Those who know me know I've been involved with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) since starting my career. From my role on the North East committee to sitting on the national Board (I remain a Council member) I've long been an advocate of the work it does in driving the industry forward - but at times I've also been one of its harshest critics for being outdated, lacking in value and London-centric.
Over the past two years, the CIPR has seen significant change and recognising the support that PR practitioners need during these challenging economic times, has risen to the challenge of delivering this.
From a greater focus on the regions and stronger thought leadership, to the delivery of a wide range of resources and specialist training that translates theory into practice, the Institute has shown that it is a body that understands its members, can speak for them on a national level and equip them with the skills they need to successfully deliver on a daily basis and - critically - demonstrate why PR deserves its place at the boardroom table.
One look at the last member newsletter underlines this beautifully. Covering a multitude of things including events, consultations, awards, training and information on useful tools of the trade (see here for useful content planning tools), there is something for everyone.
If you're in PR and not a member, visit the CIPR to see how it could add value to your career. If you're a business looking for a consultant, my advice is to look for one who is a member. It's a badge that stands for professional development at the highest level.