Thank you for 2015

On 31st December I hand over The Chartered Institute of Public Relations Presidential medal to Rob Brown and wish him every success for 2016.

I will remain on the board of the CIPR for a further year and am looking forward to continuing the work we have started on gender issues; especially supporting young women as they join and progress through the profession, women who have aspirations for board roles and looking at the gender pay gap – including speaking at a debate in the House of Commons on Monday 25th January (pop that in your diary).

However before the year is over I wanted to thank some of the people who have been so very supportive.  It has been, as I commented to Professor Anne Gregory last week, 85% fantastic, 10% challenging and 5% horrid!

I am proud of the changes and achievements we have made, specifically the continuing work on gender pay, supporting young communicators, establishing the communications leaders’ forum for in-house practitioners, changing the route to chartered, increasing our voice as the regulator of the industry and getting more members than ever engaged in CPD.  My final quarterly report will cover all our achievements in much more detail and will be out in January.

CIPR Board and Council volunteers

Firstly, to my CIPR board and council colleagues, and volunteers, all giving their time (often taking annual leave to attend meetings) so very generously to the institute and to our members.  Thank you for the challenges, the contributions, the energy and enthusiasm.  Many of our board and council members are also chairs of group as well as members of other CIPR committees and almost all work full-time within the industry.  I do not underestimate the effort you have all made and the sacrifices, thank you.

Special thanks to Lindsey Collumbell and Jason MacKenzie for the work they put into developing a proposition for relaunching the route to becoming a Chartered Practitioner.

And a final mention to Laura Sutherland, Eva Maclaine and Lindsey Collumbell who have always gone the extra mile to check in on me, say well done and offer help and support.  I have really appreciated your thoughtfulness, thank you.

CIPR CEO and Directors

Secondly, thanks to Alastair McCapra for leading the institute with a clear vision, strong leadership and management, a supportive and engaging manner and an intellectual sharpness, all of which have been extremely valuable.  He also likes a good gin martini, which has helped at times.  Alastair is supported by a very strong team of directors as well as Phil Morgan, Sukhjit Grewel, Peter Rolfe and Claire Bloomer– thank you all.

The 15 behind the scenes supporting crew

No show gets to take to the stage without a substantial behind the scenes crew, if like me, you are a Strictly fan, that is what all the celebs talk about – the whole team who work so hard to make their 90 seconds of dancing successful. My 15 2015 crew have made my 11 months as president (I spent January 2015 on maternity leave) so much more successful.  Thank you.

Here’s my crew.


Kim McCarthy, the receptionist at the CIPR. So very professional and welcoming.  Always smiling, always so pleased to see me, and the giver of some of the best-timed hugs.


Martin Horrox, the CIPR’s regulatory consultant who committed to being on the end of the phone whenever I needed a confidential conversation. Thank you so very much.


Meryl Coleclough, Julie Jupe and Sylvie Pender, it is friendship with these three that was one of the best things to have come out of my time as Chair of the CIPR South West committee; throughout this year they have celebrated the successes of the Institute with me, shared in the good times, popped in with flowers, listened, bought coffee and wine, and looked after miniteampg. Having women who know me so well has been brilliant – and special thanks for the bath in the upstairs upstairs – complete saving grace, as you said it would be!


Rachel Miller, for the constant support, being a professional sounding board and a wonderfully inspirational fellow communicator and friend.


My hairdresser.  Channelling my inner Lucia Van Der Post, who said never to underestimate the power of good hair.


Sylvia at Beau Monde for the best jacket and the most brilliant DJ.  Clothes to inspire confidence.


My Pinch Point Communications team, made up of Adrian, Kerri and Kay who have worked so hard and helped to deliver such great work to our clients, thank you.



The godsisters, without whom I would not still be standing.  Female friendships are so incredibly important and to have time with these three who know me better than I know myself has literally saved me, thank you.


My husband, the greatest love of my life and the person who has made this year possible.  Having a very small child and being away is only possible when you have the support, practically and emotionally, of such a human being.  And this one makes me a better person, celebrates all the good things and enables me to contribute when I feel I can’t do it and always there with a large drink to celebrate the end of another week.  Thank you John.

So thank you, to everyone who has contributed to the Institute and to the PR industry this year.  There is much to celebrate.

My thoughts are with anyone for whom life has thrown up challenges and sadness.  I wish you every support and warmth at this time.

Christmas is a vitally important time for me; time out, time to recharge, and also time to remember that tiny little people come into our world every single day.  Some of them will change the world for worse, some will not change a thing – but some of them will go on to change the world in ways none of us could anticipate – and they will leave it a much better place.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.


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Sarah Pinch FCIPR, MIoD is MD of Pinch Point Communications, President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015, and a Non Executive Director of the Health and Safety Executive.

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