vote, vote, vote for paul

The PRCA elections are upon us and one public sector communicator is asking for your support.

by Paul Masterman

After hundreds of years advising politicians on reputation, I am about to put myself through an election.  And I am shamelessly touting for votes. 

It’s almost shockingly exciting. 

Fairly recently, Staffordshire County Council’s in-house comms team joined the Public Relations Consultants’ Association.  The PRCA started out to raise standards in the private sector agency world, but now represents over 150 in-house teams, including many of Europe's leading corporations and UK public sector organisations.

It is doing a good job fighting for the profession and does some great on-line training.  For me it complements and enhances the work of LGcommunications, and certainly has a more relevant offer than anything that has come out of the CIPR recently.

I am bidding to be an elected member of the PRCA’s PR Council, which acts as think-tank for the industry and produces helpful commentary, advice and best-practice guidance for PR professionals.  But why?

My first reason is the cheesiest. After a lifetime of taking things out of the comms industry – money, fun, stimulation and free lunches – it is time I put something back.  That’s why I work hard for LGcommunications also, and mentor for its fab Future Leaders’ programme.

Second, I want to fly the flag for public sector comms.  The PRCA is still dominated by the agencies – some of which appear to be almost comically stereotypical.  We are doing some great stuff in the public sector to use sophisticated and strategic comms to improve people’s lives, and there is much we can share.

Third, pub sec comms is indeed a noble profession but we still need to raise our game to be recognised as adding measurable value to our organisations.  The PRCA has done some interesting thinking in this area and I want to be part of landing that work.

Fourth, we must rescue and refresh the image of PR.  The obsession with coverage, still shared by many private and public sector PR people, is dangerous and must stop.  PR is about putting in place a range of communications programmes to inform, persuade and change behaviour.  If the press release is dead then we need to wrestle it for the cold living hand of the traditional PR woman or man.

So…if you are a member of the PRCA you have 3 votes. Make one of those count for the public sector at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PRCACouncil1415. But get busy, voting closes at 5 p.m. on Friday 31 October.

Paul Masterman is Head of Policy, Communications & Marketing at Staffordshire County Council. Email him at paul.masterman@staffordshire.gov.uk.

Picture credit.