Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Keynote at MIPAA

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of delivering the opening address at MIPAA's Masterclass.

For those of you who don't know MIPAA, it's the membership organisation that represents communicators working in the motor industry. It's also a PRCA sectoral group, with a seat on our PR Council. I thoroughly recommend it to you -if you're eligible to join it, then you should.

My comments yesterday were around the challenges PR faces over the coming years. The full transcript can be found here

But if you don't fancy reading the whole speech, there are the four key challenges I identified:

· Start addressing issues of strategic reputation management rather than tactical delivery. We're still magnificent about bemoaning the fact we often don't have a place at the top table -and rubbish at changing that situation. If we want to change it, we have to genuinely become the chief source of counsel to clients and CEOs.

· Embrace and embed robust evaluation standards. Our work with AMEC is vital here, but until clients, colleagues and we ourselves are willing to invest in evaluation, AVEs will linger on.

· Own the digital space. If we don't own it, someone else will. Digital is now an integral part of PR -we need to understand it, demystify it, own it.

· Attract the best talent. We shouldn't beat ourselves up about our industry -we are truly a colour, gender and sexuality blind industry in my experience. But we can usefully examine what those who choose not to work in our industry think of us -and if we genuinely are attracting and retaining the very best of talent.

Oh and I also made some comments on interns. We need to treat the whole intern issue with care. But at a minimum, we do need to observe the law. And the law is pretty clear -long-term internships bring with them the minimum wage.

Since May 1st, 16 MPs have advertised for unpaid jobs. That is hypocritical and outrageous. So.... we will be referring them to the Parliamentary authorities. Because you can't berate private industry for treating interns badly when you yourself advertise for staff whom you don't pay at all....

1 comment:

  1. Francis, thanks for setting up the day so well yesterday with this address at MIPAA, it echoed through the day in our discussions.

    Taking the issue of talent as an example, the motor industry has a longstanding tradition of developing interns in a clear and structured way. I think of the Volkswagen Group who have annual placements of PR students in their brands - at least two previous students who went through the programme have developed careers and now lead PR divisions of global car brands.. Proper internships work. More power to the PRCA for taking this issue forward.

    Motor industry PR is vibrant and engaging - and we'd like to learn from other sectors and share our experience.

    See you at the next PRCA or MIPAA event!

    Al Clarke, Chairman, Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) www.mipaa.com
    @mipaa and @alclarkeltd