The longest association I have had 

By Amanda Coleman, FCIPR, Chart. PR 

I have never been one of those people who joined clubs and societies. I was kicked out of the Brownies although I did manage to be a member of the Dennis the Menace fan club. Being part of a committee was not on my to do list. Now I cannot imagine not being a CIPR volunteer in some form. 

There are two key things it has given me. The first and most important is that I am able to connect with other PR professionals to discuss issues, training, and developments. For someone who spent more than two decades working in-house this has been a vital lifeline to keep in touch with the industry. Now that I am running my own consultancy and spending a lot of time in my own company it has become a way to connect, share ideas and get advice.  

Being part of the North West committee has given me so much, and I credit the support of the committee for spurring me on to go for chartered status five years ago. I have learnt so much from every single person I have met through the work which makes it a valuable investment.  

The second thing is the opportunity to give something back and to help develop a profession that I am proud to be a member of. It may sound a bit trite but as I have progressed and gathered experience over the years it has made me more passionate about helping the next generation. More than that I want to see PR and communication become a career more young people choose and that it becomes a more respected and valued profession within society.  

We can all be a part of the future of the industry. We can all demonstrate the value that it brings to businesses and society. We can all give a little bit back. You may think you are too busy or that you are just not one of those ‘committee types’, but trust me neither am I.  But I have been a CIPR volunteer for longer than I was in the Dennis the Menace fan club and plan to be for a few years yet.