The Chartered PR Practitioner Q&A: Charlotte Sansom on PR on the board

One of my commitments as CIPR President was to promote the value of learning and development as a foundation for professionalism.

Throughout the year I’m going to blog interviews with practitioners that have achieved Chartered PR Practitioner status to understand their motivation and perspective on the profession.

The Chartered Practitioner qualification is pitched by the CIPR as “a benchmark for those working at a senior level and a ‘gold standard’ to which all PR practitioners should strive to reach.” It consists of an initial questionnaire on your career, a paper and formal interview.

Charlotte Sansom’s paper discussed the role of public relations practitioners on the boards of UK listed companies.

Charlotte_SansomWho are you and what’s your day job?

I’m an award-winning public relations professional with 12 years’ experience in both agency and in-house and a strong track record in corporate reputation management.

I’m currently head of PR and corporate communications at top 20 law firm DWF, an ambitious and fast-paced business with offices in the City and across the UK where I work closely with the board advising about strategic communications issues.

What’s the greatest opportunity for the public relations profession?

To lead the drive for robust, credible and transparent communications. Integrity in communications is key.

Why did you apply for Chartered PR Practitioner status?

Continual learning is critical for professional excellence. I also wanted an external badge of recognition of my expertise and capability.

How did you find the assessment process?

Very comprehensive.

What was the topic of your paper and what did you learn?

My paper explored whether there is a place for a public relations professional on the board of UK listed companies.

Given the critical importance of corporate reputation in the business environment, I wanted to understand why there isn’t anyone on the boards of the FTSE 350 with specific experience in reputation management.

It was an excellent educational process, learning about the structure and composition of UK boards and the responsibilities of directors according to the Companies Act and Corporate Governance Code.

The business environment has changed significantly and my paper challenges boards to consider whether they are fit for future purpose.

Further information

You can connect with Charlotte via LinkedIn, Twitter (@cesansom), and if you’re interested in further information about learning and development please check the CIPR website.

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Professional advisor for agencies and communication teams, Wadds Inc. Author: #brandvandals, Exploring PR and Management Communication. #PRstack, Share This, and others. Visiting Professor, Newcastle University.

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