The long history of public relations and CPD

The idea that continuing professional development (CPD) is important for public relations is neither new nor controversial.

Stephen Waddington, the president-elect of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), campaigned on a platform of putting CPD at the core of the public relations industry.

Its importance was also highlighted by a number of the candidates (including me) in this year’s CIPR Council election and it is something the CIPR already puts a strong emphasis on.

But until last week, when I was lucky enough to get a chance to look through some CIPR archive materials, I had no idea how long those at the top of our industry have been talking about it.

I was looking for information on Roger Forman, the second president of the IPR (as it was then) in 1949/50, because while researching my biography of Basil Clarke I had read that Forman had been a protégé of his.

While looking through the materials, I came across something by Forman that, for me, perfectly sums up why so many of us are committed to CPD today.

In a message to other members of the IPR, Forman wrote:

It is only by the give and take of ideas that progress towards real efficiency can be made. I am sure that willingness to learn is the mark of any good PRO, as self-satisfaction is the mark of a bad one.

Well said!


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