Press release -
PRCA Members invited to support new governance plans
Members of the PRCA are today being invited to support a new streamlined management and Governance Structure that opens the organisation up to its Members and sets it up for the future. The leadership of the Association has sent Members its proposals for the future organisation, in advance of a vote on 28 September 2023.
The new structure reflects over a decade during which the trade body has expanded its size, scale and offer to Members. The proposals anticipate future growth and further development in the organisation’s offer to its Membership.
The proposed structure has been designed by a working group of Members, calling upon independent expertise in governance, and is based on three core principles:
The Association is transparent in its operations, reporting openly to its Members
There is clarity of roles, responsibilities and processes within the operation of the business
The Association, its executive management and its representative boards and committees will be accountable to Members, seeking to delivering value to all sectors of the Membership
Currently, the PRCA has more than 50 Boards, Councils, Committees and interest groups, with overlapping terms of reference and areas of activity. The new structure will slim these down, but ensuring enhanced scrutiny and a clearer way in which Members can step forward to contribute to working groups or other activities.
There will be clearer definitions of Membership, with Company Membership open to corporate bodies, partnerships and sole traders working in public relations, public affairs or communications. Employees of Company Members, who practise PR, public affairs or communications as the main element of their job, will be Professional Members of the PRCA, may use the post-nominals MPRCA and can take up governance leadership roles. Associate Membership status will be on offer to individuals and students who are not eligible for Professional Membership
The new PRCA Management Board will be much smaller than its predecessor, with 11 directors, including two independents. It will be supported by an Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committee.
Governance and standards
Governance and standards will be applied by the PRCA General Council, the main governing body reflecting Company Membership. General Council will be supported by Membership and Nominations Committees to ensure that appointments are transparent and open. A new Standards Committee, including a strong role for independents, will determine the Codes of Conduct binding on Members.
There will be professional boards for Public Affairs and for PR & Communications, taking the lead on the major issues and challenges for their respective industry sectors.
Policy Advisory Boards
Five Advisory Boards, for Climate communications, Education, Equality and Inclusion, Race and Ethnicity Equity, and Global will advise on the development of PRCA policy in their specific areas.
Networks and Interest Groups
As well as the formal roles included in the new structure, Professional and Associate Members will be able to contribute to Networks and Interest Groups, including in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the English regions. There will be a process for new groups to be formed if there is an industry need or interest.
An Interim Management Board will be put forward for approval at the AGM. They will serve until the next AGM which is likely to take place in June 2024 to fall in line with a proposed new financial year end date.
The proposed Interim Management Board is: Matt Brown, Matt Buchanan, Paul Church, Ray Eglington, Kirsty Leighton, Jennifer Robertson, Ipelegeng Thibedi, Stuart Thomson and Sarah Waddington.
The appointment of Sarah Scholefield as Honorary President and Charles Lewington as Honorary Vice-President is also proposed.
These appointments have been selected from nominees by a Nominations Committee, which has taken care to provide some continuity with the previous management and to ensure that the proposals are representative of the industry, with a split of agencies/in-house representation, and include voices from the UK nations and regions and international Members.
Sarah Scholefield, Chair of the PRCA, said:
“Due to the scale and speed of its growth and expansion, the PRCA needed a refreshed structure that allowed it to continue and grow and flourish in the future. Governance is not always exciting, but the results of good governance can be. We promised our Members that we would review governance, decision-making processes and transparency, to set PRCA up for its next phase supporting our industry. Our new structure will see the PRCA reflect best practice in governance, strengthen our links with Members and continue to be a benchmark of excellence for our industry.”
Renna Markson, PRCA Managing Director, said:
“We are at our best when our Members are truly involved. PRCA is the space where Members come together to build the future of our industry. We are looking forward to implementing the new structure and working together so that our industry continues to grow in size and stature.”
The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body.
Representing 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide, we are a global advocate for excellence in public relations. Our teams across Europe, the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific work with professionals around the world to co-ordinate our operations across six continents.
Our mission is to create a more professional, ethical, and prosperous PR industry. We champion - and enforce - professional standards around the world through our Professional Charter and Code of Conduct. The Code compels members to adhere to the highest standards of ethical practice.
We deliver exceptional training, authoritative industry data, and global networking, and development opportunities.
We also manage the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) - the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world. Additionally, we support the delivery of the Motor Industry Communicators Association (MICA).