There are only 255 of us in the entire world.
But how many people work in Public Relations and call themselves “PR practitioners” or “PR gurus” or “PR experts” in the rest of 196 countries?
According to the US’ Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2017 there are more than 233,000 “public relations specialists” working in the US, and this figure does not include the self-employed.
Only the number of UK and US PR practitioners alone take us to an astonishing 300,000 PR practitioners!
For the sake of argument, let’s say that there can be an average of 10,000 PR practitioners in the rest of 195 countries (since some countries are very small and others have a special status). Overall, this brings us to a potential number of 2,250,000 Public Relations practitioners across the world in 2018 ….
And yet, there are only 255 Chartered Practitioners – again, to use numbers, there is one Chartered Practitioner for every 8,823 PR people … it’s shocking when you come to think of it.
We (or some of us) are constantly moaning and groaning that PR is not respected, that we don’t get a seat at the boardroom table, that we fight hard to be listened to and be credible etc. – of course we do, and why shouldn’t we?
There are no barriers to entry to PR, there are no compulsory degrees / qualifications / accreditations / membership requirements / CPD etc. that one needs to hold to work in PR in the UK or elsewhere. It’s a line of work, still, that’s up for grabs for anyone.
How do you demonstrate you are knowledgeable, credible and ethical as a PR practitioner?
How do you stand out in a sea of mediocrity and debatable ethical actions?
How do you ensure that your advice will be listened to and, first of all, that you are competent to advise anyone on matters related to Public Relations?
If you’re gravely ill, do you trust an alleged doctor who only “has 20 years of experience” or a doctor who formally studied medicine, is registered with the General Medical Council, holds a licence to practice and is fully accountable for their actions? If you need audited accounts, who do you use – someone next door who’s good with numbers, or a Chartered Accountant?
As far as I am concerned – and you know that I am as opinionated as they come in matters related to PR – and I’ve done it several times already, I would only recommend a Chart.PR to anyone who’s asking me to recommend a colleague, and I would only trust a Chart.PR to brainstorm and discuss with if I need help.
Intelligence, knowledge, skills, ethics and leadership are held by many PR practitioners across the world – but it is only the Chart.PRs who have had the courage and willingness to have theirs tested not by those who use their services, but by their peers, by those who cannot be “spinned” nor “fluffed”, and by those who know as much as (at least) they do.
Do you want to be respected? Do you want Public Relations to be trusted as a practice? Do you want to be considered a strategic management advisor? Do you want to demonstrate mastery of ethics, leadership and strategy in Public Relations? Then I’d strongly recommend you got chartered.
Do it for yourself, for us, for Public Relations and for the respect you should command from your clients, employers and colleagues.