This is a tough choice

The 2016 CIPR election is underway, voting opens on Monday and I’m standing for a seat on the Council.  It’s a tough choice facing members with some 17 candidates standing for eight places.

But if the choice for Council is difficult, at least you get eight votes and there will be eight winners.  Although for all members reading this, I urge you to give due consideration to your order of choice as it really, really matters.  Candidates need those high placed selections to make it through the various rounds of voting – so if you are thinking of voting for me, please give me one of your top two votes.

However, this blog is about the vote for President elect, where we have three great candidates, but there can only be one winner.

Since the Presidential hustings last week (which I attended in person) and the start of official campaigning on Monday, I have been asked a number of times who would I be voting for as our 2018 President.  As I was one of Emma Leech’s ten nominees for the election, that should be a very simple question to answer – but it isn’t.

I have known and worked with Sarah Hall for many years, and we previously served on the CIPR Board together.  Sarah is a tireless, energetic campaigner for our profession and a passionate advocate for the causes she supports.

Before Thursday’s hustings, I did not really know Gary Taylor, but I was impressed with his candour and disarming style during the panel debate at the hustings.

And then there’s Emma – who I first met when I was judging the Excellence awards one year and she came into the panel interview session and blew us all away with the strategic and tactical strength of the campaign she had led, and the passion she showed for the profession.

Gary: I have to say you are a brave man, because you are up against two formidable, powerhouse PR practitioners who radiate strength of character, who will be fearless in their defence and promotion of the profession, and who both have it within them to truly inspire a generation.

But only one of Sarah and Emma can get my number one vote on the ballot paper – though if I am elected to Council it will be a privilege to serve with whoever wins.  And that person will be Emma.  I find much to support on both Emma and Sarah’s election platforms, but on balance prefer Emma’s “old school values with new school thinking” approach.

I think Emma will be a progressive but pragmatic leader of the Institute and is well placed to strengthen our partnerships with other professional bodies and institutes, which I think is crucial to the future success of our Chartered Practitioner programme.

There can only be one winner, and two losers in this election for President. But the CIPR will not be a loser.  With these strong candidates, the CIPR can only be a winner.

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