OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
#CIPR | @CIPR_UK
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 2
In 2013, the CIPR recorded both an increase in membership and a substantial
financial surplus for the fourth consecutive year. We also expanded the
scope of our work on professional standards and conduct, increased our
training and CPD offer, and continued to provide leadership of the profession
as it adapts to new challenges in research practice, social media use and
Our commitment to our Royal Charter continues to drive forward our work
to promote higher standards of practice and professional conduct in public
relations. 2013 saw, once again, a strong rise of 29% in the number of members
recording Continuing Professional Development. Likewise, we benefitted
from a 6% increase in the number of participants on our training courses. To
promote better skills and understanding, a second volume of guidance and
practical help for professionals seeking to engage through social media was
produced and, between them, “Share This” and “Share This Too” became
As well as promoting skills and professional practice, we have taken forward
initiatives to address some of the industry’s most pressing current issues.
We built strategic alliances across the sector to positively influence the
transparency in lobbying legislation, and, by the end of the year, had opened
new channels of communication into the Scottish Government to assist their
investigations into a possible register of lobbyists. Part of our contribution
to improving the diversity of the profession was to undertake our “Future
Perspectives” research into the perception of public relations by 16-18-year-
olds, which we followed up with a range of activities organised to highlight the
careers PR can offer. A small army of members volunteered to meet and speak
with young people across the UK and provide them with real-life case studies.
Our established groups flourished in 2013, offering a range of events and
conferences and providing access to networks of professionals in a wide
variety of sectors across the UK. We were able to offer two new opportunities
with the start of a new Corporate Responsibility Network and one for Defence
Communicators in partnership with the MoD. We also started to engage with
our members in different ways, launching #CIPRChat – a monthly Twitter
chat on a range of subjects with excellent results, sometimes involving over
As well as offering the outstanding Excellence Awards, 2013 marked the
10th anniversary of the CIPR PRide Awards, which recognise outstanding
achievement in public relations across the UK. In 2013, both the standard
and the number of entries rose once again. In November, we held the first
ever Public Relations Show, an exhibition and professional development
opportunity that more than 1,000 people took advantage of and which broke
the mould for CIPR events.
All of the foregoing is a tribute to the commitment and dedication of my
predecessor, Jane Wilson MCIPR. During her three and a half years as Chief
Executive, Jane delivered a consistently positive financial performance. On
behalf of the Institute, I thank Jane and all of her staff colleagues who served
the membership in 2013 and have given us such a sound basis for our work
in future years.
Alastair McCapra FIAM FIDM FSA
CIPR Chief Executive
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 4
PRESIDENT’S ‘YEAR IN REVIEW’
My year as the CIPR President reflected all that we know about change, with
some turmoil and uncertainty, alongside a number of worthwhile opportunities
being taken to move the Institute forward.
I was extremely pleased to be elected on a ticket of developing the profession
but slightly deflected, early in the year, by the resignation of the CEO and the
need to find a worthy replacement. However, I was always encouraged by
the enthusiasm I found at group meetings. Whether they were being held
together by one or two stalwart volunteers or by a large committee of fine
workers, the sense of purpose for public relations was always impressive.
A number of meetings were also held to build more joint purpose with our
colleagues at the IABC, PRCA, Institute of Internal Communication, the Public
Relations Guild and the Reputation Institute. I am still full of optimism about us
working with all of them.
The saddest occasion to attend was Doug Smith’s funeral in January. His
family was joined by a roll call of past Presidents going back to the very
beginning. In April, I was privileged to speak at his memorial service, to
remember the way that he had supported the development of PR throughout
his life and to enjoy so many fond and often very funny reminiscences of him
from the worlds of cricket, rugby and politics as well.
Tim Traverse-Healy’s 90th birthday was a fitting occasion to mark our 65th
anniversary and his paper, published earlier this year, is a testament to his
continuing energy to improve our work. As he illustrates, while many of our
methods have changed, we are still not performing professionally enough to
fulfil our agreed definition of PR and there is much yet to be achieved.
