OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Q4 2014 REPORT:
View previous CIPR President’s reports from 2014
• Q1 Vision and Purpose
• Q2 Work in Progress
• Q3 Community Engagement
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q4 2014 Report: Handover 2
CIPR PRESIDENT’S Q4 2014 REPORT
This is my final report as President of the CIPR. I committed to reporting to the
CIPR Board, Council, Groups and members, in this way, at the end of each quarter.
In 2014 the CIPR has had a back to basics focus on its
vision and purpose, returning the organisation to its roots
of professionalism as set out in our Royal Charter. We have
also looked to shift the organisation towards being better
networked and member-led.
VISION AND VALUES:
That vision is very simply to promote professionalism in
public relations for practitioners, and in the public interest.
Professionalism is a barrier to entry in the form of
foundation knowledge; a Code of Conduct that can be
publically tested; continuing professional development;
qualifications; and a healthy exchange between academia
Professionalism is not accepting the lack of diversity or the
average gender pay gap across the profession of £12,000.
We have sought to align the organisation firmly with this
vision in 2014 through changes to governance, operational
activity, campaigning and thought leadership.
This focus and sense of purpose has been helpful in defining
priorities. It has made decision making straightforward by
removing emotion and informing what we do, and more
importantly what we don’t.
The CIPR is a very different from the organisation that I
took on 12 months ago.
We've reformed our governance to make the organisation
more purposeful and more business focused. These
changes were agreed at the Annual General Meeting and
were agreed by the Privy Council on 8 October.
The Council has been slimmed down from 50 to 30 people
with a board of directors. Furthermore, the governance
changes have embedded the Code of Conduct more
clearly in our structures.
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q4 2014 Report: Handover 3
We've invested in content, policy and education,
making membership more relevant to members, and
we’ve taken a firm grip on the business, overhauling
finance and IT.
We’ve sought to state a clear value proposition
to members whatever the stage of their career
from students to Chartered PR practitioners.
Chartered Public Relations: Lessons from Expert
Practitioners, an anthology of examined essays,
will be published in February 2015. This continues
to be a significant area of work in progress.
We've led campaigning on ethics, equality,
professional standards, modernisation, and
wearables, in the UK and beyond. We’ve hosted two
industry-leading debates in the House of Commons.
I’ve had the good fortune to benefit from the
energy and focus of our chief executive Alastair
McCapra and the team under his leadership. I owe
them my gratitude for responding so positively to
the changes that we have made.
I’d also like to thank the Board and Council
for supporting and helping see through my
However if 2014 has been a year of modernisation,
2015 must continue and consolidate this agenda.
As I reflect on my original ten pledges I recognise
that there is still much to do.
As Past President I plan to focus on the development
of a competency framework for the profession, and
improve the engagement between academia and
practice. To this end I have been appointed as a
Visiting Professor in Practice at Newcastle University.
I look forward to working alongside my successors
President Sarah Pinch and President-Elect Rob
Brown in the next twelve months.
Stephen Waddington, Chart.PR. MCIPR
I hosted 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.
CIPR PRESIDENT’S Q4 2014 REPORT
As part of my campaign for President for 2014 I set out a series of 10 Election Pledges. I have set out progress in each of these
areas in the next section.
01 COMMUNITY 02 CONFIDENCE 03 PROFESSIONALISM
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q4 2014 Report: Handover 4
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 member benefit.
• We tackled an issue impacting the public
relations profession at each CIPR Council meeting
throughout the year.
• In November Paul Wilkinson led a discussion
on independent practitioners with a view to
developing a programme of initiatives in this
area. There are an estimated 800 solo practitioner
members within the CIPR.
• Nine PRide events have taken place throughout
the UK during Q4 celebrating regional excellence
in public relations practice.
• An ebook called #PR2015 will be published in Q4
with comment and analysis on the public relations
business in the coming 12-months from each of
the CIPR regional and sector groups.
• The 2014/2015 State of PR survey is underway.
This is the largest benchmark of the PR profession
of its kind. The results and analysis will be
announced in Q1 2015.
• What’s New? 2014, an innovation report published
on 4 December spotlighted more than 65 areas of
development for the CIPR in 2014.
• Speaking commitments were fulfilled at four
industry events in Q4: Data Breach? Preparing
for the Fallout, The Economist, London; Can an
organisation be social?, Upload, Lisbon, Portugal;
All Business Is Social: The Bigger Opportunity for
Public Relations, PRSA International Conference,
Washington DC, US (October); Do you want to
be a big name in public relations? #FuturePR
event hosted by the Crowd & I, London; and
Panel: Digital disruption or business as usual?
Econsultancy Festival of Marketing, London.
