Gary Taylor, Candidate for President-Elect 2017

Gary Taylor, Chart.PR FCIPR, has been duly nominated to contest the President Elect election, by:

Carolyn Watson, MCIPR
Pat Gaudin, Found.Chart.PR FCIPR
Paul Amourdedieu, MCIPR
Annette Spencer, Chart.PR FCIPR
Chris Taylor, MCIPR
Erin Portsmouth, Chart.PR MCIPR
Sarah Giangregorio, MCIPR
Gill Dandy, FCIPR
Cornelius Alexander, Found.Chart.PR FCIPR
Dave Sanders, FCIPR

Candidate's election statement:

Hello, I'm Gary and I'd like you to vote for me as President-Elect for 2017.

I've been a member of the Chartered Institute since before we were Chartered, have 13 full CPD cycles under my belt, I'm a former Chairman of CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, and became a Fellow and Chartered Practitioner in 2015. I'm currently Yorkshire & Lincolnshire's Treasurer and sit on the Professional Development and Membership Standing Committee as well as Council.

As we approach our 70th anniversary there are many good things to celebrate, be proud of and remain committed to – such as our Charter; establishing our Ethics Hotline; supporting for over 50 years members in need through our benevolent fund, iprovision; the campaigns and policies designed look after the mental health of our members. But my experiences make me think that there are three areas where we can improve, and which I would focus on if elected: equality, education and engagement.

The Chartered Institute has made great strides in changing attitudes – diversity and wage equality in our profession should be the rule not the exception. But I believe we should go further, and remove our own, artificial barriers to entry to the Chartered Institute. Whether you start aged 18 as a student or practitioner, or enter the profession as a mature practitioner, if you are committed to Continuing Professional Development for your own benefit as well as your organisation and clients then your access to the services we offer should be the same.

Continuing Professional Development is an important aspect of membership and by taking advantage of the opportunities we offer to learn new things and apply them in the workplace I've become a better public relations practitioner. Every member should be able to benefit better from the vast body of knowledge the Chartered Institute has and I'd like to see more employers actively encouraging this. Our region and sector Groups are sometimes the only real connection members make with the Chartered Institute. As a former Group Chairman I know that we can do better to promote our aims, but we need to make sure that the structures and support are in place to do this. Otherwise, we risk losing vital and knowledgeable local volunteers as the effort of being a fully-committed Committee member can outweigh the personal and professional benefits.We also need to engage better with people and organisations outside of our profession, positioning ourselves better as the voice of public relations and of the professional practitioner. It should show clearly how ethical, professional public relations practice benefits organisations and society at large. And I'd like to see the Chartered Institute out on the road more, working harder to retain the members it has and demonstrating the value of membership to non-members – not only at PRide or at group AGMs.

If elected President-Elect then these are the things I will work towards. If you feel the same way, then I hope you will consider casting your vote for me in this election.