Speaking up for PR is a big part of the job of President and I was proud to
do so at various events including conferences on Reputation and Marketing,
Local Government, crisis management, Pathways to the profession and
with international students in Ghent. Also, at the MOD for the launch of the
defence communicators group; at a number of AGMs, including in Croatia,
where the CIPR qualifications are highly regarded; at the beginnings of our
Swiss chapter, which grew out of students in Zurich studying for the CIPR
Diploma; at the Directors’ Forum aboard the Aurora and, of course, at a large
number of PRide Awards, where dancing with group Chairs was a significant
Our CEO for three years, Jane Wilson, was given a fond farewell and a lot of
delicious things to eat and drink, from all of our nations and regions at Council
at the end of October, and Alastair McCapra started with us at the beginning
of November. He had been chosen from a gratifyingly strong field and was
keen to meet and discuss the work to be done following his appointment
in late July. The evolving brief was challenging, not surprisingly in these
straitened times, to make us leaner and fitter but also uncompromisingly to
develop the CIPR and its governance for the relevance of the profession and
We are hugely well blessed with the team at Russell Square and I have
to thank Alastair, Phil, Sukhjit, Claire and all of them for their tireless and
My themes for the year were to better understand and promote the
communication of science and to find a clearer way of measuring the value
of reputation. They were late starting but both are still being worked on
and proving to be extremely worthwhile. For them I need to thank Russell
Grossman at BIS for the sponsorship of the science research, Ben Verinder
and his team at Chalkstream for carrying it out, and Charlotte Sampson at
DFW, for her help with the work on reputation.
Finally, I must also thank everyone on Council and the Board, for patiently
keeping faith as we struggled through some knotty issues around elections
and governance and ask them to please keep at it as the last hurdles of that
work are almost cleared, to make us a much more effective chartered body.
Sue Wolstenholme FCIPR, Chartered Public Relations Practitioner
CIPR President 2013
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 5
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The CIPR is the UK’s leading organisation providing
personal development pathways for public relations professionals.
Professionals apply knowledge in their work beyond simple technical skill to offer a range of elements, from problem-solving to
strategic management, in an ethical manner, with the CIPR code of conduct central to their daily decision-making. Staying current
with industry thinking and engaging in a process of continuing professional development is a threshold for professional status.
Planned, reflective and validated self-directed learning and renewal is a career-long commitment that the CIPR positively encourages
and makes achievable through its training, education and online CPD system.
In 2013, 1,265 members completed an annual CPD record –
29% more completions than in 2012. Acting on feedback, the
year-end was changed to the last day in February 2014 and the
annual cycles will now complete on 31 March each year. Around
four out of five members who began an annual record in 2013
went on to complete the process.
// TRAINING AND EDUCATION
In 2013, the CIPR offered a range of structured learning
opportunities. 1,623 members and non-members took part in
159 training workshops covering 37 topics. 1,029 booked to
participate in webinars covering 18 subjects.
A total of 628 people graduated from a CIPR qualification in
2013. The majority took the main award routes of the Diploma
(208) and the Advanced Certificate (142) in Public Relations
with a further 92 passing the Foundation award. The CIPR offers
shorter qualifications in public affairs, internal communications
and crisis communications, from which a combined total of 186
// ACCREDITED AND CHARTERED
PUBLIC RELATIONS PRACTITIONER
of two consecutive years of CPD records or the CIPR Diploma,
validates members’ learning and experience and is current if
the holder maintains their CPD activity. At the end of 2013,
there were 1,319 Accredited Practitioners – 81 more than at the
same point in 2012.
Chartered Public Relations Practitioner validates the expertise
and experience of members in a range of key areas including
leadership, strategy, innovation and communication and is
maintained through an ongoing commitment to CPD. Seven
new Chartered Practitioners were created in 2013.
CIPR Training with Di Burton FCIPR
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 6
CIPR membership increased across the year, with total growth
(professional members and students) of 3% and professional members
alone increasing by 4%. At the end of the year, membership stood at
10,401 – 306 members more than at the end of 2012. Membership
retention remained at a consistent 80% across all four quarters.
