EDITORIAL: Turning the dream into PR reality

The IPR 50th anniversary gala dinner at Whitehall this week was a suitably up beat affair. The tone was set by Sir Colin Marshall who proclaimed that PR was no longer a mere side-show but a core component of corporate leadership.

The IPR 50th anniversary gala dinner at Whitehall this week was a

suitably up beat affair. The tone was set by Sir Colin Marshall who

proclaimed that PR was no longer a mere side-show but a core component

of corporate leadership.



’What is PR and communications if not leadership and management?’ he

asked the assembled throng of PR luminaries as he conjured up a utopian

world in which ’every good manager will instinctively grasp this

essential truth.’



The industry and the institute have come a long way since the IPR’s

genesis in the 1940s. Over the last two decades in particular, the IPR

has picked up momentum as a focus for industry professionalism and,

crucially, as a vocal industry lobbyist in an increasingly regulated

environment.



The IPR’s city and financial group is even now tackling the Financial

Services Authority to ensure that the industry is represented on a

powerful committee of policy makers who will look at, among other

issues, the implementation of new regulations concerning information

disclosure and codes of conduct for City PR people.



It is also significant that the IPR’s focus in this, the year of its

50th anniversary, is on setting standards. At a time when the PRCA is

toughening up on consultancy management standards, the IPR is focusing

on raising individual standards with the launch of an industry

diploma.



The launch of PR Week’s new initiative to encourage client spend on

research and evaluation has also received industry support and recent

research undertaken by Marplan on behalf of the IPR Marcoms group shows

the emphasis that clients now place upon accountability and measurement.

Without this focus on both individual and industry standards Sir Colin

Marshall’s utopian vision of communications-driven leadership will

remain just that - a dream.



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