The CIPR ostrich

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) proclaims it is “the eyes, ears and voice of the public relations industry” in the UK.

I think that’s rather worrying.

It seems to me that those eyes, ears and voice are deeply rooted in the past and have little relevance to evolving PR practice and the needs of practitioners in the 21st century, if what CIPR director general Colin Farrington talks about is any indicator.

Following Farrington’s earlier extraordinary views about blogs, he’s at it again in his blind dismissal of social media, blogs especially, as David Brain reports in his latest video-post at 60 Second View.

David says that in the latest issue of Profile, the CIPR member magazine, Farrington continues his live demo on how wholly out of touch he (and, by extension, the CIPR) is concerning blogs. “If there are any good blogs still around in six months I’ll come back to it,” Farrington says. (Didn’t PR Week UK’s editor say something very similar not long ago?)

See David’s video post for the details – including his reading the content of a two-page letter he’s written to the CIPR – and Richard Bailey’s take (plus the comments there).

I see a real conflict in the CIPR. On the one hand, there is the director general with some peculiar views about communication channels that at the very least are worth paying attention to; on the other hand, the CIPR president Tony Bradley who is a pretty good blogger and seems to be very much in tune with things.

Do these two see eye to eye, I wonder.