Almost three years ago, Jason MacKenzie (CIPR’s 2017 President) asked me whether I would consider putting myself forward for the 2017-2019 CIPR Council elections. I laughed when he asked me that, and I still remember what I answered back to him then:
“Mr President, who on Earth would vote for me to be on the Council? I’m not a “groupie”, I’m highly likely to challenge the status-quo and if I do make it to the Council, I’m going to make sure I’m not a passenger …”
Move forward to 2018 and not only have I been elected by the CIPR voting members to serve on the CIPR Council for 2017 and 2018 but, last year, the Council members have also elected me to serve on the Board of CIPR in 2018.
This year will be my last on the Council and I have also chosen to step down from the Board at the end of 2018 (new regulations have been put into place in 2017 – Appendix C).
I’m not leaving CIPR, I’m just taking a break from being involved in its leadership structure. I want to concentrate my limited spare time on growing the Energy Leadership Platform and ensuring it is going to achieve its objective of being the global leading Energy PR thinktank it was set out to be (and it will be).
I’m writing this blog for you, the CIPR members, especially for those of you who have never considered putting yourselves forward to be a member of the Council, and for those of you who really believe that you can make a significant contribution not just to the Institute and its Charter but, especially, to the perception of the Public Relations industry and to the recognition and appreciation it deserves.
During my time on the Council, I have been privileged to contribute to a variety of documents, reports, policies and actions – sadly, I cannot tell you which some of those were (and are) because most of the Council and Board papers are confidential.
However, what I can tell you is that I have been honoured to work with the Chair of the Professional Practices Committee (Kevin Taylor) and Steve Shep-Smith on a variety of Skills Guides and Ethics papers, and to contribute to some of the Institute’s policies and regulations which, hopefully, will make CIPR even more attractive and fit for 21-st century Public Relations leadership and forward thinking.
Please consider standing for this year’s Council Elections not because it will look good in your CV or because it will be a great networking opportunity; put yourself forward because you fiercely believe that you can make a meaningful contribution to what we are doing, because you want to be proud of what you will achieve, and because you’re not afraid to speak up your mind and challenge what you may disagree with.
It’s an exceptionally rewarding experience (trust me on this), and it really provides you with that feeling that you have contributed with something tangible to future of CIPR and our industry, that you made a difference, that it was all worth it, and that you have left a lasting positive and forward-looking mark (I call it legacy) in what the only Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the world is doing not just for you, but for all its members nationally and internationally!
Equally, if you believe you have what it takes to be our 2020 President, then put yourself forward for that, too! You’ll be privileged to work with two exceptionally gifted women, the current CIPR President (Sarah Hall) and President-Elect (Emma Leech).
Their passion and ambition for the Institute and its members are incredible and, if you want to pick up the relay, you couldn’t have chosen a better year to stand for CIPR’s 2020 President!
It’s not your age, ethnicity, gender or accent that will get you elected; what will get you elected is your ability to prove to your CIPR peers (and voting members) that you’ve got what it takes to be a member of the CIPR Council or its 2020 President and, I have no doubt, you’ll get our votes! You won’t regret it, I promise you. Good-luck!