Sunday, August 17, 2008

Guild survey

Dear All

Many thanks to the 278 of you who have taken the time to respond to the Guild's online survey. The response is far in excess of what we had expected, with 240 of you completing the survey fully.
We have had some well-thought and structured answers and for that I have to express my sincere appreciation.
The next task will be in reviewing the responses, putting together a report for the next council meeting on August 29 in London and progressing various matters.
I, personally, don't want council to reach decisions on August 29. I would sooner council members consider the full contents of the survey and digest them before we do that. Council also needs to discuss your suggestions more fully and I would like to do that at a future council meeting.
You have certainly provided direction. There are clarion calls for awards for photography as well as to recognise excellence in PR. We also need to do more regionally, although that does not come without its own challenges in stimulating people to organise activities. Efforts so far have only been successful in south-east England. The north of England, Wales and south-west have proved deeply disappointing.
We too need to consider professional development issues, but the question I would ask is how we can achieve that at least cost to you. Perhaps the time has come for us to stage joint events with other kindred Guilds and to develop stronger links with them so that we can collectively benefit.
You also give your wholehearted and unanimous backing to the Guild and its endeavours so far, which is highly encouraging.
All in all the message seems to be to continue do what we are doing, but to bolt on a few added extras to increase the value of the organisation to you as an individual member.
You have my assurance that the issues you have raised will be looked at by council and fully debated. I have responded individually to members who have raised issues or expressed concerns about the way the organisation is run.
What the survey has also shown is that there seems to be a perception among some members that those involved in broadcasting cannot take part in Guild awards. The same applies to PRs.
Can I make it absolutely clear, once and for all, that anyone can enter the Guild's awards. I don't care whether they are journalists, PR people or broadcasters. Each entry is judged on it merits. Yes a three minute radio broadcast is different from a 1,500 word article, but three minutes of the spoken word can have a far more dramatic impact that 1,500 words of rambling nonsense.
And I have to say we do have some PR members who are capable of producing excellent written material.
Remember too, that there is little point moaning and expressing - considerable in some instances- displeasure unless you actually take part. You've got to be in it to win it and if you can't be bothered to enter then you have no hope. I look forward to soaring entries for all competitions as a result, particularly from those who hold those horribly wrong views.
Now that I've cleared the air on that can we please all put up and shut up on this particular issue and resolve to settle what appear, in my eyes at least, to be particularly polarised and long-held views. I have to say that has been the most disappointing aspect of the responses that I have had to deal with.
Council remains absolutely committed and determined to drive through changes and make the organisation more dynamic and more member focused.
Can I again sincerely thank the 278 who have responded. You have shown your commitment.
I have, however, to ask why 106 others have not yet done so. It is not too late to do so.=

Many thanks and best wishes

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