If you have read many of the blogs during this year or even in previous years you will know that I have a real issue with ensuring communication and public relations operates at a strategic level. It is something that I believe is vital if the industry is to develop and be ‘taken seriously’ in the future. This is one of the reasons that I applied to be part of the Foresight Panel that the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has established.
There have been many challenges so far mainly because this is a huge subject to tackle and getting into people’s diaries particularly when they are at a very senior level is never easy. Of course being based in Manchester has added some issues of logistics for me with much of the industry focused on London. The work is being led by Ella Minty who has defined it as ‘understanding the perception of PR held by its service users and finding ways to bridge the gap between perception and reality’. (Find out more in the update here http://newsroom.cipr.co.uk/tata-uk–pgi-directors-warns-pr-to-define-strategic-value/)
The aim for me has to be to find ways to improve the standing of PR and communication so that it sits alongside legal, finance and others as a strategic advisor to the board or bosses. The world is changing quickly and there are some fantastic opportunities for communication professionals that are ready to take them. We are at the point of being able to really take things forward if we have the determination and motivation to do this.
PR needs to be able to define its own future. I see it as ensuring communicators have a clear understanding of the business they are representing, they can demonstrate support to frontline service delivery, and they are committed to continuous professional development. This is about more than doing effective PR for the PR industry it is about a fundamental reassessment of what we see as important to the role of communicators.
I am hugely privileged to be able to play a small part in this by sitting on the Foresight Panel asking questions and discussing the critical issues for the future of the industry.