As a relatively recent graduate and therefore associate member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations I don’t get a vote in the elections that will decide our professional body’s 2017 president. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have a view on who should take up that position.
It still somewhat irks me that the more junior members of our body have little say in the direction it takes, despite what the CIPR itself was planning a little over a year ago.
That being said, the candidate I would vote for – had I the ability to do so – is actively engaging with and listening to the views of practitioners who, like me, are still in the early stages of their PR careers.
That candidate is Jason MacKenzie.
I’m confident that if elected to the role of CIPR President he would not only build on the momentum of the great work done by others elected to the position in recent years, but I’m convinced that he would continue to listen to members of all grades and seniorities to deliver positive change for practitioners in all corners of the industry, and on a range of issues, not just those in the vocal bubble and social media echo chamber.
Jason’s manifesto recognises the changes the PR industry has gone through in recent years, and those that are still sorely needed.
This manifesto aims to do more to reach members in the regions and in academia, it aims to normalise CPD and Chartered Practitioner status, it aims to deliver more value to members and to improve the public perception of PR and its practitioners.
While it is very much a campaign built on continuity, it also looks to the future and where work and investment today can help deliver the change needed for tomorrow.
In particular, Jason addresses concerns that junior PR professionals’ voices are not being heard in recognising that PR students, academics, and new entrants to the public relations industry will determine its future success, and has plans to strengthen relationships with these key stakeholders, whether members or not.
I’d vote for Jason not only because he’s qualified and shares my views and outlook, but because I’m confident he has the drive, influence and ability to engage his fellow members – something that will enable him to deliver on his vision.
And his vision of a bigger, more engaged, more diverse and more equal PR industry that is better understood and more respected by the wider public is certainly one that I want to be a part of.
As Jason says:
“We must continue the drive to professionalism and engage meaningfully with members and non-members alike. We need to strengthen the Institute without diluting our commitment to excellence or devaluing our proposition. We’re already on the right tracks. This isn’t a time to zig-zag.”
And that is why, if I had a vote, I would be using it to #VoteJasonCIPR
For more information on both candidates and their manifestos, visit the CIPR website: CIPR Elections 2015
Or, read this blog post from Immediate Past President, Stephen Waddington: 15 questions for the future President of the CIPR