WPR is a well-established industry organisation with just under 50 years of providing uniquely informal networking opportunities for a diverse group of experienced PR professionals at varying stages of their careers. Linking with CIPR some 5 years ago provided an opportunity to widen the membership. However, the twinning of a background of well-known CIPR issues together with individual members' varying concerns has encouraged us to re-consider our compatibility as a CIPR sectoral group. We are aware that a number of our members value much of CIPR's overall offer, and will want to continue to benefit from this, but our success as a group lies in maintaining characteristics such as informality, fun and flexibility within the context of independent responsibility and integrity.
The decision to leave CIPR has not been taken quickly or lightly. We have spent a good deal of time over the past year discussing the various issues, both with our members and CIPR. We have encouraged debate about the future of WPR, and our AGM in February resulted in a decision to hold an EGM to specifically discuss the overall question of our future direction as a group. The result of this was our decision to resign from CIPR, to continue as a group, and to continue with talks with PRCA with regards to how we might link together.
PRCA is held in high regard by many of our members, some of whom are members, some of whom are not. PRCA is widely recognised to potentially offer a "great new home" for WPR - it has a terrific reputation amongst the industry for providing standards of best practice professionalism and integrity within a framework of responsible entrepreneurial, energetic and enthusiastic "PR spirit". We think there could be many benefits to both parties in terms of linking.
There's obviously been lively debate about the recent decision/activity. We understand the decision may not be welcome news to CIPR, but we want to thank them for their support over the past 5 years, and to support those who want to continue with their individual membership of CIPR. We are however committed to a new future which resonates closely with our intents and members.
We are grateful to PRCA for the opportunity to talk, consider ways we can link, and to encourage the means by which our organisation can continue to flourish as a platform for wide-ranging industry individuals at all stages of their professional careers to come together within a unique spirit of co-operation, friendly interaction and support.