CIPR Foresight Panel

Background

There is a close relationship between an organisation's goals, its strategy and tactical approaches and its communication of them. A CIPR member should be able both to analyse and to advise on these, as well as to anticipate reactions from the organisation's publics and stakeholders.

When promoting or presenting a company's activities, a CIPR member should be able to engage the publics and stakeholders with the company's mission and vision. The art and science of public relations encompasses a abundance of skills and knowledge across a wide spectrum of disciplines, but the development of public relations as a discipline has not always reflected the scope and value of this.

Since the Institute of Public Relations – later the Chartered Institute of Public Relations – was established in 1948, there is no doubt that the spread of tactical activities, remit, roles and responsibilities of PR practitioners has expanded impressively; however the growth in their strategic remit has been more uneven. In recent years, the social media revolution has dominated the landscape for many PR professionals, and drawn their focus ever more strongly towards tactical processes, metrics and analytics. However, as a business management function and as a scientific discipline, PR is still struggling to achieve its full impact at the strategic level in many organisations.

Scope of work

  1. To consider emerging developments in technology, business practice, societal expectations, cross-cultural issues, international relations and how these will impact on public relations practice over the next five years.
  2. To consider, in the light of this, what steps the profession needs to take in order to restore and strengthen its standing as a strategic management discipline

Planned activity

The panel aims to produce a final report and recommendations by 31 May 2017. The final report should, where possible, indicate a proposed direction for the CIPR to take on key strategic issues. Where the panel cannot recommend a specific direction it will outline options, and where it cannot identify viable options, it will articulate problems to be addressed.

The panel will act on the authority of, and report to, the CIPR Board of Directors. Its findings will be debated by the CIPR Council and will be a key contribution to the development of the next iteration of the CIPR's 3-Year Strategy. The findings will be used to inform future developments in CIPR qualifications, training, CPD and policy positions.

The evidence submitted and the evidence sessions held will be public. The deliberations and draft report of the panel will be confidential and panel members will be required to sign an NDA.

The panel met on 16 September 2016 and on 11 November 2016 in London for the initial sessions to take evidence. Regional meetings are being held from January to March 2017.