PRCA opens membership door to agency minnows

The Public Relations Consultants Association is to offer membership to agencies with between three and five staff for the first time as it bids to become ‘more inclusive’.

Eligibility for the PRCA’s ‘Observer’ membership category is open to firms that have traded for at least a year and have three to five staff. They must pay £1,000 a year up-front.

The move is the PRCA’s first major structural change since MD and director-general Patrick Barrow joined six months ago. Members formerly required at least five staff and had to be at least two years old.

‘Safeguards and quality checks still apply,’ said Barrow, who added that top benefits for new members were advice on contracts and legal issues.

Threepipe Communications is one agency keen to join. Co-founder Jim Hawker said: ‘It will help us to have the PRCA stamp of credibility.’

The PRCA wants to boost its membership level from 130 to 300 consultants. Its previous lowest annual membership fee was £2,146.

Leader, p21

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