Are you serious about development? Do you care about promoting the industry as a profession? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, the good news is that you can do both at EuroComm18 in Copenhagen this April (details to follow at the bottom of the page!).
If you’re on the fence about certification, here’s my argument. For far too long, communications has been seen as a nice-to-have, a function that isn’t really strategic. Unfortunately, what has often happened is that communications has become the department where either someone senior is left to ‘retire’, or it’s the place where an inexperienced but attractive character is brought in.
This Has To Change
We need to stop treating communications as a window dressing. Reputation matters, in both good and bad times (ask anyone who works at Volkswagen about the importance of reputation and its cost to the business). Today, thanks to social media, any one consumer or stakeholder can call out your company, for both good reasons and bad. And yet, few companies in the MENA region have people who can effectively steward and build reputations.
So, how do we do it?
Firstly, the industry needs to talk more about what communications truly is and what it can do for organizations and their publics. Many of us will work tirelessly for our brands, but we’re awful at doing public relations for ourselves. There’s not enough people out there, particularly among the C-level crowd and within human resources who actually know what communications is about. As an industry we have to spend more time educating our peers, so that they know what we do and the value of our work.
Secondly, we need a universally accepted certification. Would you go to a lawyer who doesn’t have a degree. Or how about a doctor who didn’t attend medical school? And yet, most of us in the communications industry have never studied public relations and understood the theory underpinning our work. If we’re to evolve, and become better at what we do, then we need to go forward as an industry and adopt a standard certification, be it that advocated by IABC. We need people who are accredited, who have invested time in their development, and who can say, “I know my communications theory and this is how I can prove it.”
I’m used to the status quo. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want change. I want our profession to be respected, to have a seat at the table, and to be strategic. I hope you’ll join me, so that together we can push for change. One way you can do that is by signing up to take the IABC CMP or SCMP examinations this April in Copenhagen. IABC EMENA is hosting a special exam the day before EuroComm, on the 8th of April, at Copenhagen University.
If you want to know more about signing up for either exam, check out the link here or drop us an email at [email protected] Together, we will work towards creating a more professional commmunications industry.