR2014 trends ebook, crowdsourced from CIPR groups, along with the recently published State of the Profession survey. Both these initiatives have driven high levels of member engagement both directly and via #CIPRCHAT on Twitter. These hour-long debates are central to our commitment to ensure we become a truly social organisation, placing content and conversation at our core.
The results of the State of the Profession survey brought several issues facing the industry into sharper focus. CIPR board member Sarah Hall has picked up on the issue of the gender pay gap and is now working with staff to develop new guidance around maternity leave and flexible working, and we are aiming to profile more women in senior management roles.
I am also pleased to have fostered stronger links with other representative bodies to ensure that the CIPR has a strong voice in the international public relations community. We have committed to support Measurement Week in September with AMEC, ICCO and the PRCA. Our Professional Practices Committee and the CIPR International Group will also link up with the Global Alliance and PRSA for an international Ethics Month in September.
I have published a formal report card against my original plan. Please check it out for yourself on the CIPR website. There’s a lot to do but we’ve made a good start. Come and join the movement.
Stephen Waddington is CIPR president and digital and social media director of Ketchum Europe