Northern Ireland offers lots to be PRoud about

On Friday I had the privilege of attending the CIPR's PRide Awards in Belfast. It was an inspiring experience to see first hand the thriving industry in Northern Ireland and to hear members talk about where they'd like to see the CIPR head next. Here's a transcript of my speech.

Good evening and thank you for the warm welcome tonight. It's a real privilege to be here on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

It's also wonderful to return to Belfast. I'm from Newcastle, as you might have guessed from my Geordie accent. It's a pleasure to visit an area which also has a proud industrial history and reputation for innovation and reinvention. It feels like home from home. 

I'd like to open by congratulating each and every one of you. Whatever transpires, you're already the best of the best as evidenced by your CIPR membership, commitment to continuous professional development (CPD) and shortlisting in the PRide Awards. 

Like Colleen from AWARE who spoke before me, I'd like to ask everyone to recognise the hard work of Sinead Doyle and the CIPR Northern Ireland committee, plus the events team at CIPR, by putting your hands together. It's thanks to them that amazing nights like these happen. 

Public relations has much to celebrate. You may already know me from the #FuturePRoof books and community I created. One of the objectives of this was to act as a cheerleader for our profession. I'd now like to extend this to the CIPR.

Next year as your CIPR President I want to raise PR's standing and reinforce its value as a strategic management function. 

But I need your help.

Please, wherever you can, treat public relations as a business discipline and develop your management and finance competencies. Do whatever you can to speak the language of the C-suite and report accordingly. Finally - and it's a key one - promote public relations to employers and the wider business community at every opportunity.

It's lovely to say that 2018 brings the 70th anniversary of the CIPR and a celebration of all its dedicated volunteers. 

As part of this we are producing a 70th anniversary book which will illustrate our history and the opportunities that lie in our future. Please do pitch a contribution - the story is partly yours to tell. 

But enough with the calls to action. Tonight is to celebrate the excellence sat in this room right now.  I can't wait to celebrate with you.  I wish you all a fantastic evening and the very best of luck.

Post event note: If you'd like to connect, you can find me on Twitter @Hallmeister. You can find the results of the awards here