The landscape for public relations is changing, and as a Board member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) I am fully aware of the implications this has for PR practitioners – whether in-house, agency or independent.
The results of the latest CIPR State of the Profession survey were released last month, and last week’s Board Away Day focused on the findings, what they mean for members and what the CIPR will do about them moving forward. President Sarah Pinch sent a letter to members that was a perfect summary of what we decided. There is no point in me re-writing what Sarah said so eloquently, so I have pasted the content of her letter below …
At the end of last year more than two thousand of you contributed to our annual State of the Profession survey, and we published the findings last month.
This week the CIPR Board of Directors met for a day to consider what you had told us, its implications for the future of public relations, and how the CIPR should respond. Our day was spent discussing how best to lead the transformation of today’s PR workforce into the professionals of tomorrow.
I wanted to share headlines of what was agreed:
The Changing PR Landscape
As automation gathers pace we anticipate that the proportion of income members earn from media relations will decline. We will support members in developing and broadening their skills base so they can continue to add value to their clients and employers in innovative ways, and connect with their publics.
As well as helping members develop as PR practitioners we must address the need to help them prepare for and deliver value in senior management and Board-level roles in their organisations. Our Professional Development & Membership Committee will oversee development of our training offer to members in line with these objectives.
Professional and Ethical Accountability
It is clear that there are divergent understandings of what ‘professionalism’ means. We will work to ensure that ethics, accountability and continuing professional development are well-understood and at the core of our professional identity. Currently, for a large number of members, they are not.
Our Professional Practices Committee, will produce new guidance in specific fields of work to enable members to develop their ethical competence under the CIPR Code of Conduct.
We will develop our PRide and Excellence Awards in ways which reinforce our professional standards, so that we are consistent in recognising achievements which most clearly embody the values we represent.
Skills, Qualifications and Competencies
In the light of research into future skills needs which the CIPR has commissioned, our Professional Development & Membership Committee will create a competency framework to support recruiters, training managers and individual practitioners.
Our qualifications do not necessarily align clearly with the key stages of a practitioner’s career. In 2015 we will begin a comprehensive review of every syllabus to ensure that our offer is more clearly relevant to specific needs.
Over the years we have developed training, qualifications, CPD and Chartered status in a way which means that the links between them are often not clear. This year we will draw them together to provide a more coherent route to greater professionalism.
Chartered status will continue to be the flagship validation of overall professional experience.
Enhancing and reinforcing CPD
When the CPD Ladder reopens in mid-March for the new CPD year there will be a number of enhancements to make it more useful. Later in the year we will also be introducing a planning tool to emphasise and identify your future needs rather than retrospectively recording learning.
We will require engagement with CPD as a qualification for members to judge CIPR awards.
In June, at our national AGM in Bristol, we will propose that future nominations for CIPR Fellowship include a requirement for prior completion of CPD and future commitment to it.
Gender Pay Gap
The CIPR Gender Pay Gap Manifesto, published today, sets out how the CIPR will work to narrow pay inequality between men and women working in public relations.
The CIPR is the driving force for professionalism in public relations. Professionals deliver better results for their clients, employers, stakeholders and work in the public interest. By aiming to become an Institute of Chartered Professionals, the CIPR is developing the roadmap to a stronger, better-equipped and more effective UK public relations industry.
Thank you for the experience and insight you have shared with us in the State of the Profession survey. I hope you can see that we have listened and we are acting on your feedback. We will continue to use it in future years to inform how we serve you.
Sarah Pinch FCIPR, CIPR President 2015
You will have read that the Professional Development and Membership Committee was mentioned a few times. I chair this committee so a lot of what the Board decided is winging its way towards me … my committee will be kept busy this year.
This is an exciting point in the evolution of PR practice and I am raring to go with playing my part. The CIPR has a team of committed staff and my colleagues on Board and Council and I take our roles very seriously – we have a lot to achieve this year.