Long-term readers of my PR blog will know that I have been seeking to improve CIPR provision for independent practitioners since 2014 when I chaired a CIPR roundtable of independent PR practitioners (aka freelance PRs, or solo PRs) at the institute’s Russell Square HQ.
Once elected to the CIPR’s Council, I began to agitate about how the CIPR might help its solo practitioners. Buoyed up by data from its State of the Profession survey (comprising around 13% of respondents, we apparently tend to be older, more experienced in PR, and more likely to work part-time), I helped with a CIPR SoloPRs tweetchat in March 2015. We also updated the CIPR’s freelance guide, started a CIPR Independent Practitioners group on Linkedin, and I did a podcast with Stephen Waddington (note to self: find out where that Soundcloud podcast got moved to).
Things then quiet-ish for a while (mainly due to some family bereavements), though I have continued to talk to numerous independent practitioners more informally, meeting up with them at events such as the CIPR Greater London Group’s Drink ‘n’ Link sessions, and contributing occasionally to discussions on the excellent Freelance PRs group on Facebook alongside other active CIPRIPs such as Lindsey Collumbell, Stuart Bruce and Laura Sutherland, among others.
More recently (and taking advantage of my role as a CIPR group chair), I have begun to push for CIPR groups to nominate committee members to be coordinators or points of contact for CIPRIPs in their groups, and to interconnect with the coordinators in other groups.
New CIPRIP network
May 2017 saw impetus added by a “Going Independent” event run at Russell Square, out of which emerged a small working group which proposed to establish a CIPR Independent Practitioners network (as distinct from a CIPR group – recognising that independents can be found across every region and in every vertical sector group in the CIPR). May also saw the creation of CIPRnet, launched to empower CIPR volunteers (not to be confused with the Critical Infrastructures Preparedness and Resilience Research Network). And so the CIPRIP network now has a presence in that volunteer community, which is slowly growing.
And I have continued to support other CIPR groups wanting to help independent PR practitioners, or those considering the move to independence. For example, I will be at a “Being Independent” event in Manchester on 21 November 2017.
If you are a CIPRnet volunteer and want to be added to the CIPRIP group, please let me know, or contact either of the other people behind the CIPRIP network: Ebony Gayle (of Ebony Gayle Communications) and Dominic Ridley-Moy (Ridley Moy Communications).