Being part of a professional community is the need of the day

Public relations is a fast-moving business. Our practice is characterised by constant change and there’s a persistent need to upskill and stay ahead of emerging trends. That’s why it’s never been more important to be part of a professional community.

The business is facing challenges from the advertising industry who are reinventing themselves as ‘content marketing’ as paid media with fake stories gives way to owned media with true stories. Challenges from digital agencies as all media become increasingly digitised. And even challenges from management consultancies who recognise that 84% of a company’s value is in intangible assets, including the value of reputation.

To compete in this environment public relations must be better than ever. That means we must be more professional – able to evidence that our expertise is based on a common body of knowledge, with established best practice methodology, a commitment to continuous improvement and a code of ethics that enables employers and clients to trust our ability and integrity.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations was formed in 1948 and is the world’s only public relations organisation with a Royal Charter. It’s the largest membership organisation for PR professionals outside of North America and houses 10,000 members from more than 85 countries worldwide.

The CIPR’s purpose is simple. It exists to progress professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable through a Code of Conduct. Each and every member agrees to the Code upon joining, and in doing so, holds themselves accountable to the highest standards of ethical and professional practice.

Members join the CIPR for a variety of reasons but one of the most popular reasons is access to the CIPR Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme. It’s an online platform that allows you to plan, track and record your learning. You log points for learning activities and work towards professional accreditation. If you complete CPD for two consecutive years, you’ll become eligible to apply for Chartered Practitioner status, which is the highest standard of professional excellence and integrity.

CIPR members can access more than 100 webinars and skills guides on issues, including crisis communications and social media. There are discounts on training, along with free access to a multiple award-winning magazine, Influence, which helps keeps members up to speed with the latest professional developments.

Like most things in life, the CIPR’s value to you and your career is dependent on what you put it. Those that make the most of their membership and invest time in their professional development benefit immensely.

Being part of a professional community gives you the confidence to approach your work with conviction. Crucially, it’s a reminder that you’re part of a global profession that is dedicated to delivering strategic business value. It’s what separates the workers from the professionals.

CIPR fellows Stuart Bruce and Roger Hayes are in India to run the CIPR’s first major local events in Mumbai on Monday 27 November and Delhi on 29 November. Both fellows have extensive experience of working with Indian PR professionals and are hosting the receptions to help explain the benefits of CIPR membership.

CIPR President Jason MacKenzie is keen to open up CIPR membership to more international members as part of his drive to improve the status of public relations and ensure it is seen as a senior management discipline.

To find out more about joining the CIPR, visit There are still a very limited number of places at the two invite-only receptions, so if you would like to attend then please email Mazeda Begum to secure a place.

Stuart Bruce
Managing Consultant at Stuart Bruce Associates
Stuart Bruce is an international Public Relations adviser and trainer who is globally recognised as a pioneer in modernised public relations, including digital corporate communications, online PR, digital public affairs and lobbying, and corporate social media.

He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and serves as an executive board director leading two task groups – International and Measurement.

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