An account director at the Bright Consultancy has taken up the baton as elected chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Midlands Group.
Sarah Burton was appointed at the group’s 48th annual general meeting where she set out her aims for 2009 and her hope to help support PR practitioners in the Midlands during an economically challenging year.
The CIPR Midlands Group serves more than 800 members from Worcester to Nottingham.
She paid tribute to the vibrant and professional attitude of past chair Melissa Page, who is now enjoying a sabbatical in Malaysia, and thanked the committee for their contribution and enthusiasm.
Freelance consultant Sarah Thomas will continue as honorary treasurer and Lisa Jones, account director at Reeves Green PR, continues as honorary secretary.
A member of the committee for four years and with more than 20 years experience in PR and marketing, Ms Burton said she was committed to raising standards. She outlined her passion for training and developing young people in the industry.
“I do believe the current climate is particularly tough for the young people we work with,” she said. “A recession can be a particularly unnerving time for those who haven’t experienced it before.
“It is in times like this that membership of the CIPR is so valuable for an individual, particularly those working on their own or in an organisation where they are the only PR person.
“By working together and supporting each other, we can really draw strength from our friends and colleagues,” she said.
“I see the challenge in the Midlands region to be twofold.
“We must work together to promote the value of PR to our companies, clients and the wider community and we must support each other by sharing best practice, giving help and advice where we can.”
Many events are already confirmed in 2009, while crisis management, media training and speed networking for students will also feature on the calendar.
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations is the professional body for PR practitioners in the UK.
With over 9,000 members, involved in all aspects of the public relations industry, it is the largest body of its type in Europe. The CIPR aims to help the PR industry in the UK by making its members accountable through a code of conduct, developing policies for the PR industry, representing its members and raising standards through education and training.