Mentor Media Training worked with CIPR South West and Rhizome to create a new interactive live experience for remote seminars.
The good news for members who couldn't travel to Bristol, was that they were able, for a fee significantly cheaper than their petrol/rail fare, to comment, ask live questions and take part in a webinar, hosted by former journalist, turned media trainer Dave Mason. A number of Bristol based PR people also attended in person at Mentor's HQ.
The subject around which the PR ethics issue focussed, was the recent demise of PR giant Bell Pottinger, analysing it as a case study, including discussing the governance issues which led to 270 PR jobs being lost in September. We posed the question, is regulation necessary?
CIPR members from Cornwall to the Midlands took part through Eventbrite, together with Public Relations MA under-graduates from Cardiff School of Journalism.
Here's how the Eventbrite page promoted this ground-breaking evening;
"The PR industry is still reeling from the demise of agency giant Bell Pottinger, following their controversial campaign on behalf of Gupta brothers firm Oakbay, where they were accused of inciting racial division. Ejected from professional body PRCA, a mass exodus of scores of high profile brand clients, plus THAT Newsnight interview with Lord Bell. The scandal caused shockwaves far beyond the PR profession.
The events that unfolded in recent months beg the question: Where do ethics sit in the cut-throat world of PR agencies, where a key driver is to win accounts and make profit? Offering 5 points in the all-important Ethics CPD stream, CIPR South West has partnered with crisis communications and media training consultancy Mentor, for an inclusive event where PR professionals can attend either in person or via webinar. The webinar will be powered by Rhizome Live. Dave Mason, Head of Media Training at Mentor, will take us through the events that unfolded for Bell Pottinger and highlight where ethical decisions arise at every step for the PR profession. How could these issues have been mitigated? At what point does ethics over-ride corporate objectives? Should this world-wide scandal drive a new agenda of regulation for the PR industry?
CIPR members and PRs further afield can take advantage of the event content and still gain their 5 CPD Ethics points by logging onto the special interactive session via webinar."
Although it was live, the video was still available for one week after, including for further discussion and Q&A.
Dave Mason added: "I've done Facebook Lives in the past year to reach new audiences and experiment with disruptive broadcast technology, but this is better, because it's not a public audience, eradicating the possibility of random trolling.
The YouTube link account enables on-demand viewing, and we were better able to target PR people with CIPR Chair, Rachel Picken and manage payments through Eventbrite. Added to that, the PR professionals who came in person and enjoyed a glass of wine, we had a really successful night. I'd like to try something similar again with CIPR and Rhizome." www.rhizomelive.com
Rachel Picken, Chair of CIPR South West, who joined the event from her home in Cornwall, commented on our beta test of the Rhizome platform:
“We run events across the South West region, from Gloucester to Land’s End, to support CIPR members and PR professionals to access opportunities for CPD. We are often looking for ways to make this inclusive, practical and affordable.
“The webinar format was perfect because it enabled members hundreds of miles from Bristol to benefit from the content and discussion, and gain their crucial 5 CPD points in the ethics stream and the content was spot on.
“I’ve used webinar platforms before, but this was very simple and user-friendly. I’m hoping we can continue to experiment in offering webinar based events to reach more PR professionals in our region."