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
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
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
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.