Gill Morris: 'There's a third option with the APPC-PRCA merger'

DevoConnect founder and former APPC chair Gill Morris has backed the APPC-PRCA merger as a "step in the right direction" but says the "messy and personal" debate is not the foundation for a "happy marriage".

DevoConnect CEO and founder Gill Morris.
DevoConnect CEO and founder Gill Morris.

She said that although the PRCA’s decision to walk away from the UK Public Affairs Council (UKPAC) at a critical stage was "very divisive" she now finds herself "struggling to see its future relevance, direction and purpose in the modern world of political communications".   

Senior lobbyists call for pause to APPC-PRCA merger vote

"Surely now is the time to move on from the past, learn lessons from UKPAC’s demise and find a new way for the CIPR, PRCA and APPC to work together toward a common goal of supporting and promoting "professional" lobbying standards in the UK," Morris said.

"I support the merger, but it is clear to me that there is still a long way to go to get everyone working in unison."

Morris said that although she supports the merger, it is still a "work in progress".

"If it is to truly succeed we need to counter legitimate concerns by injecting new blood and independence into the new body," Morris said.

"It needs a new name. For me it also needs to involve representation from the CIPR (but this is maybe for another day) and we need to be happy that its future governance and leadership is supported by the majority."

She added that a merger needs to feel unique, independent and like a coalition of the willing - not a ‘takeover’.  

"Most importantly, the APPC’s robust complaints procedure, worked up over many years, needs to be embraced and not compromised by any APPC/PRCA merger. The APPC needs to lobby its corner from within, seek assurances and not whinge from a lofty height," Morris said.

Morris believes that a third option is for the public affairs industry to "fight from within" if a merger gets the green light.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in