CIPR President’s Q1 2014 report: Focus on vision and purpose
OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q1 2014 Report 2
CIPR PRESIDENT’S Q1 2014 REPORT
This is my first report as President of the CIPR. I committed to report to the
CIPR Board, Council, Groups and members, in this way at the end of each quarter.
FOCUS ON VISION AND PURPOSE
My intention as President for 2014 is to refocus
the CIPR around its vision and core purpose, as
set out in our Royal Charter, as well as to shift the
organisation towards being a networked, member-
The President’s Plan based on my original 10 Election
Pledges, combined with CEO Alastair McCapra’s drive
and operational rigour, provide both the framework
and the means of delivering these objectives.
During this period of intense change Alastair and I
have become the conduit for members and third-
parties. That engagement has been important to
enable members to share frustrations about long
standing issues but I hope that members will now
begin to recognise our renewed focus and the
changes that the CIPR has underway. The transition
will take time.
The first Council meeting of the year, in January,
tackled a number of critical issues. I have been
keen to change the focus of these meetings
to align them with the priorities set out in the
President’s Plan, and to use the brainpower of the
Council to focus on issues impacting the future of
We set the agenda for the Governance changes
which have just gone out to member consultation.
We also spent a chunk of time addressing the issue
of professionalism as it pertains to public relations.
President-Elect Sarah Pinch will share a development
plan in this area at the April Council meeting.
An offsite Board meeting at MediaCity, Salford in
March tackled many of the operational areas that the
Rob Brown was co-opted onto the Board to conduct
a review of member engagement. He will lead a
discussion in this area at the Council meeting in April.
Laura Sutherland was also co-opted onto the Board
with a brief to help us position ourselves for a year of
particular challenges and opportunities in Scotland.
The CIPR is unusual, like other
Chartered organisations, in having its
vision and purpose set out so formally
in a Royal Charter. But that focus is
helpful in defining our priorities.
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q1 2014 Report 3
KEY AREAS OF ACTIVITY AND PROGRESS
I am pleased to have fostered stronger links with
AMEC, the Global Alliance and the PRSA to ensure
that the CIPR has a strong voice in the international
public relations community.
We have committed on behalf of the Policy and
Campaigns Committee to participate alongside
ICCO and the PRCA in AMEC’s Measurement Week
The Professional Practices Committee and
International Group will link-up with the Global
Alliance and the PRSA for the PRSA’s annual
Ethics Awareness Month in September.
MEETINGS AND EVENTS
I have spoken at five regional group events during
the quarter and attended the Inside Awards
and the Maggie Nally lecture; both excellent
events hosted by highly motivated groups
under the leadership of James Harkness, chair
of CIPR Inside, and Eva Maclaine, chair of CIPR
On my behalf Sarah Pinch attended the AGM in
Scotland and her last AGM as chair in the South
West. I am also grateful to Alastair and Phil Morgan,
Policy Communications Director, for attending
AGMs and group meetings.
REACHING OUT TO
We have a number of underserved communities
within the CIPR.
Chartered PR Practitioners
Work has started on an engagement programme
with Chartered PR Practitioners via my own social
This programme of activity will be developed by
the Professional Development and Membership
Committee who have set an ambitious goal and a
programme to attract more members to apply for
the Chartered Practitioner qualification.
As part of this effort we are also addressing the
member journey. This is a key aspect of our value
proposition for members.
The next challenge is the Fellows. This group of
Plans to tackle this are underway for Q2.
I am also concerned that while we have modernised
the admission process for Fellows in the last
18-months the Fellows are a diminishing (less than
3% of membership) group.
I would urge you to familiarise yourself with the
process and nominate members whom you believe
are worthy of our highest membership honour. The
next nomination deadline is July.
LEADING THE PROFESSION
I am incredibly proud of PR in 2014, the ebook of
PR trends for the next 12-months, and the State
of the Profession survey. Both these initiatives
have driven high levels of member engagement,
both directly, and via activities such as the
#CIPRChat on Twitter.
Thanks to the CIPR Communication team and the
Policy and Campaigns Groups for their work in
Board member Sarah Hall has picked up the issue of
the gender pay gap from the State of the Profession
survey and is now working with the Professional
Practices Committee to lead an initiative to share
best practice in this area.
I maintain a week-by-week activity
summary on Pinterest. Please check
this for further information about
initiatives highlighted in this report.
For information about the CIPR
please visit our web site and follow
@CIPR_UK on Twitter for regular
updates from the Institute.
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q1 2014 Report 4
Progress against my original 10 Election Pledges for 2014 is outlined below.
01 COMMUNITY 02 CONFIDENCE 03 PROFESSIONALISM
Support, promote and celebrate the leadership
of the CIPR in the regions and nations by
providing a clear vision and purpose. Actively
engage the Council – the CIPR’s governing
body – and all its committees to represent the
membership and the profession. Modernise
the institutional model of the CIPR as a central
provider and start the shift to a member-run and
member-led networked organisation.
Assert the CIPR’s leadership nationally and
internationally in areas such as diversity,
social media, public affairs and internal
communication, ensuring that members have a
leadership voice in their relevant communities.
Recognise that the public relations industry
must shift from a craft to a profession by
putting Continuing Professional Development
(CPD) at its core. Set a roadmap to ensure
that CPD is recognised and seen as a key CIPR
• Consultation on Governance underway.
