Shepperson-Smith (pictured), a current CIPR director, will succeed Rachel Roberts in the role in 2022 and will become president in 2023. Roberts will be president next year.
Shepperson-Smith has volunteered with the CIPR for the past 11 years, both as a former member of the Council and current CIPR Board member. He chaired the CIPR Greater London Group through the pandemic in 2020 and is the current chair of the CIPR Finance Committee.
He said: “This is a great honour and I would like to thank all the members who have spoken with me and offered support in recent weeks. CIPR is the best community in PR and consistently helps practitioners to build careers, businesses and lifelong friendships. In addition, our charter mission to fight for ethical, honest and transparent communications has never been more important in an era of disinformation and fake news. I will work very hard to support Rachel as president in 2022 and beyond that to build a sustainable future for CIPR so that it can continue to deliver the same value to current and future members that I have enjoyed over the past 23 years.”
In his nomination statement ahead of the election, Shepperson-Smith outlined three things he would want to do in the role:
"Connect – make it easier to learn, trade, hire and make friends within a growing community. CIPR must invest in digital tools, as well as face-to-face activities, that help deepen the bonds between members.
"Support – empower members to manage and develop in their careers. The number one PR training and qualifications organisation in the UK can be the world’s first choice in future, supporting our vision of creating a predominantly chartered profession.
"Promote – ensure that the voice of CIPR is heard and respected. In an era of fake news, our charter commitment to ethical communication has never been more important to the cohesion of global society."
Current CIPR president Mandy Pearse said: “Steven has been a dedicated champion of the CIPR for many years, working hard as a volunteer to drive forward the importance of professionalism, ethics, and measurement within the profession. I'm excited to see how his passion and vision for the CIPR will connect and support members and promote the importance of our work to the wider business community. Many congratulations.”