Thursday, January 19, 2006

The scope of PR practice continued

In attempting to find out what people in public Relations do, I undertook analysis of the job titles of all (the then) 7000 members of the CIPR and analysis of the titles in 2004. The range of people involved includes all types of activity from PR strategists to journeymen writers.

This approach offers a number of insights.

In the first instance the members had elected to be members of the Institute and thereby show that they consider their work to be in Public Relations.

Secondly, the CIPR has accepted these members and thereby recognised their role as public relations practitioners.

In addition, the job title shows that, in the negotiation between the member and their employers as to what job title is acceptable between the member and the dominant coalition in their organisation, we gain an insight into the range of activities that are acceptable by employers as to the role of practitioners.

These descriptions are prefixed or suffixed to titles such as; director, manager, executive etc. With 75 distinct roles (excluding the academic organisation and student members) there would seem to be a diversity of practice which is far wider than the two reports published by CIPR (source: CIPR Web site). The practices identified using this methodology are as follows:

Brand PR


Campaigns & Projects

Comms & Organisation Development


Communications & New Media

Community Affairs

Community Relations

Competition & Regulation

Conference & Event Producer

Consultation & Community Relations

Consumer PR

Corporate Affairs

Corporate Communications

Corporate Policy & Communication

Corporate PR

Customer Relations

Director of Information


Education & Learning

Employee Communications

eServices Manager



External Affairs

External Communications


Global Brands PR Manager

Government & Economic Relations

Human Resources & Communications

Influencer Relations


Information & Networker

Internal Communications

Investor Relations

Issues & Reputation Management


Marketing & Comms

Marketing & Development

Marketing & Sales Support

Marketing Communications

Marketing Services

Media & International Relations

Media Monitoring

Media Relations

Media Trainer


Pharma Communications


Policy & Communications

Policy and Public Affairs

PR & Advertising

Press & Communications

Press & Public Relations

Press Officer

Press Relations

Product Communication & Advocacy

Product PR Communications

Public & Government Relations

Public Affairs

Public Awareness

Public Information & Marketing

Public Involvement

Public Relations


Retail PR

Sales & Marketing

Strategic Communications

Strategy & Policy


Web Content


This is not the same as the findings of The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) for the CIPR who undertook a survey of 692 members in mid summer 2005 (which found less than 25 forms of practice) and obviously the CIPR did not want to disclose what it thought PR was about (or what its members though PR was about by their very membership). This is of concern because the UK trade Association (CIPR) now has to decide who it will serve, and where it will recruit members and how it will represent the industry in the UK.


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