LOVE UK: The CIPR is too London-centric which is why I’m voting for Mandy Pearse


Too London-centric.

That’s the verdict of an unscientific poll about the Chartered Institute of Public Relations – the CIPR.

Almost 80 per cent of people in the straw poll in the Public Sector Comms Headspace Facebook group agreed with the idea that the organisation was too capital-focussed.

Only 9 per cent of people disagreed.

Worryingly, 14 per cent voted to say that they didn’t care either way.

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Of course, it’s easy to disregard the numbers. This is just a group with 3,600 members from the public sector and the industry is bigger than that. But the truth is this reflects scores of conversations I’ve had up and down the country over the past 10 years from people in all sectors.

Data that Peter Holt has put together that shows just one per cent of CIPR money in 2018 was spent outside the capital can’t be so easily dismissed. A glance at the CIPR calender shows that of the next 40 events two thirds are in London.

I’m not alone, surely, in thinking that’s not good enough.

Six years ago, I blogged about how I was not a CIPR member. Inspired by the work of past Presidents Stephen Waddington and Sarah Waddington and many others I joined but the London-centric aspect of the organisation was a barrier for me.

London, I love you.

You’re great.

But so is the Black Country, the West Midlands, the East Midlands, the North West, the North East, East Anglia, Yorkshire, the South West, the South Coast, lowland Scotland, highland and islands Scotland, Northern Ireland. North Wales, mid-Wales, West Wales and South Wales.

To be a truly cutting edge and campaigning voice it needs to represent all corners of the industry and all corners of the country.

A members’ organisation is what members make of it and I take my hat off to the CIPR members who volunteer their time to make the organisation work in their area.

But direction from the top is so important.

This year there are two strong candidates for CIPR President with public sector backgrounds.

I’ve nominated Mandy Pearse in the CIPR President elections and I’ll be voting for her

She is someone who lives and works outside London but knows it. She’s worked in the public sector and she also gets why the industry needs to change and adapt and has done some great work for years within the CIPR.

You can see a summary of both candidates commitments here.

I hope you vote for Mandy too, if you are a member.

Picture credit: istock

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1 Comment

  1. That London is the extent of the universe for so many people in this area of the workplace was one of the reasons I stopped being the PR rep for the Manchester & Salford branch of the NUJ (as well as the Manchester NUJ office deciding I could not be given the contact details of the branch PR members!) Still a hard decision because the volunteer branch officials were lovely people.

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