Last month I renewed my CIPR membership. As I was signing up for 2018/19 it made me reflect on my seven years as a member and what I have gained in that time.
There are six reasons it’s an essential part of my professional life:
- It helps me maintain and improve my skills and knowledge: the CIPR has a great range of resources for members, including skills guides, webinars, and training courses. They are all easily searchable via a personalised CPD portal and you can set your own development targets. There’s also an exclusive members magazine, Influence, that includes articles on the latest issues.
- It’s a community: I’ve been part of CAPSIG, the specialist construction and property group, for five years, judged for the CIPR Excellence Awards, and attended a large number of events and conferences. Along the way I’ve met lots of great people, who volunteer their time and energy to improving the profession. The CIPR also has its own charity, iprovision, that supports members who are facing hardship.
- I have formalised my qualifications: when I first joined, I signed up for the CIPR Diploma. I originally trained as a journalist before making the decision to move into PR. I was conscious that I lacked a formal qualification and the Diploma provided a great foundation for my career, combining both academic and practical knowledge.
- It’s a mark of professionalism: being a member of the CIPR shows that you work to a set of professional standards including a Code of Conduct. Employers view this positively and it helps when interacting with senior leadership.
- You can differentiate yourself: eighteen months ago I achieved Chartered status. There are fewer than 250 members with this designation currently, so it is a positive accolade to have and demonstrates your professional standards. The CIPR is putting serious effort into encouraging and helping more people become Chartered so it’s a good time to join and be a part of it.
- The CIPR provides an industry voice: the Institute promotes best practice and champions issues that affect members. Following its most recent State of PR survey, these include addressing a lack of diversity, encouraging a debate on mental health, and solving the gender pay gap.