Last year’s IPR president, Keith Henshall, has resigned from the
institute after 12 years saying he has nothing more to give it.
Henshall wrote to the current president Rosemary Brook and executive
director John Lavelle to tell them of his decision two weeks ago,
although he did not give any explanation.
Commenting on the move, Henshall told PR Week: ‘Basically I resigned
because I have nothing more to put into the IPR. I’ve spent eight of my
12 years on the council. I’ve given as much as I’m prepared to give. He
denied he had been pushed out - ‘indeed several people tried to persuade
me not to resign,’ he said. ‘This is my decision. I simply decided the
IPR is a club to which I no longer wish to belong’.
Henshall, who runs media training company The Henshall Centre, has been
a controversial figure since he was elected to the post of president-
elect for 1994, beating the IPR Council’s own nominee, Dominic Deeson.
Elected on a platform of radical change to modernise the Institute,
Henshall has, by his own admission achieved less than he had hoped.
‘The main criticism of my presidency has been mine,’ he said, ‘I didn’t
achieve what I wanted to achieve.That was my fault, nobody else’s.
Among the changes Henshall has called for is the appointment of a CBI-
style director general figure with ‘managerial freedom’ to replace the
IPR’s executive director. However, he said, that would mean ‘restricting
the egos of the volunteers’ (on the board of management), adding: ‘I
don’t believe the Institute has the will to make those changes’.
‘It doesn’t mean to say I’m finished trying to get things done. Week
after week people are saying that the existing mechanisms are not
working’. Henshall said, however, he had yet to decide how best to do
IPR president Rosemary Brook, said she was ‘genuinely disappointed’ at
Henshall’s’ decision, although she was ‘not entirely surprised.
‘It’s a pity he didn’t feel able to continue his work for change by
actively participating from the inside,’ she said.
‘I think there is definitely a will for change throughout the whole
institute, but you’ve got to push it through and that is sometimes very