Pub clubs must change, warns MPA chairman

Manchester Publicity Association chairman, Nicola Leyland, has said that publicity clubs must embrace change in order to survive. Leyland spoke to The Drum ahead of tomorrow’s pub club summit.

Leyland’s warning comes ahead of a planned summit of UK pub clubs in Manchester tomorrow.

Organisations from Glasgow, Yorkshire and Birmingham have been invited by the MPA to discuss how the associations can arrest the decline that has already seen associations in Liverpool and Aberdeen fold.

The Edinburgh Publicity Club is also expected to be represented amid rumours that it could be the next organisation to close.

Leyland said: “We wanted to get all the organisations together to share advice on how we can continue to offer value to our members. We are all committed to ensuring these organisations survive.”

To many observers, pub clubs have become best known for organising raucous Christmas lunches. Leyland cautioned that ‘with the marketplace now flooded with events’, this reputation alone would no longer be enough for the organisations to survive on.

“There is so much more to the MPA and the other associations than the annual Christmas party,” Leyland said. “We want to move these organisations on and make people aware of what else we are about – our dedication to training for instance.

“The plan, for the MPA at least, is to take the organisation on and make it more credible.”

One of the ways Leyland intends to do this is by incorporating more of Manchester’s digital and creative communities into the organisation.

She explained: “Digital, especially, is an area where the MPA and other associations have been left behind a little. We have workshops planned to address this and I’m sure members from fellow associations will pool their thoughts and ideas on what we should incorporate, and what works for them, on Friday."

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