Lesley Brydon, FCIPR
College, then agency since the age of 21. Founded Clark. in 2012, which has grown into a B2B, tech and public sector agency with 13 staff working on PR, design and social.
How long have you been a volunteer?
My current stint with CIPR is in its third year – committee member, Chair, and now Council member, representing Scotland. However, I did three years on the committee 20 years ago, and have been involved on and off since then helping with awards judging etc.
What made you want to volunteer with us and how did you get involved?
I believe in the CIPR as a measure of the sector, improving standards and keeping up to date with new areas of the profession. I have been a member since I started out, so I’ve always felt that being involved in a deeper sense was the right thing to do. It’s great for networking too.
What kind of work do you do on the committee?
At the moment, I’m the Scottish representative on Council, so I make sure that Scottish members’ views are heard at a national level, and that CIPR activity is relevant in the regions. I’ll also support the Chair if he needs me. I’ve just finished working with other volunteers from across the UK to assess applications for a new research funding grant the CIPR launched this year.
What's been the best thing about volunteering so far? Any particular highlight or achievement you're most proud of? Did you volunteer through the pandemic and how was that?
During the pandemic, and as Chair of the Scottish branch at the time, I brought together heads of owner-managed businesses in Scotland that might not have support from a vast management team in the same way the MDs of the network agencies would. We met regularly to share experiences, concerns and to give each other general support.
Why is volunteering important?
It’s easy to ask a lot of membership bodies, and assume that the membership fee ‘gets’ you certain things. However, I’ve always felt that the membership experience, and the organisation, is so much more effective and useful if you contribute too. It’s beneficial at every level. I’m also really committed to quality and development, and the CIPR embodies that.
What would you say to another member thinking of volunteering?
Only do it if you are 100% committed. Being on a committee or a board, is not a badge you can wear as proof you’ve arrived - there is actual work involved! If you prepared to participate, go for it.