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PR Must Stop Backing Max Clifford

1 11 2012

Yesterday the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) announced that it was going to make its membership list public – with no opt out.  At a stroke the importance of membership and the code of conduct that goes with it was elevated.  On the same day publicist Max Clifford took the lectern as keynote speaker at The CIPR’s Northern Conference in Leeds.   In building the reputation of the PR industry we scored an amazing goal then almost instantly put one into our own net.

My argument is simple.  The reputation of PR as a profession is at best average.  No individual has done more to shape the public’s impression of PR than Max Clifford, though Joanna Lumley and Jenifer Saunders have come close.   Clifford trades in deceit,  he says so himself.  He also says that he spends most of his time keeping people out of the press.  We’ve seen with Jimmy Savile how dangerous it can be when the media is deflected from scrutinising the abusive behaviour of powerful people.  The media constantly calls on Max Clifford to speak on behalf of the PR industry.   The chartered body tasked with promoting the PR profession needs to be challenging the idea that Max represents the industry – not promoting him as a keynote speaker at an annual conference.

Max is persuasive and charismatic, his media klout is phenomenal but he laughs at the idea that PR people should have ethics.  It’s a very dangerous combination. Let’s find new voices to represent PR.

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Upcoming Events

8 09 2009

This blog is a companion to my book ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ , so if you are reading this you probably have some interest in the subject and might like to know about some events that I will be speaking at in the next few weeks. 

On the 16 September I will be talking about ‘The Cutting Edge of Digital PR’  at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations(CIPR) in London. It is a freshly squeezed breakfast briefing. 

Then on 6 October I will be running a session on Social Media in Leeds for the CIPR Northern Conference.  The one day conference has a great line up Alistair Campbell, former press secretary to Tony Blair, topping the bill.  Also in the line up are Yasmin Diamond, Director of Communication at the Home Office; Heather McGregor, Columnist for the Financial Times. 

There will also be masterclasses from Stuart Bruce, MD of Wolfstar; Sarah Knight, Engagement and PR Director at BJL; the eponymous Andy Green of Green Communications; Paul Willis, Director of the Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Business School (LMU) and Robin Wilson Director of Digital PR and Social Media at McCann Erickson; plus more besides.

Then on the 30 October I will be speaking at the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Summit at Merchant Taylors Hall, Threadneedle Street, London.








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