CIPR Elections: Make Your Vote Count


CIPR Council VoteVoting is now open for the CIPR election 2014.

I’m proud to be running alongside my CIPR NI committee colleague and Vice Chair, Samantha Livingstone on the open list, where there are eight seats available. Sam and I were both encouraged to stand with support from CIPR NI chair, Chris Love and the CIPR NI Committee and feel that it would be beneficial if Northern Ireland were to have a stronger representation within the CIPR at UK level.

You can read our candidate statements, along with those of the other candidates here. We would of course be delighted if CIPR members, particularly our peers in Northern Ireland, would choose Sam and I as their 1st and 2nd preference votes, though we would encourage you to use your vote, regardless of which candidate you choose.

If you’re a CIPR member, you should have received an email this morning with your unique voter code, which you’ll need in order to cast your votes. I voted soon after voting opened this morning but there’s plenty of time – voting is open until 22nd September.

The calibre of candidates standing for the 2014 election is exceptionally high; personally I’m honoured to stand amongst such great professionals. I’ve been really heartened by the comradery amongst the candidates standing for election – it’s a real example of how collaboration and supportive working is positive for the industry as a whole. Whatever the outcome, I’m certain there will be a very strong CIPR Council to support the board over the next two years.

Follow all the action on twitter, using the #CIPRelection hashtag.




West Wing picAnyone that knows me will be aware of my obsession with The West Wing. I’ve watched the entire seven seasons four times; I named my car C.J. after the show’s  press secretary; and I see Martin Sheen and President Bartlet as one and the same person. I even featured in a Buzzfeed article, thanks to my prolific tweeting about the show.

Fellow West Wing fans will know that Bartlet and his band of unlikely aids entered the White House presidential race, not with an expectation to win, but in the hope of influencing national discussion.

As some of you may know, I am standing for a seat on the UK Council of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).  In standing for Council, I too hope to make a contribution to national discussion, specifically in relation to the ongoing efforts of the CIPR to professionalise the PR industry. Voting members, or those that are interested, can read more about the reasons why I am standing here and on the CIPR website.

In the meantime, and as I gear up for the election 1st – 22nd September, I thought it would be useful to take some inspiration from my favourite TV show and brush up on some West Wing election ideology…

West Wing Election Ideology

1. Elections provide a valuable forum for debate on important issues.

2. Staying true to your ideals is imperative. See ‘Let Bartlet Be Bartlet’.

3. Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. See season 4, episode 6 when Sam Seaborne is forced to take up the Californian nomination for Congress when a deceased candidate wins the primary.

4. Negative Campaigning or Mudslinging is for the uneducated.

5. A little light entertainment/down time is essential. See CJ doing The Jackal, Season 1, episode 18 (below).




CIPR Summer SocialWhen you tell people you work in PR, it’s not unusual to be met with exclamations of ‘Oh, that must be so glamorous!’  Whilst there’s no doubt it’s an exciting industry to work in, surprisingly to some, cocktail swilling, couture fashion and A-List parties don’t feature heavily in the day to day world of a PR consultant. In reality, we tend to spend more time in strategy planning meetings than attending fashion shows and red carpet events.

Whatever industry you work in, it’s good to down tools occasionally and network with peers – no one else can quite comprehend the particular pressures and rewards of the job than someone who works in the same industry.

As a member for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), I’m afforded many chances to network with my peers on a local and national level. Last night’s CIPR Northern Ireland Summer Social at The National Belfast was a great opportunity to meet up with other local PR professionals, down the clipboards and enjoy some relaxed, work-free networking.

I’ve benefited both personally and professionally through collaboration with peers and these social events are a great opportunity to widen networks and find ways that we can work together better. It was also particularly pleasing to see two of MCE’s newest recruits – recently signed up as CIPR members – enjoying their first CIPR NI social event.

CIPR Summer Social BBQThe BBQ and mojitos went down just as well as the networking and the sun even made an appearance after what’s been a very wet few weeks. Kudos to my CIPR NI committee colleagues, Jane Williams and Seona McGrath for organising a great event. Roll on the Christmas social!

Check out the pictures from the event on the CIPR Northern Ireland Facebook page



I’m delighted to announce that my nomination to stand for the UK Council of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has been accepted. I am joining public relations professionals from right across the UK in standing for one of eight open seats on the CIPR UK Council. I’m proud to join a collection of such esteemed peers in what is set to be a very exciting election.

Voting opens on 1st September and runs until 22nd September. I would encourage all voting CIPR members to take the time to participate in this year’s election and to help shape the future of the industry.

In the meantime, you can read my candidate statement here or on the CIPR website, along with those of the other candidates, including my CIPR Northern Ireland colleague, Sam Livingstone (Vice Chair).



CIPR NI PRIDE AWARDSMCE Public Relations has been shortlisted for three awards at Northern Ireland’s leading PR industry Awards.

More than 350 of the UK’s leading public relations teams, consultancies and individuals, including more than 40 in Northern Ireland have made the shortlists of the 2014 CIPR PRide Awards, the UK’s premier awards scheme that recognises excellence in public relations and communications work across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and six English regions.

MCE’s work on the re-brand of Leukaemia and Lymphoma NI has been shortlisted in the Not-For-Profit category.  Within this campaign, MCE oversaw the creation and design of a new brand identity, logo and website. Implementing an innovative and creative strategy for LLNI has helped raise awareness of the charity, increase donations and increase volunteer numbers.

The MCE team has also been recognised for its work on the inaugural Great Ulster Pub Week, having been shortlisted in the Integrated Campaign category. The fully integrated advertising, PR, marketing and events campaign was delivered in May 2014 by MCE for Pubs of Ulster. The Great Ulster Pub Week was the largest multi-venue pub festival ever seen in Northern Ireland and delivered on its key objectives to give consumers a reason to revisit the pub, whilst upskilling publicans and driving footfall and sales into participating pubs.

In the Public Affairs category, MCE has been shortlisted for its campaign ‘Knocking out Sectarianism and Racism in Boxing in Northern Ireland’. The MCE public affairs team worked with an Independent Working Group (IWG) to investigate sectarianism and racism in boxing in Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the shortlist, Chris Love MCIPR Chair of the CIPR Northern Ireland group said: “This year we’ve had a record number of entries all of which were of an incredibly high standard, highlighting the industry-leading work that is taking place right across Northern Ireland. I would like to congratulate all of those who have been shortlisted for an award; their success demonstrates their exemplary achievements in our thriving profession.”

Winners will be announced at the gala award ceremony at the Culloden Estate & Spa on Friday 17 October 2014.