Another New Year -another opportunity to review the past twelve months, and to look forward to the year ahead.
For our industry, 2010 has certainly been a better year than was 2009. There IS a recovery -ok, its strength varies by sector and by region: and ok, it sometimes appears fragile. But there are more reasons to be positive about the future than negative, and 2011 should be a good year for very many of us.
The PRCA enters 2011 in the best shape it has ever known. Late in December, I presented to our Board a review of our performance over the past three years, and a strategic plan for the next few.
There can be no doubt that we have transformed ourselves over those years -and that we are determined to continue that process of transformation.
So, a few highlights from the past year:
January - NLA Ltd blinked in copyright dispute
February -we grew by more in five weeks than in the whole of 2005 and 2006 combined
March -Copyright Tribunal ruled in our favour versus NLA Ltd
March -Peter Bingle's Bell Pottinger Public Affairs joined the PRCA
April -We announced the 46 PRCA Founding Fellows, including Lord Chadlington and Lord Bell
June Women In PR Group left CIPR, and then joined the PRCA
June -we announced our new officers, with Huntsworth's Clarke and Edelman's Phillips taking major roles heading up best practice and international work respectively
August - Caroline Kinsey was elected as Chairman of the PR Council
August -we announced an alliance with the IVCA allowing our members access to one-another's services
October -our awards attracted a sell-out crowd of 750. They're now second in size only to PR Week's
October -Hill and Knowlton's Sally Costerton became PRCA Chairman and set out her two-year Chairmanship vision
October -Remarkable Group's Amy Bryant-Jeffries became first person to be awarded the new PRCA Foundation Certificate
November -PRCA National Conference took place in Manchester -our first National Conference outside of London in living memory, and an affirmation of our growth outside the Capital over the past three years.
November -We launched designatory letters. Over half of our members have claimed them already
December -having lost to the NLA in the High Court, we stayed the course and move to the Court of Appeal
So what do we plan for 2011?
Well, that will all become clear. But one thing is certain -we have no intention of going slow. We've changed fundamentally over the past few years, and I believe we've become the industry's best and more effective voice.
We represent more than double the number of UK consultancies we did three years ago; we have international members across the world, from Australia to the Ukraine -Indonesia to France; and we represent over fifty in-house PR departments -M&S, John Lewis, the Met Police, Westminster Council, Vodafone, the Law Society, P&G, and many other fantastic names, who wouldn't have even considered joining the PRCA even a couple of years ago. Their faith in the PRCA speaks volumes about how we have changed, and seized our new role.
We intend to build on all of that progress, with detremniation and verve.
As the saying goes -you aint seen nothing yet!