Members of the PRCA have today voted to move to a new streamlined Management and Governance Structure. Far-reaching changes will both simplify and strengthen governance, oversight, transparency and decision-making.
The changes were approved at the Annual General Meeting of the Association. Members voted 100% in favour of the new Articles of Association and Bye-Laws.
A new Interim Management Board will oversee a period of transition to the new structure.
New Interim Management Board
Members voted to approve the appointment of a new Interim Management Board, to lead PRCA until the next AGM. The Board members are:
Ray Eglington – Chair (Four Agency)
Matt Brown (Transport for London)
Matt Buchanan (Ogilvy UK)
Paul Church (Connect Public Affairs)
Kirsty Leighton (Milk and Honey)
Jennifer Robertson (Spey)
Ipelegeng Thibedi (Weber Shandwick)
Stuart Thomson (CWE Communications)
Sarah Waddington (Wadds Inc)
Nominations were invited from the whole membership with the nominees selected by an interim Nominations Committee, which included independents. The Committee took care to put forward a balanced Board, with some continuity with the previous Board, representation from agencies and in-house practitioners, voices from the UK nations and regions and international Members. Two independent Board members will be appointed in due course.
The Board will oversee the transition to the new structure. Existing groups will continue for now, but all the new Boards and Committees are expected to be up and running by the next AGM, in June 2024.
New Honorary President and Vice-President
Sarah Scholefield (Grayling) and Charles Lewington (Hanover) have been appointed as the Honorary President and Honorary Vice-President respectively. The new role of President has been introduced to strengthen advocacy on behalf of the industry.
There will be clearer definitions of Membership, with Company Membership open to corporate bodies, partnerships and sole traders working in public relations, public affairs or communications. Employees of Company Members, who practise PR, public affairs or communications as the main element of their job, will be Professional Members of the PRCA, may use the post-nominals MPRCA and can take up governance leadership roles. Associate Membership status will be on offer to individuals and students who are not eligible for Professional Membership.
The new PRCA Management Board will be much smaller than its predecessor, with 11 directors, including two independents. The outgoing Board had 27 members. The Management Board will focus on business strategy, operations and the PRCA’s financial performance, and be supported by an Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committee.
Governance and standards
Governance and standards will be applied by the PRCA General Council, the main governing body made up of all Company Members. General Council will be supported by Membership and Nominations Committees to ensure that appointments are transparent and open. A new Standards Committee, including a strong role for independents, will determine the Codes of Conduct binding on Members.
There will be professional boards for Public Affairs and for PR & Communications, taking the lead on the major issues and challenges for their respective industry sectors.
Policy Advisory Boards
Five Advisory Boards, for Climate communications, Education, Equality and Inclusion, Race and Ethnicity Equity, and Global will advise on the development of PRCA policy in their specific areas.
Networks and Interest Groups
As well as the formal roles included in the new structure, Professional and Associate Members will be able to contribute to Networks and Interest Groups, and participate in region and nation groups covering Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the English regions, as well as in countries and regions internationally.
Ray Eglington, Chair of the PRCA, said:
“Today our Members have approved PRCA’s Governance Structure and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to our review. The Interim Management Board will now focus on putting in place the foundations of that governance structure, while supporting the PRCA’s continued growth in the UK and internationally. I invite every member of the PRCA to think about how they will work with their organisation to make this new chapter a success.”
Sarah Scholefield, Honorary President of the PRCA, said:
“I am delighted that our Members have voted to accept our recommendations. We are ambitious for the PR, PA and communications industry, and for the PRCA. We are committed to remaining a strong advocate for our industry across a wider sphere and for championing the role of communications more broadly.”
Renna Markson, PRCA Managing Director, said:
“Our Members are at the heart of everything we do and we feel that our new structure will make it easier for them to be involved with their trade association. There will be more opportunities to come together and build the future of our industry. We look forward to working together with our Members, and to welcoming new ones.”