The breakdown of membership remained consistent with 2012 across
2013, with the vast majority (74%) of members recognised at “member”
grade (MCIPR) and roughly one in 10 of our members enrolled as
students. Fellows made up 3% of members and Associates – the most
junior professional grade increased from 5% in 2012 to 6% in 2013.
// Membership 2013 // Professional Membership 2013
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 7
The CIPR Policy Platform guides the Institute’s advocacy work on key issues impacting the public relations profession.
Key themes continue to be aligned with those set out within Dr Jon White’s 2011 ‘PR2020’ report, which outlined several strategic
recommendations for the Institute to pursue in order to secure the future success and viability of the public relations profession.
Highlights of the 2013 policy work included:
BEST PRACTICE AND
The CIPR worked with members of the CIPR Social Media
Panel to produce guidance documents on ‘Social Media
Monitoring’ and a refresh of ‘Best Practice Guidance
on Social Media.’ By year-end, both documents had
collectively received over 25,000 views and downloads.
In 2013, new Skills Guides on ‘Corporate Social
Responsibility’, ‘Further Education Communications’,
‘PR and Strategy’, ‘Stakeholder engagement’ and ‘Writing
a PR Brief’ were all published.
On top of the development of best practice guidance and
creation of resources for members, the CIPR Social Media
Panel continued their work supported by CIPR staff to
lead and further develop practitioner knowledge of digital
communication. Work included maintaining a programme
of successful Social Summer events, support of Social
Media Week London and in July 2013, ‘Share This: Live’,
a one-day social media conference curated by the Panel.
The Panel also published ‘Share This Too: More social media
solutions for PR professionals’, published in September
2013, the follow-up to 2012’s ‘Share This: Social media
handbook for PR professionals’. Edited jointly by Stephen
Waddington MCIPR and Rob Brown FCIPR and featuring
over 30 contributing authors, the book had sold more than
1,500 copies by year-end.
At the end of the year, Stephen Waddington MCIPR
stepped down as Chair of the Panel and was replaced by
Co-Chairs Dan Tyte MCIPR and Gemma Griffiths MCIPR.
The CIPR, supported by the Diversity Working Group,
continued its work to address issues in diversity in
employment and build a structure that brings experience
together with fresh new talent.
March 2013 saw the publication of the ‘Future Perspectives’
report, which revealed 16-18-year-olds' attitudes towards
the public relations profession and found that BME (Black
and Minority Ethnic) students are more likely than the total
student population to consider a career in PR.
Throughout the year the Diversity Working Group also
managed a series of successful ‘Equal Access Network’
events which established a networking group for
practitioners who are affected by, or have an interest
in, issues relating to diversity in employment and
representation within public relations.
At the end of the year, Cornelius Alexander FCIPR stepped
down as Chair of the Working Group and was replaced by
Catherine Grinyer MCIPR
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 8
Based upon the results of the ‘Future
Perspectives’ report, in February 2013,
the Institute embarked upon an education
outreach programme to give CIPR
members the opportunity to pass on their
skills, experience and advice to school
students, with an emphasis on presenting
public relations in a fun and engaging way
to communities in which public relations is
not believed to be a viable career option.
The Institute had a presence at over 30
different events, reaching approximately
7,500 young people. This involved
partnering with organisations including
Inspiring the Future, The Transformation
Trust and the National Citizen Service.
In October 2013, the CIPR and the Public
Relations Consultants Association (PRCA)
jointly launched a brand-new 20-page
‘Careers in Public Relations’ guide, intended
to introduce public relations as a career
choice to a diverse range of young people.
THE VALUE OF REPUTATION
The CIPR continued to work with the
Institute of Directors (IoD) to highlight
the value of reputation management as a
board-level responsibility – this included
the CIPR featuring at the IoD’s 2013 Annual
Convention, held at the Royal Albert Hall.
At the 2013 CIPR Excellence Awards,
Emma Gilpin-Jacobs MCIPR, Global
Communications Director for the Financial
Times became the third ‘CIPR/IoD PR
Director of the Year’.
