PR is GREAT: New book celebrates the profession

It was my privilege to be able to contribute to Platinum, a new book published today celebrating 70 years of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations with a host of luminaries examining excellence in the profession.

The fact that Carolyn Fairbairn, Director General, CBI has put her name to it underlines not only the book’s significance for PR but also PR’s significance to industry, commerce and society as a whole.

Crowd-sourced and edited by Stephen Waddington (@wadds) and comprising chapters of reflection, wisdom and provocation, this is no navel gazing vanity project.

This book gathers together the collective wisdom of people who live and breathe their profession.

Whether we’re students looking for our first ‘proper’ PR role, or have been in the industry for years, every day is a school day. And this text book is an absolute must on the class reading list.

In my contribution I look at how the interlocked growth in professionalism of both commercial PR and Government PR practice has had huge societal and economic benefits.

Looking back at how the Orwellian-sounding Ministry of Information of WW2 morphed into the Central Office of Information, the chapter compresses 70 years of history to reach today, where the practitioners of the Government Communication Service deliver superb campaigns, not only in this country but across the globe.

The current GREAT campaign is a huge success story, where our little island, as ever, punches way above its weight. The campaign has had an economic return of over £1.2 billion, and has a major influence in key overseas markets, increasing audience intention to trade, invest, study in or visit the UK by between 10% and 16%.

In the past there has been an aloofness between public and private sector. “You can’t possibly know what it’s like in OUR world”.

The reality is this….

Diversity is a strength – industry has a lot to learn from our Government practitioners and our Government practitioners have a lot to learn from their private sector counterparts.

Here endeth the lesson… but check out Platinum it’s chock-full of superb content from a wide range of authors


Stuart Baird MCIPR
Stuart has worked in the industry for a quarter of a century, including 14 years in Government communications with stints at No 10’s strategic communications unit. He now runs a strategic public relations consultancy based in Nottingham and has won three CIPR Pride Golds including Independent Practitioner of the Year. Twitter @Stuart_Baird