Public Affairs Board elects new chair for 12-month term

Members of the PRCA’s Public Affairs Board (PAB) have elected Liam Herbert as the new chair of the organisation.

Liam Herbert has been elected chair of the PRCA's Public Affairs Board
Liam Herbert has been elected chair of the PRCA's Public Affairs Board

Herbert takes over from the previous co-chairs, Emma Petela and George McGregor, and will serve in the role for 12 months.

All 130 members of the PAB were issued with ballot papers last month and, of those that cast votes, 29 voted for Herbert while 27 voted for McGregor and Petela.

During the elections, Herbert stood on a platform of engaging politicians and the media on the case for ethical lobbying, promoting public affairs career paths in schools and broadening the PAB’s membership.

As chair, Herbert’s job will be to act as the organisation’s media spokesman on lobbying as well as to ensure that members adhere to its code of conduct.

Herbert thanked Petela and McGregor for their service as co-chairs and told PRWeek they had “firmly established” the PAB’s code of conduct as a benchmark for ethical practice, by the industry and the regulator.

He added: “The challenges and opportunities facing our profession are broad; from driving forward on the Scottish Lobbying Bill to building on the PRCA's efforts to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.

“It is my belief that our leadership on these will issues will pave the way for more non-member agencies and in-house teams to follow the majority of the industry in signing up to the Public Affairs Code. There is no clearer way for an organisation to prove its professional and ethical credentials.”

Executive committee

Herbert is chair designate until he officially takes up his post at the end of July, when a new executive committee for the PAB is formed.

There are 11 general places on the committee and three reserved seats for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and PAB members can nominate themselves to sit on it.

If there are more nominations than places available, PAB members will be asked to vote, with those nominees who garner the most votes joining the committee.

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