Having been a CIPR Member (on and off) for a number of years, I have become accustom to seeing PR Week pop through my letterbox. In the old days as a weekly mag, it was the go-to source for agency news and announcements, more recently the magazine has morphed into a glossy monthly mag heavy on editorial content and comment.
Regardless of your views on whether print trade publications still have a place in this ‘digital age’, I for one was sad to hear that CIRP have taken the decision to discontinue its partnership agreement with Haymarket Publishing. In a rather unpublicised announcement, members were informed that they would no longer receive their monthly print magazine or have access to PRWeek online after the December 2014 edition.
In its place, the CIPR plans “significant investment in 2015 in its own content to deliver member engagement and campaign on professional standards in public relations, through a variety of owned and shared channels. The CIPR will also invest in its own online jobs marketplace.”
Why has this change come about? Well, the CIPR claim it’s down to Haymarket wanting nearly double the contribution to continue access. The CIPR however, think they can provide their own solution for less. While CIPR’s motives and intentions might be well placed, it seems the opinion of members is less favorable. Looking at the comments section on the newspost, many members list PR Week as a key reason for subscribing, indeed those of us based in East Anglia, who are unlikely to make use of the Russell Square facilities, might see our monthly magazine and web access as a clear example of value from our near £200 annual subscription. CIPR will be making a significant saving by breaking with Haymarket and members will want to see added value quickly from January 2015 or a reduction in their membership fees.
One also has to question Haymarket, their reluctance to negotiate and the effect this decision might have on the viability of a monthly print title. With a circulation of just 13,678, it will be interesting to see how many CIPR members choose to re-subscribe to a mag, which for many, was a ‘nice to have’ addition to their membership. This decision may turn out to haunt them if they fail to convert CIPR members into new subscribers. Only time will tell.
Posted by Adam T