The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has announced a range of measures to modernise its Communication Management Standard – the industry’s flagship accreditation scheme for PR businesses and in-house teams.
CMS, globally recognised as the kite mark of excellence for communications teams, will now be available to virtual agencies to reflect the growing number of PR agencies operating remotely.
As part of the changes, accreditation will operate on a one-year renewal process, as opposed to its existing bi-annual cycle, to ensure CMS-accredited teams remain committed to the highest standards of professional practice. The new cycle will come into effect on 31st January.
First introduced in 1998, CMS requires agencies and in-house teams to undergo an audit to assess standards across a range of business areas including; leadership and communication, business planning, and diversity. PR agencies that meet the criteria automatically qualify for the PRCA’s Matchmaker service, which offers exposure to new business opportunities.
The improvements announced today will be overseen by the new CMS Assessor, Carol Magill, who commented: “I feel privileged to take forward Communication Management Standard (CMS) in partnership with organisations across the UK and further afield. For organisations the process of gaining CMS is a “health check” on their work and business; for stakeholders and clients, CMS offers reassurance that the organisations they employ, or the in house team, have completed a journey towards excellence. The new Virtual Agency CMS is a sign that standard itself is being responsive to the changing needs of the communications sector.”
George Blizzard, Co-Founder of the PR Network and Chairman of the PRCA Virtual Group, said: “There is no question that virtual PR agencies are on the rise. There are 12 well established agencies in the PRCA Virtual PR Agency group which we set up only a year ago, including JFG, PPR and Tuesday Media. As the VPRA category matures, we must create robust structures and clear governance – particularly when managing dispersed virtual teams. By adopting the PRCA CMS process, The PR Network and our founding group members will demonstrate that there is zero difference in quality and process between traditional and evolved agency models.”
For more information on the CMS and how to apply, visit our website.