The value of CIPR membership

Simon Collister has an interesting post on why he hasn’t yet renewed his Chartered Institute of Public Relations membership. I had a very similar discussion with Chris Norton the other day who was asking exactly the same question.

I find it very worrying that two young PR professionals both have to question the value of CIPR membership. However, I also a huge degree of sympathy.

I’ve been a CIPR member for 20 years and I’m not sure I’ve had a great a deal out of it either. But that’s not why I’m a member.

The reason I think CIPR membership is so important is the work it does to improve the professionalism, quality and standards of the public relations industry. I’m a member for what I can contribute, not what I get from it.

The CIPR is far from being the professional institute that I would want to be a member of. Just one example is the social media guidelines, which I have questioned the existence of as we don’t have similar guidelines for mainstream media relations (despite the evidence from journalists that they are still spammed by too many PR people, some of which will doubtless be members).

You change things from within the tent, not from without.