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PR and Communications Council 2020 manifestos

The PR and Communications Council has selected its new Chairs for 2020.

Simon Francis CMPRCA, Founder Member, Campaign Collective and Chair of the PRCA Charity & Not For Profit Group, and Julia Herd CMPRCA, Managing Director, Five in a Boat Ltd, will be the 2020 Council Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Both of their manifestos canbe read below. 

Julia Herd CMPRCA, Managing Director, Five in a Boat Ltd

I have been in communications for 19 years, running my own consultancy for 18 months (recently nominated for best new agency) and on the PR Council for a year. I’ve often questioned what the future of communications looks like when everyone thinks they can do our job, yet very few have the skills and experience to do it well.

Where do we add real value? How do we drive the future of our industry, and be at the heart of other industries? Based on my experience, I’ve recognised that start-ups are key, both to securing the long-term future of the PR profession and imbuing us with the right skills for our companies, our clients and ourselves.

I propose focusing the PRCA in equipping it with skills and credibility through sustained outreach in the start-up field – a sector worth $3trillion globally. This not only helps contribute to the success of new companies but it fosters a positive perception of communications among future captains of industry, providing a long-term platform for it to flourish both at agency level and in-house.

This works two ways. Firstly, we get to learn about best practice and process through adopting the agile philosophies of start-ups; investing time in knowledge-sharing with the start-up community will be key. Secondly, learning the start-up mentality also equips us better to move into new positions, new sectors and even launch communications consultancies of our own.

Simon Francis CMPRCA, Founder Member, Campaign Collective and Chair of the PRCA Charity & Not For Profit Group

The PR and Communications profession is at a crossroads.

We either build on the work we have been doing to improve ethics, diversity and standards, or we stagnate.

As Chair of the PRCA Council, I will propose these areas are the focus of the Council‘s work.

Underpinning our work on all these themes must be a step change in demonstrating the positive social impact the profession has. 

The PRCA Council has made bold steps in agreeing a definition for social impact, but we need a dedicated drive to move this agenda forward. 

Demonstrating our social impact will improve recruitment and retention, ensure we are talking the language of board rooms and procurement teams and show to the public that we are a globally aware, responsible profession. 

The first ever analysis of the social impact of PR and communications agencies revealed that 80% of practitioners have helped meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In addition, three quarters have encouraged workplace diversity with two thirds involved in genuine corporate social responsibility programmes.

This is a platform we can build on and, as a Founder of Campaign Collective, a social enterprise PR agency, I would be delighted to lead that charge.