CIPR Rebuilding Hope conference

The CIPR Rebuilding Hope conference
will also have an exhibition and all of the speakers have been asked to
contribute a couple of paragraphs for display. Philip Young has shared
his here so I thought I’d do the same:


PR professionals are failing our most vulnerable communities because
we are afraid to stand by our beliefs and demand our place at the top
table. Too often we are too distant from the results of our actions and
we forget the human dimension of what we do. As a south Leeds
councillor the aftermath of the bombings reminded me that the work of
public relations professionals can have a massive personal impact on
the daily lives of individuals.

We’ve probably all had occasions where media coverage isn’t as
positive or accurate as we’d hoped and planned. We look at what it
means to the reputation of our organisations. But how often do we think
about what it means out there in the community? What happens when the
misspoken quote becomes the hot topic of conversation in the local
shops, pubs and clubs? What about when Mums and Dads talk about it at
the school gate? What do we do when the extremist groups such as the
BNP and Combat 18 take our work and use it for their own ends?

Public relations people are often held in low regard, even by
colleagues within the same organisation. But our work is important. We
are failing people if we don’t demand our seat at the top table and
ensure that our professional advice is heeded just as much as we listen
to doctors, police officers and lawyers. We have the power to change
people’s daily lives and rebuild hope in our communities.

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