• Spoke at two CIPR events in Q4: Future of public
relations, future skills and Q&A, CIPR Yorkshire &
Lincolnshire, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds; and
CIPR North East PRide, Newcastle.
• The Privy Council approved our proposal
governance changes. These embed the Code of
Conduct more clearly in our mission and structures.
• Sarah Pinch continues with her work looking at the
reputation of the profession and has developed a
guided discussion document for interviews.
• Work is underway on scoping the development of
an enhanced continuing professional development
(CPD) offer for mid-career and senior practitioners.
• CPD completion rates in the 2014 to 2015 cycle
continue to increase year-on-year. Increasing this
numbers will be a key focus for 2015.
• 45 new skills guides developed in conjunction
with Chartered PR Practitioners will be
published before the end of 2014; an updated
CIPR Research, Planning and Measurement Toolkit
will be published mid-2015; and the Best Practice
Guidance that supports the Code of Conduct will
be a year-long project for 2015.
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
04 EXCELLENCE 05 RELEVANCE 06 RELATIONSHIPS
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q4 2014 Report: Handover 5
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 and 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 Public Relations: Lessons from Expert
Practitioners, an anthology of stage two papers
written by Chartered PR Practitioners will be
published in February 2015.
• Ella Minty MCIPR, an active member of CIPR
Scotland, was announced as the latest
Chartered Public Relations Practitioner.
• The newly formed editorial board is exploring a
means of publishing leading work from diploma
graduates and Chartered PR Practitioners on an
• The CIPR announced 19 new Fellows in October
in recognition of their outstanding work in public
relations; service to the Institute and personal
achievements within the profession.
• The CIPR has entered a partnership with
Tomorrow’s Company and is working with
CIMA, KPMG and other partners on the future
of corporate governance at board level and the
value of relationships to successful companies.
• The CIPR has renewed its sponsorship of the
Taylor Bennett Foundation. This is an important
initiative focused on tackling the lack of diversity
in our profession.
• The Institiute launched a series of 10 guides in
collaboration with The Talent Keeper Specialists
to navigate the challenges of maternity leave and
return to work process.
• We also held a gender pay hack day on
17 November to explore further initiatives for the
CIPR to lead in 2015 to tackle the issue of gender
diversity and the existing pay gap.
• Partnered with the Global Alliance for Public
Relations on the development of a competence
framework for public relations professionals.
• Hosted the 3rd Brazilian Corporate
Communications Day at the CIPR, Russell Square.
• Collaborated with UKPAC and APPC on response
to the new Register of Consultant Lobbyists.
• Launched a series of 10 guides in collaboration
with The Talent Keeper Specialists to navigate the
challenges of maternity leave and return to work.
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
07 SOCIAL 08 LOBBY 09 TRANSPARENCY
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q4 2014 Report: Handover 6
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.
• The CIPR discontinued its partnership
agreement with Haymarket Publishing for
the distribution of PRWeek to members, and
management of the online CIPR Jobs website.
• The CIPR plans significant investment in 2015 in
its own content to deliver member engagement
and campaign on professional standards in
public relations, through a variety of owned and
shared channels. The CIPR will also invest in its
own online jobs marketplace.
• A new editorial panel met initially in Q4, under
the leadership of Rob Brown, and agreed a plan
to develop the CIPR Conversation. A member
survey will follow in Q1.
• A monthly #CIPRchat Twitter chat took place in
Q4 on solo practitioners. Suggestions for future
topics such as these are welcomed.
• Alastair McCapra met with Alison White,
Registrar of Consultant Lobbyists to discuss
the consolation on the lobbying register
(19 November). A member consultation and
roundtable were subsequently undertaken ahead
of the consultation deadline.
• A new public affairs representative role agreed
for Scotland; work continues with the Scottish
Parliament on a proposed Scottish register.
• All CIPR members undertaking CPD will be
required to complete a compulsory Ethics
component from March 2015 in order to meet
• Managed the CIPR Board and Council in a
• Answered personal emails within 48 hours and
published minutes of meetings with 24 hours of
them being signed off.
• Published quarterly progress against plan.
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
Chartered Institute of Public Relations: President’s Q4 2014 Report: Handover 7
PROGRESS ON THE 10 PLEDGES
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 opportunities.
• Published thought leadership content on agency
and communication team modernisation; gender
diversity; maternity and paternity; and social
• The CIPR hosted a Debating Group event at
the House of Commons in partnership with
Tomorrow’s Company (27 October).
• Alastair McCapra debated the European
Union Right to be Forgotten legislation at the
Cambridge Union in October.
• Thought leadership, opinion and comment
published via the CEO and President’s personal
blogs; and columns in Communicate and