#MaggieNally18 - Brexit as a catalyst for trade with Latin America

The CIPR International's annual Maggie Nally lecture took place this evening. It's always a thought provoking event with excellent speakers. As CIPR President I had the privilege of offering the vote of thanks to tonight's superb key note Ricardo Carioni. Here's a copy of the speech I gave.

Your Excellency, ladies and gentlemen.

42 years on from her year in office, I stand in the shoes of the CIPR’s first ever female President, Margaret Nally.

It’s an honour and a privilege, not to mention a responsibility I take very seriously.

Maggie, as she was known, was a true pioneer. Every year her work is rightly recognised and celebrated through the CIPR International’s Maggie Nally lecture, which attracts highly prominent and wide-ranging speakers willing to share their expertise with our members.

Today has been no different. As your CIPR President it gives me real pleasure to extend a vote of thanks to Ricardo Carioni, the deputy head of mission for the Embassy at Nicaragua, who has so generously shared his experience with us today.

Ricardo’s life in Latin America, coupled with his fascinating career, which ranges from TripAdvisor to William Hill, gives him unique insight into global communication trends and opportunities. The last hour has certainly been enlightening for me.

I know there will be people here who work, or wish to work, across international borders.

Entering new markets and formulating an international expansion strategy can be challenging, but Ricardo’s presentation is an apt reminder of the importance of research, local knowledge, an understanding of multiculturalism and the ability to adapt to local market needs.

Mobile strategies and audience segmentation are key as populations and communications channels continue to grow and new technologies gather pace.

I have to admit that I struggle with the concept of Brexit, but Ricardo’s reframing of this as a catalyst for trade was compelling.

Until now I hadn’t considered the positioning of Chilean wine or Argentinian meat alongside their European counterparts, which perhaps shows how much of a communications void there currently is.

There are clearly opportunities and Latin America is very clearly open for business. It’s a positive note on which to end the evening.

Thank you, Ricardo for an inspiring and uplifting talk.

Please, everyone, put your hands together to thank Ricardo in the traditional way.

Before I finish, I’d also like to extend my thanks to our dynamic CIPR International committee led by chair Shirley Collyer, who are committed to putting international communications on the map.

The team’s work is always thoughtful and valuable and they dedicate a lot of volunteer time to making excellent events like this happen. It’s much appreciated. Please can I have a round of applause for them too.

Thanks to you all for coming and please do enjoy the rest of your evening.

Planning for the CIPR’s 70th anniversary

2018 is an important landmark for the CIPR. It's 70 years since it was founded at St Bride’s, Fleet Street, London in 1948. Plans are already well underway to celebrate the occasion.

The formation of an Institute for Public Relations (IPR) was first proposed by Kenneth Day, a practitioner from Erith Borough Council. He brought together other Local Authority practitioners to discuss the idea.

The group saw the benefit of an association with a wider membership than local government and approached Sir Stephen Tallents, a leading figure in the profession, to see if he would be willing to bring in a group of wider practitioners from industry and central government.

Sir Stephen was appointed President and the original group of practitioners formed the first Board. It would take almost 60 years for the IPR to achieve Chartered status and become known as the CIPR.

Past President Stephen Waddington worked with deputy CEO Phil Morgan to write a brief history of the CIPR for an after dinner speech at the History of Public Relations conference at Bournemouth University in 2014. It’s worth a read.

Celebrating our vision and purpose

70 years on, the CIPR and the wider profession has much to be proud of and look forward to. Our vision of promoting professionalism in public relations for practitioners, and in the public interest, remains absolutely faithful to the purpose set out by our founders.

I’m incredibly honoured to be President in 2018. It’s an important celebratory year for the CIPR.

The year will see a continuation of President Jason MacKenzie’s professionalism drive, and will pick up on themes and issues characterising the industry, centring on the pledges I set out in my manifesto during the election last Autumn.

At the forefront of activity will be a celebration of everything that has been achieved and a formal recognition of all the volunteers across the UK.

Planning for the anniversary year

Planning is underway for the 2018 celebrations. The organising committee led by CIPR Fellow Simon McVicker will publish a detailed plan closer to the time.

We’ll be calling for help once a framework of activity has been agreed with the regional, national and sectoral groups however we can already share the following, as approved by CIPR Board and Council.

Anniversary celebration, reception and Fellows’ Lunch, London

We’ll return to the location of our foundation; St Brides, Fleet Street, on 9 February for a celebratory service and reception. This event is open to members of all faiths and denominations.

A reception will take place nearby afterwards for members wishing to stay on and celebrate. We’re also aiming to organise the annual Fellows' Lunch to take place after the service.

Sir Stephen Tallents Memorial Lecture, Edinburgh

It’s a pleasure to announce that the committee is relaunching the Sir Stephen Tallents Memorial Lecture. This event will be in Edinburgh and feature a speaker from the wider industry who represents the future of public relations.

Celebratory conference looks to future of practice

The National Conference will form a key part of the calendar, incorporating a high profile keynote speaker and practical workshops addressing key areas of change, as well as academic input to bridge the gap with practice.

Leading the profession: content and conversation

Keep your eyes peeled for our 70 at 70 – a year-long initiative we’ll be launching to celebrate public relations pioneers; and we’ll be crowdsourcing content for a media campaign and special anniversary booklet so watch this space.

My thanks to CIPR Board, Council and the anniversary planning team led by Simon McVicker for all their work so far on the anniversary project. It’s going to be a very special year.