• We are tackling an issue impacting the public
relations profession at each meeting of the
Council: professionalism in January; and
engagement in April.
• Co-opted Laura Sutherland onto Council with
a brief to help us position ourselves for a year
of particular challenges and opportunities in
• Autonomy for Groups in communications with
• Consultation on closer links between nations/
regions and sector groups.
• New CIPR chapter founded in Switzerland.
• Confirmed to speak at four events during
2014: Entrepreneurs Forum, Silicon Beach, the
Content Marketing Show and Bled.
• Pitches submitted for the Global Alliance
World PR Forum 2014 and the PRSA 2014
• Spoken at the following group events in Q1:
International, East Anglia, North-East, North-
West, and Wessex.
• Attended CIPR Inside Awards and the Maggie
• Sarah Hall leading work on the gender gap
under our diversity brief to report to Council
• Survey highlighting issues around unpaid
internships to be published early April.
• Proposed Governance changes embed Code
of Conduct more clearly in our mission and
• Sarah Pinch leading a project to explore the
barriers to professionalism in PR and build
relationships with professional organisations.
• Governance changes proposed to restrict
eligibility for Board to Accredited and
Chartered Practitioners; and for Council to
members undertaking CPD.
• Record number of 1,265 members undertook
CPD by the March 2014 deadline (up 29%).
• Work beginning on scoping the development
of an enhanced CPD offer for mid-career and
• Work planned to develop enhanced ethics
training with a view to making ethics a
compulsory part of the annual CPD return.
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q1 2014 Report 5
04 EXCELLENCE 05 RELEVANCE 06 RELATIONSHIPS
Actively promote the Accredited Practitioner
and Chartered Practitioner schemes as a
benchmark for excellence to all members and
with their employers in all sectors, charity,
public and private, in-house and consultancy.
Ensure that these schemes continue to
resonate with employer and member needs.
Quantify the benefit of public relations to
the UK economy through a research initiative
to provide the industry with a confident
authoritative voice. Use data to assert the role
of public relations as a management discipline.
Further promote working relationships with
key national and international organisations
in advertising, digital, marketing and public
relations. Support the work of the CIPR diversity
group and actively engage with school and
college students, and the wider public, about
public relations as a profession that fully
represents the wider community it serves.
• Chartered PR Practitioner review completed.
Membership and Professional Development
committee leading on implementation.
• Programme of active and targeted marketing
to eligible members is being developed.
• Stage two Papers written by Chartered PR
Practitioners to be published starting in 2014 –
• State of the Profession survey has given us a
solid basis for developing our activities.
• Opened up Group membership so for now
each CIPR member can join up to five groups;
plans for unlimited group membership in 2015.
• #PRredefined ebook and community on
the future of the profession to be published
31 March. Includes papers from Stephen
Waddington, Philip Sheldrake, Anne Gregory
and Andy Green.
• Engagement with other PR associations:
AMEC, PRSA, ICCO, and PRCA.
• Business Development Manager appointed
March 2014 to build better relationships with
employers and universities.
• The CIPR is supporting the European
Communications Convention; Adult Learners
Week; AMEC Measurement Week; the Festival
of Marketing; PRSA Ethics Awareness Month;
and Debating Matters Competition Finals.
• 4th Annual IoD/CIPR PR Director of the Year
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q1 2014 Report 6
07 SOCIAL 08 LOBBY 09 TRANSPARENCY
Move the CIPR along the journey to becoming
a social organisation, putting content and
conversation at its core. Connect directly with
members and the broader industry through a
monthly Twitter discussion.
Seek swift resolution on the issue of the
registration of lobbyists and ensure that any
new statutory rules are fair and applicable to all
practitioners irrespective of role.
Promote the CIPR Code of Conduct and Ethical
standards in public relations. Ensure that the
CIPR is an open and transparent organisation
working in the public interest.
• Monthly #CIPRchat Twitter chat. Suggestions
for future topics such as welcomed.
• Rob Brown co-opted to Board to review
most effective means for engagement with
members via content.
• Plans in hand to build new members area on
CIPR website (late 2014 or early 2015) to allow
greater member-to-member interaction.
• Undertook #ebookinaday project with
Southampton Solent university – an experiment
in social learning and development. Results to
be published late-April.
• Public affairs represented on the CIPR Board
and Council in 2014.
• New public affairs representative role agreed
for Scotland; work continues with the Scottish
Parliament on proposed Scottish register.
• Commitment to manage the CIPR Board and
Council in a transparent way.
• Answer all personal emails within 48 hours
and publish minutes of meetings with 24
hours of them being signed off.
• Publish quarterly progress against plan.
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q1 2014 Report 7
Thank you Alastair, Phil, Sukhjit, and all of the team
at the CIPR, for your commitment and hard work
during this period of intense change.
Thank you also to members of the Board and
Council for their support and in particular all those
referenced in this report.
Stephen Waddington MCIPR
31 March 2014
Displace Max Clifford as the mouthpiece of
the public relations industry and promote
the expertise of CIPR members to the
media, through social media and speaking
• Personal blog and columns in Communicate
and PR Week.
• Plan underway to develop and promote
a media directory of CIPR member