Lessons from the CIPR Elections 2016


As the CIPR President and Council elections draw to a close what lessons are there to be learnt?

1). Democracy is alive in the CIPR

I was genuinely delighted that we had three colleagues decide to stand for President and that we would have an election. And they were all great candidates, and whoever is elected, I’m sure will do the Institute proud.

I was fearful, after the events of last year, that it would put members off standing, where we would return to the era of Presidents being elected unopposed.

Let’s hope elections are now the new norm.


2).On-going legacies

Last year’s election did leave a positive legacy of the creation of an independent Returning Officer, which has been a positive move. Also, candidates producing campaign videos, another new emergent idea from last year, provides a good tool for candidates to share what they stand for, and for voters to make an informed decision.

Let’s keep these going.


3). Personality politics

I know there is deep concern among some senior colleagues about elections setting members touting for votes against each other, who all have much to offer, fearing it’s beginning to feel like the US elections. Read more

7 lessons from running for President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations


A year ago I ran in the elections for President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). I only decided to stand a week before the deadline, while working in Ghana, to ensure there would be an election.

What started out as a last-minute, genuine desire to do good became horribly distorted with the divisive nature of electioneering; imagine the recent Referendum campaign but this time it’s personal, coupled with the ignominy of my being disqualified, and got even worse.

Standing for election was a huge cost in time, energy, health and well-being – even hurting those I love the most in this world.

Like any negative experience, time can often be a great healer. It enables you to put the torrid times in a wider perspective. You unearth dividends from disruptive thinking – sparking new insights and ideas you wouldn’t have garnered had you not found yourself in an unexpected situation.

Crucially, the bad times provide valuable lessons to learn and grow from.

Here is my account of the positives gained and hopefully serve as a guide for the 3 excellent candidates standing in this year’s CIPR Presidential election. (I happen to be backing Sarah Hall.)

I am sure they won’t have to go through what I did, but there’s still some wider lessons. Read more

Why the CIPR needs urgent change

Why the CIPR needs urgent change

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) needs urgent change to tackle the challenges facing its members. It needs to move it away from a top-down run bureaucracy, needing instead a network of communities actively and tirelessly collaboratively working to improve the interests of PR professionals and the wider world.

And that is why I’m urging you to consider voting for Sarah Hall as President of the Institute in its current Presidential elections.

We have three very good candidates in this year’s election but Sarah edges it for me with her ability to get things done, especially with her exceptional experience in sparking and nurturing collaborative communities – the pathway for a better future for anyone with a passion for making things better in PR.

Do check out the #FuturePRoof initiative – perhaps the best effort anywhere to lead us into a better future.

And believe me, we need urgent action – and Sarah is the person to deliver that change

Over a year ago, last April, in my role as a member of the Institute’s Policy & Campaigns Committee I produced a discussion paper on the need for a ‘Collaboration Strategy’. Read more

Vote Andy Green in CIPR Council elections


I am standing for election to the Council of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

If you are a Member of the Institute I would ask you firstly to vote (I think it’s 9 out of 10 don’t bother to vote) and secondly, do please consider voting for me.

I’m keen to ensure the Institute, in a very uncertain age, shows leadership and guidance for members and the wider profession. I aim to do whatever I can, to help in this challenge.


Here is my Candidate Statement published on the Institute’s web site.

Read more

Why you need to be a Social Capitalist – Wakefield event

cognitiv logo

The great people at the Wakefield Creative network Cognitiv have kindly invited me to speak at their forthcoming event in September, where I will be sharing ‘Why you need to become a Social Capitalist‘.

Here’s their news release. If you’re in the area do come along. Or at least spread the word.



Cognitiv, the not-for-profit group supporting the creative, digital and IT community across the Wakefield district will host Cognitiv Means Business on Wednesday 7th September, welcoming Andy Green who will look at the importance of becoming a social capitalist and how this is the key to career and business success.

