TUESDAY 8 OCT 2019 12:23 PM


The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) will make a formal overture to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) today to set merger talks in motion, Communicate can exclusively reveal.

The move follows debate around the CIPR draft strategy for 2020-2024 and a direct call for union by the PRCA.

In an exclusive interview with Communicate PRCA director general Francis Ingham openly called for a merger. “I think we would be a stronger industry if there was just one, unified body. And that is a standing invitation to the leadership of the CIPR,” he said. Meanwhile the CIPR stated in its draft strategy document that it would “remain open to mergers with related bodies to increase reach and scale, as long as this is within the framework of remaining a chartered professional body”.

Today the CIPR deputy CEO Phil Morgan said, “CIPR works in the public interest to promote the profession of public relations. If that mission is served by a merger with another organisation operating in the sector then we are open to the idea, as proposed in our strategy document.”

Ingham responded, "This is an excellent development, and we would be delighted to meet with the CIPR whenever it is free to formally discuss this. I will today be writing to CIPR CEO Alastair McCapra to set this in motion. For the last dozen years it has been the official view of the PRCA that our industry would be served best if it were served by one organisation and one voice."

The marriage has long been mooted, as members of both bodies attested to last night on Communicate’s weekly Twitter debate @CommsChat #CommsChat. 

A union of the trade associations would likely lead to the end of Ingham’s tenure, he said. “I think the price of a merger would be me walking away. But, I think that would be a price worth paying.”


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