In February 2013, the CIPR published
the results of the annual ‘State of the
Profession’ benchmarking survey which
gathered insight from over 1,200 CIPR
members about current public relations
practice, budgets, skills and opinion on the
future of the industry.
to adapt and innovate during challenging
times, taking on skills, responsibilities and
roles not previously considered in the
public relations remit, as practitioners aim
to influence both communications and
business strategy in the boardroom.
The CIPR continued its work alongside
other representative bodies to lobby the
Government on the ‘Statutory Register
of Lobbyists’ and, in April 2013, the CIPR
led on the development of a workable
definition of lobbying.
As the year drew to a close, the
Government pushed through the lobbying
register as part of the wider ‘Transparency
of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning
and Trade Union Administration Bill’. The
Institute criticised the legislation for being
limited in its scope and said that it “would
not meet the government's stated aims of
increasing transparency around lobbying.
In Scotland, the CIPR opened new channels
of communication into the Scottish
Government to assist their investigations
into a possible register of lobbyists. This
included meeting with Joe Fitzpatrick
MSP, Minister for Parliamentary Business
in the Scottish Government.
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 9
AWARDS AND EVENTS
The CIPR organises annual awards recognising excellence both internationally and across the UK. Rigorous shortlisting and judging
is undertaken by members with expertise across a wide range of categories, with emphasis on rewarding the highest levels of
achievement and innovation. Individual accomplishment and personal potential are recognised alongside organisational success.
Promotional Lego characters from
CIPR Excellence Awards 2013
Participation in the flagship international Excellence Awards
increased, with 687 entries. 163 entries from 120 organisations
were shortlisted across 29 categories and more than 750
people attended a sparkling dinner and presentation ceremony
at the Park Lane Hilton. Winners included Gemma Griffiths
MCIPR as ‘Outstanding Young Communicator’, Transport for
London as ‘Outstanding In-House Public Relations Team’ and
Blue Rubicon as ‘Outstanding Public Relations Consultancy’.
CIPR Cymru Wales PRide Awards 2013
In 2013, we celebrated 10 years of the PRide Awards and
across the UK and there were 1,068 entries, organised in the
CIPR’s 12 National and Regional Groups. 66 Judges shortlisted
884 entries, with 191 going on to win silver awards and 254
winning gold. 12 dinners took place between September
and December, from Bristol to Belfast, with the largest in
Manchester welcoming 364 guests.
THE PUBLIC RELATIONS SHOW 2013
The Public Relations Show 2013
The highlight of the event calendar in 2013 was the new
“Public Relations Show” – an exhibition and professional
development opportunity at the Business Design Centre,
Islington, in November – initiated, organised and managed
by the CIPR. Over 1,000 visitors arrived on the day, engaging
with 30 exhibitors and participating in three speaker streams,
featuring 24 sessions on strategy and culture, government,
communities and society, technology, platforms and the future
of PR. The programme for the day was shaped in response to
member and non-member feedback and in partnership with 11
sponsors, headlined by Vuelio.
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 10
The CIPR’s Royal Charter commits us to promote higher
standards of professional conduct in the public interest. An
established way in which we do this is through our Code of
Conduct, to which all members are bound in the course of their
membership. The CIPR subscribes to the concept of ethical
competence – that professionals apply their knowledge in an
ethical manner, with the CIPR Code of Conduct as their key
The Code of Conduct is developed by CIPR members through
Council and ultimately governed by the Royal Charter.
Complaints, which can be made by anyone, are handled by
a Regulatory Consultant and are adjudicated on by panels
drawn from the professional membership and from laypeople
who have been recruited to provide an alternative perspective
In 2013, 13 valid complaints were received – a higher number
than in either of the two preceding years. However, for the
second consecutive year, the number of hours billed by the
regulatory consultant fell. Of those 13 complaints, three were
due to be resolved by a hearing in 2014; three were dropped;
two are pending at the time of writing this report; three were
withdrawn after advice was given that allowed the complainants
to take matters forward on their own account; and two were
resolved by executive action (the respondent accepted a
warning from the CIPR).
