Executive Board Report 2016/17

In a year in which the UK has faced unprecedented political turmoil and considerable uncertainty, the role of journalism has arguably been even more important than usual.

For the specialist press covering the built environment, this has heightened the need to help readers navigate the shifting political sands and business consequences. PR and communications professionals in the field have needed strong networks, relationships and adaptability.

In this context, the IBP’s role in bringing people together, fostering members’ careers and facilitating debate are of great value.

The past 12 months saw the most successful IBP PR and Communication Awards – the largest to date, and with an inspiring set of winners. Sophie Walker, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party, spoke passionately about the need for greater equality and called on journalists and PR professionals to do more to raise its importance.

The IBP Journalism Awards, too, highlighted the best of the sector, as judged by a panel of highly respected journalists and industry experts. With a second-time lucky speech from former City planner Peter Rees Wynne (after he didn’t make it the previous year), the awards were an excellent way to finish the year.

The Futures Group, which puts on forward-looking events for IBP members to network and discuss the future of journalism and communications, was rebooted this year. The programme included a fascinating debate on political reporting in the age of ‘fake news’ featuring leading journalists from the FT and Buzzfeed UK, a valuable behind-the-scenes look at digital journalism at the Guardian and the Wall Street Journal and an excellent panel on investigative journalism.

As the economic and political uncertainty continues, the IBP strives to put on events that members will find beneficial and bring people together to debate and share ideas. We always want to hear from members about what they would like IBP to provide.

I thank warmly all board members for giving their valuable time to attend meetings and discuss the IBP’s present activities and future direction.

I also thank members for entering the IBP Journalism Awards and the PR and Communication Awards and look forward to seeing you at our next events.