I’ve cast my vote in the election for president-elect of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
I know a lot of people have either endorsed a candidate or declared their vote for one. I shan’t do so. But I want to share a bit of my thinking.
Early on, I tweeted a shortlist:
In more detail, I was looking for evidence of the following:
- commitment to the Institute, both in terms of its mission and in giving personal service (ideally beyond office-holding)
- understanding of the position; whatever the primacy of the role (of president in the end) they are an officer within an Institute with a membership of many thousands
- ability to preside; can they facilitate discussion and steer it to a decision aka a good cat-herder!
- a team worker; building, leading, following, engaging and enabling
- understanding that decisions must be well made; based on good evidence, and be capable of implementation within the resources available or procurable, and of being evaluated
- ability to be an ambassador for the Institute and for the industry; be capable of communicating effectively, confidently, inspirationally and persuasively (here the videos were very helpful)
- having a vision, and a record of putting one into practice
I looked for evidence in a lot of places: candidates’ statements, supporting videos, their tweets, and supporting blog posts.
Although no candidate ticked all boxes unambiguously, it was obvious that all candidates are capable of doing the job.
My preference order was decided mostly on the list above. But I also looked out for matters of particular and personal interest. Two candidates managed to tick one of my top two. It helped decide my second preference.
One thing that played no part in my thinking was the endorsements of others. I didn’t set them aside. I just noted that each candidate was backed by people whose opinions and judgment I respect.
Whether your preferred candidate wins or not, it is all our interests that we have elections in which many members are engaged. And the easiest way to measure that is through turnout.
So, if you’ve yet to vote, please vote!
UPDATE: one of the candidates, Gary Taylor, has suggested adding ability to make a decision. I agree. I probably had it implicitly in mind under the third bullet point.