Hamilton has quit after four-and-a-half years and plans to take a break before ‘returning to the workplace towards the end of the year’. She does not have a new job lined up.
PRCA vice-chairman Crispin Manners, who will succeed Graham Lancaster as chairman next month, said: ‘The PRCA is growing and this is a different job to the one she took on.’
Manners paid tribute to Hamilton’s work on initiatives such as the Consultancy Management Standard (CMS) and said she had done a robust job given the ‘depressed’ state of the PR industry in recent years.
Manners said the PRCA had gained 13 new members this year but Hamilton’s planned departure has triggered one agency, Buffalo Communications, to resign its membership after ten years.
Buffalo MD Kerry Hallard said her agency’s annual membership fee – more than £4,000 – was not value for money.
Hamilton insisted that membership was good value, adding that events were run on a ‘cost-recovery’ basis.
One anonymous agency chief at a recently joined PRCA member said he had enjoyed networking and training benefits but criticised business referral scheme PReview, claiming his ‘sole lead’ in the past six months was for a potential contract to handle TV product placement.
Hamilton said: ‘We can’t give any guarantees [on the volume of leads PReview will provide]. It is not run out of the main membership budget.’
Manners said PReview was ‘not a major selling point’ of the PRCA and that ‘initiatives such as the CMS are attracting an increasing amount of client-side companies to come to the PRCA for advice’.
PReview was run by Lizette Schoeman until February, when she moved to South Africa. Rosheen Scott is to join the PRCA from production music firm Extreme Music and will replace Schoeman.
Hamilton said the development and implementation of the CMS, and its adoption by PRCA members, was a highlight of her time at the PRCA, in addition to her role developing the body’s youth arm FrontLine.