(Reposted with election result 28/3/2015, original report posted 25/3/2015)

We welcome Wendy Moran MCIPR as the new Chair of the LPS Group for 2015-2016 and formally wish to thank the outgoing Chair Ashley Scott Wilcox FCIPR for all his contributions to supporting public service communications and the CIPR in the last 10 years.


Summary of the LPS’ work in 2014-2015

ASWAshley Scott Wilcox FCIPR, Chair

The Local Public Services committee has continued to support practitioners interested in communications in this sector, provided a voice and research source for issues and trends in the sector, and encouraged professional development and shared learning among fellow practitioners.

Thanks to all the committee for their enthusiasm and support for communicators working in or interested in public sector communications. Special thanks to Mandy Pearse for her enthusiasm and work to support members and willing to stand and represent members on the CIPR Council, to Claire Melia for bringing the committee together as part of her role as secretary and representing members at CIPR meetings, and to Abha Thakor, our CPD-lead, and for addressing the new CIPR requirements, putting in processes, and advising and leading on the delivery of digital infrastructure. Thanks also to Lynda Fothergill for her work across the committee’s portfolio over the last year.

The voice of local public service communications

Committee members have represented the sector at PR and strategic management events across the year and provided input on the sector for research and professional development opportunities. Thank you to Executive members who have also played a role in the CIPR’s own governance from its committees to its main council and in spreading understanding of the role of public sector communications for both the public and organisations.

They also contributed to the CIPR’s 28-page e-book which explored predictions for public relations and communications in 2015. This is the second year the Chartered Institute of Public Relations has produced such a guide. The comments about local public service communications can be found on pages 23-24 http://www.slideshare.net/CIPRPaul/pr2015

PR News was relaunched in 2014 as an e-magazine and a website tool was developed to help in our aim of highlighting professional development opportunities. Thanks to all those involved and to our sponsor Taylor Fitch.

We continue to build engagement through our social media channels and would like to thank everyone who has contributed for their time, ideas, willingness to write or research articles and for highlighting trends and opportunities for communicators and the organisations they serve.

CIPR Council

Mandy Pearse, Vice Chair of the LPS Group, was elected as one of the CIPR Groups’ representatives on the main CIPR Council. She was unanimously supported by the LPS committee and is focused on helping the work of communicators in the sector in this role.

One of the key messages from the first meeting of the new CIPR Council was the emphasis on professionalism and continuing professional development (CPD). All members of Council are committed to completing CPD and working towards Accredited Practitioner status. The Council agreed that all members of the voluntary committees should be completing CPD and should promote it amongst their wider groups. The LPS committee will seek to champion this commitment going forward, initially through its Executive team.

The LPS committee will be further analysing the findings of the CIPR’s State of the Profession survey in the coming months, including its discovery of a gender pay gap in public relations posts of more than £8,000 after taking into account all other influencing factors such as age and experience.

The Council and its committees, including the LPS Group, will also have the opportunity to contribute ideas for future training and CPD programmes.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

CIPR CPD logoMembers of the LPS group have continued to support the CIPR and fellow practitioners in their development and training needs. This last CPD year has seen a record number of members supported by Abha Thakor, CPD-lead for the group and Mandy Pearse, Vice Chair, both in general professional development and in utilising the CIPR CPD scheme.

We have also worked on developing an infrastructure that will assist the LPS further in supporting CPD and sharing best practice through digital platforms and working with others. A programme of webinars is planned for the coming year with joint working with other organisations and CIPR groups.


The planned conference for 2014 had to be cancelled due to the low take up of numbers, clashing events and other issues. The feedback from members and non members focused on local public services having limited budgets for external training for communications practitioners, reduced staffing and issues with providing sufficient office cover, the lack of understanding of the need for professional development for officers working in communications areas and the expectation of all officers being able to quickly adapt to new technologies and demands regardless of their specialism.

Following this event, the LPS has been working with members to find out more about the issues they face and in particular what professional support they would like. It has also been looking at working with others to the benefit of local public service communicators. We will continue to explore these areas.

This evening (25/3/2015) is the LPS’ AGM and our ‘Future of Digital Engagement’ panel discussion with leading communicators in this area Rob Brown FCIPR and Charlotte Beckett. There will also be a presentation on CIPR’s iprovision, the charity for CIPR members in need and their dependents. We look forward to welcoming you to this event.