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A word from PRCA South West Chairman, Kelly Pepworth CMPRCA

The PRCA DARE Awards season has come to an end with 84 communications professionals recognised nationwide.

Among other things, creative results driven campaigns that demonstrate how PR has evolved to be so much more than column inches were applauded, as were organisations with company cultures that develop and empower their employees to be the best.

I’d like to add my congratulations to the winners of the PRCA DARE South West Awards. As an MD myself, I fully appreciate that making time to enter your business to an award is a real commitment in the face of day-to-day pressures but the rewards in terms of increased profile, peer recognition, and bolstering client relationships can be invaluable.

Awards also have a bigger role to play in their reinforcement of the value of our industry. Making time to acknowledge its increasingly professional nature either through industry accolades, employee training and CPD, or the PRCA’s excellent Communications Management Standard, plays a vital role in supporting its reputation and business standing.

Furthermore, the excellent press coverage generated for the winners in both the regional and business media stimulates other opinion formers to reflect on what communications professionals could achieve for their business. I appreciate I’m preaching to the converted, but it’s such a great opportunity to raise the profile of our industry I couldn’t resist!

One part of our industry which some might argue continues to hold it back is measurement. While AVE is widely considered to be out of date, an alternative that is embraced by the majority of PR professionals has been slow to materialise. Yet materialise one must.

Recent debate by industry experts  at a PRCA conference ‘Why There is no Room for Measurement Doubters in PR’ highlighted backing for the global ‘Say no to AEVs’ campaign. The definite list of 22 reasons why AEVs should not be used is worth a read. The PRCA’s Measurement Champions initiative was also showcased which backs AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework as the new industry standard.

In the South West, we’ll be hosting our own event to garner the opinions of professionals in the region on the measurement debate. If the PRCA’s Measurement Champions standard is set to be around for as long as AVE, now is your chance to have your say. Get in touch - we’d love to know your thoughts. After all it could shape how we evaluate our success and business impact as an industry for decades to come.