BECOMING A CIPR MEMBER - WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
17th March, 2011
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You have concluded a PR-related degree and somehow landed the job of your dreams: an entry level PR account executive role. Because you are passionate and want to get ahead in your career you would also like to be part of a professional body and are thinking about joining the Charted Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Oana Baetica tells the story of trying to take meaningful membership of the PR industry’s leading professional body.
However, the options the CIPR offers to young executives have no more benefits than the ‘like’ function on Facebook. Having a student, affiliate or associate status with the CIPR will not necessarily support you in your professional development and will leave you a few hundred pounds lighter as well. Only upon completing an expensive course such as the CIPR Advanced Certificate or Diploma in Public Relations (which add up to around £2500-2700) can one aspire to become a member of the august body, and then only at some point in next three years.
I think that the current elitist system the CIPR uses is not only detrimental to the development of young and aspiring professionals, but counterproductive as well. Without an incentive to become a member of a professional body and support its values, best practices and ethical standards, how can that body encourage responsible professionals to provide a higher standard of services to their clients? Surely this is what the CIPR is all about?
Prohibitive course and subscription prices, that very few can afford, combined with demanding membership criteria, are not the best way to create tomorrow’s heads of communications. My firm belief is that graduates and entry level practitioners should be encouraged and supported by the CIPR and not charged enormous fees to become humble ‘fans’ of the professional body.