The election for the 2014 president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has sparked several fascinating debates on both public relations and the future and relevance of the CIPR. What is without question is that this time, in Dr Jon White and Stephen Waddington, we have two absolutely outstanding candidates for president. I would be delighted with either.
That said this is an election and that means a decision. I am voting for Stephen Waddington.
One criticism that some have levelled at Stephen (or Wadds as he is more commonly known) is that he is too focused on the social media and digital aspects of public relations. I do not believe this to be the case. I spent the first half to date (indeed most of my career) so far doing ‘traditional’ public relations. As has Wadds. What we have in common is an understanding of the deeper social, political and economic impact of the internet and social media, as well as the ability to translate this into successful public relations practice.
His statements on public affairs, corporate communications and internal communications all demonstrate that he is capable of leading the CIPR across the full range of public relations disciplines and practice. What’s more he understands that these old silos and specialism are not the future of the profession.
Stephen Waddington or ‘Wadds’ in his own words: