'Speak truth to power' Scottish leaders urge PR professionals

Business leaders in Scotland have urged PR professionals to speak candidly to employers, in the latest series of interviews conducted by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations' (CIPR) Foresight Panel.

Senior representatives from organisations including the IoD and Edinburgh University revealed the key traits they believed PR professionals must demonstrate to deliver strategic value.

Dave Gorman, Director of Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Edinburgh University
Speaking truth to power is the one quality that PR people should have. The board can be made up of 'grey haired' men' and the problems facing organisations can become undiscussable – and that’s when you’re heading towards hubris and collapse. We need someone to understand the business context and feed that back to management before they take that bad decision.
Dave Gorman, Director of Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at Edinburgh University

David Watt, Executive Director, IoD Scotland agreed that PR professionals needed to speak up to their employers and suggested they should strive towards leadership roles in businesses.

David Watt, Executive Director, IoD Scotland
They've got to have the courage to tell the company if something is wrong. They need to be independent of mind and impartial. It's not a job everyone can do - it's a demanding, antisocial job and it's a difficult challenge. PR people should also develop themselves to be Board members. They don't see themselves as CEOs and they should. You have to push yourself to get to the top of the tree. You have an enormous bank of knowledge that very few professions have, you need to ensure that knowledge is reflected in your involvement at board level.
David Watt, Executive Director, IoD Scotland

The interviews conducted in Edinburgh followed on from recent panel interviews in Belfast and London. The research forms part of the Panel's investigation into the emerging issues impacting public relations over the next five years.

For further information on the CIPR Foresight Panel, contact Catherine Wanjiku.

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).

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