Stephen Waddington today blogged some notes to the future CIPR president from the social web. Make sure you take a read. There is absolutely nothing in there that I disagree with. As you'll know from my earlier posts about the CIPR such as this one and this one, being involved with our only chartered industry body really matters to me. With the forthcoming election, we have a chance to vote in a president who could effect real change so like Stephen, I urge anyone with a vote to make it count.
For my part, it's point 5 from Stephen's blog that really interests me as a former CIPR Board member and an ongoing Council and North East Committee member. Having promised to represent member needs on a national level, I continue to push for Russell Square's greater involvement with the regions and nations and not just from the head office in London. The regional, national and sectoral groups are the membership body's greatest strength and need significant on the ground support. By this I mean greater presence from key CIPR representatives (not just around the PRide events) and much stronger leadership in terms of strategy and campaigns.
As any of the committees will tell you, no one knows their patch and members like they do, so there should of course be plenty of opportunity for each one to respond to their catchment in the most appropriate way. However, if every single group was provided with an overarching strategy plus campaign collateral and the messaging was rolled out with one voice within a set timeframe, we could be powerfully convincing the business community about the role PR has in achieving business success. Why, we might even be able to convince our own members about the value chartered practitioner status holds!
I've been close to the action at the CIPR and have also had some distance with my recent maternity leave, which has given me new perspective. Last year I saw real progress and felt excited about new prospects and priorities for the industry body. This is changing. I currently feel we are reaching a cross-roads and we need to dig deep to continue in the right direction. Think carefully about the new president and what you want as a member going forward and pick wisely.