CIPR wants you to join The Conversation


Next week, the CIPR launches The Conversation. What is it? A content syndicator? An online place to network? Discover people? Discover interesting content? A social network? All of the above?

Better to let the CIPR tell you:

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is launching ‘The Conversation’ at its social media conference, 11 April. The Conversation is your one-stop shop for great blog posts by practitioners, consultancies, academia and students, from the UK and further afield. Syndicating your personal or company blog couldn’t be easier, allowing the wider PR community to find your content, find your personal, business and consultancy profiles, and respond to your news and points of view. Everyone is welcome to register themselves and their organisation.

In the spirit of The Conversation, the CIPR has invited some of the UK’s keenest PR bloggers to break this news.

There will be no need to ‘make friends’ all over again on The Conversation. Simply give your existing social networks permission to allow us to take a look at your network, your social graph as some call it, and we’ll make sure those relationships are established immediately on The Conversation (ie you won’t need to share your passwords with us). Hey presto, instant social glue.

The Conversation promises to be an exciting addition to the CIPR’s website, at least it will be with your input. It won’t match Facebook for functionality or LinkedIn for seeing who’s connected to whom, but it will be the first such attempt by a professional body to our knowledge. We hope you’ll jump in, and work with us as we iron out the inevitable glitch or two.

Following the successes of the CIPR social media panel – CIPR TV, ‘Social Summer’ events in 2010 and 2011, social media measurement guidance and input to ASA regulation – it’s apt that The Conversation will be launched at the CIPR social media conference. We hope to see you there.

The above text comes from an email I received yesterday from Claire Wheatcroft, the CIPR’s interim PR and marketing manager. In it, she says “We’re inviting you and a dozen or so others to post the following, with your commentary of course, as soon as you can.”

I liked Claire’s approach to outreach, even in an email, hence why I’ve posted the message.

A few years ago, I worked with the CIPR to plan and deliver a series of half-day workshops on PR and social media. They were aimed at the senior practitioner and were called simply ‘New Media for Old Hands.’

A bit of a corny title, perhaps, but it resonated with those practitioners, judging by the sell-out participation at nearly every one of the dozen workshops we did between 2007 and 2009. You can see an example of the kind of topics addressed in this deck from the last one I did in November 2009.

Driven in large part by Mark Willock at the CIPR, those events were in the early-adopter and experimenter days for the CIPR as far as social media was concerned. Things have moved on significantly since then with new initiatives led by CIPR members like Stephen Waddington and Philip Sheldrake as well as a visible shift in mind-set and thinking at the CIPR itself, manifested by the appointment last November of a forward-thinking and -looking leader, CEO Jane Wilson.

Today, it’s really good to see the UK’s professional association for the PR industry firmly at the centre of the conversation.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.