Gill Morris wins the inaugural Douglas Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Affairs

At a glittering Christmas dinner held by the CIPR Public Affairs Group in the West End of London, full of leading lights in the public affairs world and with the guest of honour Lord Michael Dobbs of House of Cards fame present, Gill Morris the owner and CEO of Connect Communications was named the inaugural winner of the Douglas Smith Lifetime Achievement Award in Public Affairs.

The Award announced last summer by the CIPR PA is named in honour of the late Douglas Smith who founded the Government Affairs Group in 1987 which subsequently joined the CIPR as the Public Affairs Group. The award is to honour someone who has made a great contribution to public affairs throughout their career.

Simon McVicker, Chair of the CIPR Public Affairs Group
When we launched the award in the summer we were not sure what sort of response we would get. Well we did get a good response and it was very quickly self-evident that there was momentum, consensus around one person in particular that made the Committee’s job easy.

Gill is a very fitting person to win this first Douglas Smith Award, she is one of the leading public affairs professional in the UK, she has done so much around training and social policy and she has shown commitment to the industry by being a member of CIPR, a founder of APPC and its Chair and also been involved in PRCA.  She serves on the Board of the UK Public Affairs Council and strongly believes in transparency and professionalism in the industry.

Plus on top of this she is a great fund raiser for charity and even climbed Kilimanjaro in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
Simon McVicker, Chair of the CIPR Public Affairs Group
Gill Morris, Owner and CEO of Connect Communications
I am very proud indeed to receive this award. Doug was such a great inspiration to me when I was starting out and now to be the first recipient of this award, in his memory, is a truly great honour. I will continue to work hard to raise standards and transparency in a profession that I love. I am sure Doug would approve.
Gill Morris, Owner and CEO of Connect Communications
Notes to editors

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).