Taking place at 5.30pm – 7.30pm at The Arthouse in Wakefield, Andy will deliver a thought-provoking, inspirational and practical session ‘Why you need to become a Social Capitalist’. Opening your eyes to the hidden crisis our society faces he will provide you with new hope, tools and ways forward to help you, your organisation and the communities you serve thrive.

Read more

Social Capital in action – 2 men strolling for peace and understanding

A wonderful real world social experiment shows the power of Social Capital in action.

Two men are filmed walking through different neighbourhoods. Nothing unusual about that – except one is clearly an Arab Muslim, the other patently a Jew.

Their journey creates different responses. From the majority there’s initial astonishment and bemusement – a psychological response perhaps to their making themselves comfortable about observing an uncomfortable reality.

A minority make the point of engaging and sharing their endorsement and support of what the two men symbolise, of people of different faiths and communities coming together.

One reaction however verges on violent repudiation, with the Arab being aggressively accused by one passer-by of being a ‘terrorist’: a consequence, no doubt, of the abuser only ever seeing people in Arab dress in the media, tagged as ‘terrorists’.

Read more

Specsavers – should’ve listened to Oscar Wilde, or Richard Dawkins about memes


News that Specsavers, the high street optician, is attempting to trademark the phrase “should’ve” shows how they are failing to understand the wise words of Oscar Wilde or understand memes – and are in danger of scoring a massive communications own goal.

The company is reported to have filed a trademark application with the UK Intellectual Property Office to establish Specsavers’ rights to use of the terms “should’ve” and “shouldve” in a range of commercial spheres.

The move was presumably instigated by the use of the phrase, “should’ve gone to Specsavers” at the end of their adverts. There is legal opinion who think the rules would not allow such a common phrase to be trademarked.

Yet the move doesn’t make significant sense in the rules of modern-day communications terms either.

The great observer of the human condition, the writer Oscar Wilde noted in his ‘Picture of Dorian Grey’, “There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

The enemy of Brand communications and PR are not messages from Brand competitors.

It’s being ignored.

Read more

How HSBC nearly ruined me – and my story of renewal

Mary Creagh formal opening

The banks are in the news – this time with revelations about HSBC. Here’s my personal story of how the banks, the financial regulators and government losing their moral compass affected one individual.

Last week Mary Creagh MP formally opened a new co-working centre, IndyCube Wakefield, in the Wakefield Media and Creativity Centre.

It hopefully marks the start of a new area creating work and career opportunities and promoting a new style of working for small businesses, freelancers, and remote workers who prefer not to work alone.

It’s a story of hope and honest endeavour, in marked contrast with the news.

It has emerged that US officials refused to prosecute HSBC for money laundering in 2012 because of concerns that it would cause a “global financial disaster”.

Read more

Why the PRCA must keep ‘public relations’ – for the future of PR – and even humankind.

prca logo

The UK organisation currently known as the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) is about to make a decision to change its name – even considering dispensing with the words ‘Public Relations’.

This is a plea to keep the epithet ‘Public Relations’ for its own self-interest and for the wider good of the profession – and the world at large.

For its own self-interest retaining ‘Public Relations’ preserves its acronym and most common usage of its title – ‘the PRCA’.

Neither do you need a crystal ball to predict that at some point, in the not-too-distant future, there is going to have to be a debate about whether there should be a merger between the two organizations operating within the UK public relations sector – the PRCA and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. The PRCA retaining the ‘Public Relations’ part of its name facilitates any future marriage.

It is understandable that an organization formed in 1969 recognized the need to reflect the fact that it was no longer limited to just those working as consultants. ‘Consultants’ has to go.

Yet, the advent of integrated communications, with the blurring of the lines between different communications disciplines such as advertising, brand management and digital marketing could tempt a forward-looking strategist to adopt ‘Professional Communicators’ as a catch-all theme.

This would be fundamentally wrong.

Read more

Creative design from the South

Get in touch with us!