Celebrating the best of the best at the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire CIPR PRide Awards

Tonight I have the good fortune to be in Leeds to celebrate the excellent work being carried out by CIPR members across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Here's a transcript of the welcome speech I gave.

Good evening and thank you for the warm welcome tonight. It's a real privilege to be here on behalf of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

It's also wonderful to return to Leeds. I'm from Newcastle, as you might have guessed from my Geordie accent and studied French and Media here in the <cough> late nineties. I worked behind the bar at Headingley Cricket Club and spent a lot of free time at Brutus Gold’s Love Train. Now that’s a night out.

I'd like to open by congratulating each and every one of you. Whatever transpires, you're already the best of the best as evidenced by your CIPR membership, commitment to continuous professional development (CPD) and shortlisting in the PRide Awards. 

Before I go any further, I'd like to ask everyone to recognise the hard work of Stefan Casey and the CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire committee, plus the events team at CIPR, by putting your hands together. It's thanks to them that amazing nights like these happen. 

Public relations has much to celebrate. You may already know me from the #FuturePRoof books and community I created. One of the objectives of this was to act as a cheerleader for our profession. I'd now like to extend this to the CIPR.

Next year as your CIPR President I want to raise PR's standing and reinforce its value as a strategic management function. 

But I need your help.

Please, wherever you can, treat public relations as a business discipline and develop your management and finance competencies. Do whatever you can to speak the language of the C-suite and report accordingly. Finally - and it's a key one - promote public relations to employers and the wider business community at every opportunity.

Well that’s it from me – all that’s left to say is good luck and enjoy your night!

Thank you.