Last night the PRCA kindly got representatives of the Scottish PR scene together for drinks and debate at the Missoni Hotel in Edinburgh.
The food and company was excellent, of course, but we also uncovered something rather startling: our wider industry is not networking. Not amongst ourselves. We're not sharing experiences, making new friends and contacts, learning new things and creating networks.
I don't think this is down to a lack of desire. Far from it - all the above are things I know young PR people want to do more frequently - the will and determination to do this is definitely there. The PRCA can play a key role in making this happen more frequently, and they also want to play that role - that much is very clear.
People who are starting out in PR want to learn and I think the key to success is to give them the autonomy to dictate their own social scene - let's not tell them what to do, let's leave it all in their hands. It's very clear that the PRCA wants to make it work in Scotland, and I hope they will pass on the budget and the decision making to the Frontline team, whose role it is to connect practising PR professionals from graduate level up to account director. The idea is that getting together at formal events will help to equip you with all the tools you need to progress your career.
Even more importantly, the Scottish PR scene needs to get social. We need everyone from graduates, account executives and managers to account directors, to show that determination to make it happen, to turn up to events and to want more from their industry. There's plenty of opportunity already of course - the PRCA events calendar and the CIPR's social in the city series are two examples of how the industry is ready and willing. It has been quite rightly pointed out to me that more of us should take a leaf out of the book of those already making the effort, and I hope the Frontline initiative will become one further way to improve still further the social side of life in PR in Scotland, and I look forward to that happening - we're all up for it, after all.
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