I’m not one to blow my own trumpet. But I was thrilled this week to learn that I have been awarded Fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
I have been a CIPR member for 21 years. I helped organise its 1994 annual conference at Warwick, and have served on its West of England, Cymru/Wales and Corporate & Financial Group committees.
The nicest thing about becoming a Fellow is that I’m following in my father’s footsteps. Bob Skinner became a Fellow in 1973, and served with distinction as chairman of the Cymru/Wales group twice. Dad also wrote a fascinating history of the group, which served as the story of the development of the PR profession in Wales.
The CIPR has had its ups and downs. It has often been too focused on the UK capital. And it has not always served the interests of members who can’t rely on a generous employer to pay for expensive London hotels and events. (We deliberately chose a modest motel in the south Midlands for that 1994 conference, rather than the likes of Claridges.) It almost came a cropper in 2010 thanks to its old St James’s Square HQ. But under Jane Wilson, its savvy new chief executive, the CIPR is enjoying a resurgence. It is championing the professionalism of PR. It’s embracing social media. And it’s engaging in the debate about lobbying.
Long may it continue.