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Article | 17 Nov 2016

Raising standards in the PR and comms industry

Posted in PR and Communications, Freelancer, Industry news,

To celebrate The Work Crowds partnership with the PRCA, we spoke with Steve Miller, Director of Memberships and Partnerships, to find out how the PRCA have been supporting the PR and comms industry.

We know the PRCA exists to raise standards in the PR and Communications industry. Since your inception what are key initiatives that the PRCA has supported to achieve these goals?

We’ve led the ongoing fight against the NLA, involving a five-year legal battle that was won at the European Courts of Justice in 2014. The NLA continues to hinder our industry by imposing costs on the sharing of copy, both between colleagues and otherwise. This is something that the PRCA will continue to stand firmly against.

Another great success was winning the contract to run the first PR Apprenticeships programme and we now have a dedicated apprenticeship arm that brings competent young individuals into the industry with paid training opportunities. Apprenticeships provide a valuable alternative to a university degree, offering a more diverse range of opportunities to young people.

In addition to this, we are working closely with The Taylor Bennett Foundation and Intern Aware to champion the interests of interns, with the aim of opening up the industry to a more diverse population than ever before.

The gender pay gap is another key important issue for the PRCA and we have been a trailblazer in the fight to end female pay disparity in the industry. Having published our own gender pay gap recently, we are leading by example.

What key changes have you seen during this time?

There have been great strides forward in the effective use of measurement and evaluation in PR and Communications, and working in line with AMEC (International Association for Measurement and Evaluation), the PRCA has pushed the industry to use the Barcelona Principles 2.0 instead of outdated metrics, such as AVE. And rather than simply explaining why B.P.2.0 is better, our Director General, Francis Ingham, regularly takes part in open chats on Twitter where people can voice questions and opinions on this issue and more.

We’ve also built a much better understanding of the industry with our biennial PR Census, which looks at a host of areas such as gender breakdown, salary levels and areas attracting investment. With each publication, the Census reveals even deeper insight into the issues and trends that matter, providing an invaluable benchmarking tool for the industry.

The PRCA has also taken an increasing role in campaigning over the years. From diversity and inclusivity to public affairs, we have not only deepened but also broadened our campaigning work, championing an increasing range of important causes.

The PRCA now offers over 80 training courses and professional development programmes, delivered to suit the individual. With the evolution of PR & Communications, what changes have you seen to your program and the newest courses you offer?

We’ve recently launched courses on media buying, influencer relations and copywriting, plus we’re constantly adding to and improving all our courses, ensuring that examples and insights are kept up to date and relevant.

There has been an increased demand for bespoke courses, tailored to meet the specific needs of individual businesses. We are also offering courses in more locations than ever, with expansion to Leeds alongside existing cities, including London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, as well as online.

Given freelancers work independently, how can they benefit from your training courses?

Our face to face training gives freelancers, who usually work independently, the opportunity to learn and exchange ideas alongside other practitioners. As the PRCA runs a lot of its courses online, this also means that they can be accessed from anywhere in the world, so perfect for remote workers.

What does your freelancer membership provide and what support do you offer to your freelance members?

Freelancers enjoy benefits such as discounted conferences and award entries, access to whitepapers and the use of designatory letters ‘MPRCA’ to demonstrate their commitment to the industry. Freelancers enjoy many of the same benefits as consultancy and in-house members.

The PRCA have an exceptionally active events schedule! What benefits do you feel this provides to both members and non-members alike?

PRCA events tend to be for members only, but we do link up with our broader industry events, which span a whole range of sectors, locations, and interests.

Our monthly drinks event allows all our members to come together to learn, exchange ideas, and share knowledge in an informal setting. These drinks take place at the PRCA offices and at an external location, which rotates each month. External locations include member offices, bars, and other venues.

The PRCA are offering members of The Work Crowd a 50% reduction in their membership for freelancers. Normally priced at £100 + vat per annum, the price will be £50 + vat per annum for memberships taken up between the 22nd Nov and the 6th Dec 2016. Contact us at hello@theworkcrowd.com for your discount code.

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