In 2012, CIPR Council formally resolved to restructure the
process for handling complaints about members under
the Code of Conduct in line with best practice following
the 'ILEX' ruling by the Court of Appeal in 2011. This ruling
established the idea that, in disciplinary tribunals set up
by organisations such as the CIPR, the personnel involved
in adjudication should not be drawn from institutional
governance committees (i.e. CIPR Council) which may give
rise to a conflict of interest in the outcome of any complaint.
As a result, a Professional Standards Panel was established
to adjudicate in hearings where valid complaints cannot be
resolved through conciliation, and an Appeals Panel, both of
which are composed entirely of members with no governance
role who work alongside laypeople drawn from other walks of
life and outside the CIPR. An Arbitrator post was also created
to take over the role of resolving any disputes over procedure
which had formerly been the role of the President.
The changes to the regulations also formalised the role of the
Regulatory Consultant, who handles initial complaints and
manages the process, advising Staff and Council as well as the
parties to a complaint. The new structures were determined to
come into effect on 1 January 2014.
CIPR Royal Charter
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 11
CIPR Group committee members devote their time, efforts and
enthusiasm to delivering events and research, which contribute
to the growing profile of the Institute across regions, nations and
sectors. The CIPR would like to thank the committee members
of the 14 national and regional groups and 11 sector groups for
their tireless dedication and commitment to the profession
Whilst it would be impossible to capture the full range of activities
and initiatives undertaken by the member groups, this report
allows us to reflect on the highlights of group activity in 2013.
The 2013 CIPR Northern Conference ‘Power to the People’ was
held in Newcastle and attended by well over 100 professionals.
Now in its 12th year, this annual event is a product of collaboration
between the CIPR’s North East, North West and Yorkshire
Lincolnshire groups and has grown to become one of the largest
events delivered by CIPR member networks.
Another major volunteer-led CIPR event was the 2013 South West
Conference, held at Bristol’s Engineers' House. The conference,
themed around ‘The Rules of Engagement’, offered an extensive
multi-stream programme allowing members and non-members to
tailor the day toward their areas of interest.
CIPR Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all delivered an
extensive range of CPD and training opportunities, through
group-run programmes such as Freshly Brewed, imPRove training
and Meet the Media events.
CIPR Scotland also devoted three days to exhibit at Skills
Scotland – the nation’s largest skills, career and training event,
aimed specifically at S4, S5 S6 students. This took place in
Glasgow and Edinburgh and was a great opportunity to raise
awareness of PR as a career choice.
2013 was a particularly successful year for the CIPR’s sector
groups. CIPR International, under the stewardship of Eva
Maclaine FCIPR, held a series of successful events, including the
Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture which featured an address by
Dr Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director of the International
The Institute’s group for internal communicators, CIPR Inside, also
enjoyed a successful year, which culminated in the success of the
2013 Internal Communication Conference, ‘Building our Future’ –
a full day’s conference held at the Kia Oval that focused on the
evolving communications landscape and the impact technology is
having on internal communications.
The CIPR Corporate and Financial group continued to deliver a
series of insightful speaker lunchtime events. Last year’s series
featured an event with James Quinn, Financial Editor of the
Telegraph Media Group.
The CIPR Education and Skills group held their prestigious
Education and Journalism Awards in December at the House of
Commons. The awards celebrated the achievements of exceptional
education journalists and public relations practitioners.
Two new member networks, Defence Communicators and
Corporate Responsibility, were also launched and held their first
events in 2013. These groups were formed in response to growing
interest amongst CIPR members within these areas.
At the CIPR Annual General Meeting, two groups are recognised
each year for outstanding achievements and commitment to the
CIPR. CIPR North East and CIPR International were presented
with their trophies by the Rt Hon Jack Straw, in recognition of
CIPR Inside Annual Internal
Communication Conference 2013
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: Annual Report 2013 12
The CIPR wishes to thank the partners who renewed their relationship with us during 2013.
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