CIPR Strike an important blow in the battle for UK PR industry credibility and trust.

20 Jan

The Brilliant Andy Barr (@10yetis) once told me about a great saying: I couldn’t tell my mum I worked in PR so I told her I played piano in a brothel!

My last post was about the Dark Origins of PR, how that still continues to shape public opinion of the industry and why I felt it was important that we, as practitioners, have a vested interest in changing these perceptions. With this in mind I was pleased to hear the news from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) this morning that they have taken the rare decision to expel a member of our professional body for misconduct.
The person in question is Northern Ireland practitioner, Jennifer Maguire, MD of Consultancy, Core Communications who:

‘is on public record as having fabricated evidence, lied and acted vindictively, aggressively and unreasonably at two employment tribunals in 2008 and 2009.’  – Read more in the CIPR Press Release.

I totally support the CIPR decision to take this action and think it’s important for our industry that they do. It is decisive action that demonstrates clearly that the Code of Conduct that all members of the CIPR sign up to when they join has teeth and is more than just lip-service to the concept of professional ethics for our industry. More than this, it demonstrates clearly to members and the general public that the leading body for UK PR practitioners IS committed to getting its house in order when it comes to ethics and professional standards. It’s important to note that CIPR did not respond to an external complaint on this case, they brought the action themselves against this member. This can only be good for the way people perceive our industry.

I do also think that there is more than a slight element of foresight here in relation to the bigger picture in the UK. 2011 was the year of phone-hacking and expose-after-expose into the so-called ‘Dark Arts’ of the Journalism, but it goes further than just Journalism. It would be naïve to suggest that Public Relations is totally free of practices that are perhaps ethically ambiguous (or just plain wrong) and short-sighted in the extreme to assume we won’t receive the same level of public scrutiny this year that Journalism received last year. I think CIPR are pre-empting this scrutiny by acting, not because a select committee tells them they must, but because action is the only and right course to take.

Today, I’m reminded of why my CIPR membership matters to me and why CIPR matter to the UK PR industry.

CIPR Members, today may be a good day to refresh ourselves on the expectations of us in our professional Code of Conduct.


One Response to “CIPR Strike an important blow in the battle for UK PR industry credibility and trust.”

  1. Jennifer Maguire March 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    This entire story is a farce as Jennifer Maguire was not ‘expelled’ as she had left CIPR at least a year prior to this complaint being made against her and was only made aware of it AFTER her departure.Contrary to your uninformed opinion, the CIPR DID respond to an external complaint in this case, a complaint that Jennifer Maguire was never made aware of, and which was made in a totally vindictive manner in a vain attempt to discredit an award-winning PR consultant who was beating off a lot of competition in securing PR contracts in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The full facts of this matter have never been disclosed but I can assure you that Jennifer Maguire has done nothing whatsoever that could possibly discredit her professionally. The CIPR had to retract its allegations that Ms Maguire had let her membership ‘lapse’ around the time the complaint was made – why let the truth get in the way of a non-story? An absolute disgraceful, unethical and unprofessional manner in which to conduct its business. Finally, Ms Maguire is a sole trader (not and MD as alleged) and a single parent who relies entirely on her income. The motive for the CIPR behaving in this manner was solely a pathetic attempt to send Ms Maguire on to the dole queue – failing miserably in the process of course! It’s not surprising that she chose to leave this so-called professional body of her own accord.


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