CIPR 2018 revenue flat but practitioner numbers jump in 'game changing' year

The CIPR has reported near-flat income growth and a lower surplus in 2018 - a year it describes as "game changing", with a 24 per cent jump in the number of chartered practitioners and 10 per cent growth in admissions.

Sarah Hall: 'Many joined the rallying call to upskill' in 2018
Sarah Hall: 'Many joined the rallying call to upskill' in 2018

The CIPR’s financial report for 2018 says the organisation generated income of £4.32m, against £4.31m in 2017. The fall in rental income from its move from Russell Square in November was offset by income from its National Conference and Influence Live events, it states.

Pre-tax expenditure also increased, from £4.16m to £4.29m, following a fall recoverable VAT due to the CIPR’s partial exemption status, the costs of new events, one-off office exit costs and new training venue costs. These costs were offset by savings on the cost of occupying the Russell Square office, the CIPR adds.

Pre-tax surplus at the year-end was £31,316, down from £150,462. However, its reserves rose from £613,353 at the start of the year to £644,669 at the end.

The total number of full (MCIPR) CIPR members grew slightly, from 7,309 in 2017 to 7,340 in 2018.

There were fewer individuals with CIPR membership, however - 9,131, against 9,683 at the end of 2017.  The group cited the 696 student members whose free membership lapsed after they completed their CIPR-accredited course (free student membership was discontinued in 2016).

Membership income grew 1.9 per cent to £1.71m and training income rose slightly, up £2,560 to £1.18m. Income fell for the Excellence Awards (£271,940, versus £289,889 in 2017) but grew for the Pride Awards (£348,244, versus £327,467).

Sarah Hall, CIPR vice president who held the role of president last year, said: "2018 was a game-changing year. Many joined the rallying call to upskill and develop the financial, business management and consultancy skills needed to take a seat at the top table. The number of chartered practitioners rose by 24 per cent to 267. New admissions increased by 10 per cent, while retention across membership remained strong at 79 per cent."

The CIPR said its "overarching ambition for 2018 was to assert the value of public relations as a strategic management discipline to the business community". It said this was achieved by striking partnerships with organisations including the CBI and FSB, as well as by educating business leaders on the benefits of PR through the PRPays campaign.

The year also saw the CIPR undertake initiatives to mark its 70th anniversary, including the launch of Platinum, a book celebrating excellence in modern PR, and the Institute's 70 at 70 scheme, which profiled pioneers and volunteers who've made outstanding industry contributions. Other highlights included research on the prevalence and potential of AI in PR.

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