TAF and CIPR Launch PUBCOM

The Trade Association Forum in partnership with the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR) are delighted to launch a new networking group for PR and PA professionals working in Trade Associations.

The TAF PR and Public Affairs Best Practice Forum (TAF PUBCOM) held its first meeting on 22nd September and agreed a remit to:

  • Provide a professional network for PR and PA staff working in trade associations
  • Support trade association PR and public affairs staff to develop their skills and professional careers, including through the provision of tailored training and development and CPD learning opportunities
  • Share best practice, discuss challenges and initiate benchmarking and research into the challenges faced by PR and public affairs in trade associations
  • Provide mentoring and support to those looking to grow and develop their career in PR and public affairs within trade associations
This is a fantastic initiative, which I am delighted to be part of. I am looking forward to developing a community of professionals and delivering a useful and engaging programme which supports our professional and personal development
Tom Reynolds
CEO of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association and Chair of the new TAF PUBCOM
We are delighted to collaborate with TAF to launch this new network to help support public relations and public affairs professionals to meet their peers working in similar organisations and learn from each other.

In times of turbulence and change, the role of trade associations to communicate with and on behalf of their members is crucial. This new initiative will help us develop and build collectively and undoubtedly be a valuable resource.
Alastair McCapra
Alastair McCapra
CIPR Chief Executive

For more information about the network please contact TAF CEO, Emily Wallace, or register for updates below:

Successful Trade Associations are built on excellent communications

There is no doubt that successful trade associations are built on excellent communications, but keeping pace with modern professional communications is an enduring and significant challenge. 

Trade associations are small organisations, almost all employ less than 100 staff, most less than 20 and many under 10. They certainly don’t have the luxury of being able to employ a fully skilled team of communications professionals. 

Instead, individuals take on multiple roles, upskilling themselves and learning on the job. Getting the balance of skills right to be able to take on, PR, public affairs, member engagement, corporate and digital communications is a constant challenge.

Their work really matters, and their communications does too. It needs to help them punch well above the size of their organisations. 

It is only through excellent communicators that associations can properly represent their sector both in the UK and abroad, and with it shape the opportunities for their members and support the growth of the UK economy too.

Their communication with regulators and policymakers is critical. It makes policy workable. Without trade associations, the Government would have a really hard job implementing policy. Not only do associations spend huge amounts of time working on the details of regulation and guidance, but they then communicate it to their members and drive compliance too.

As the voice of their industry there is a huge responsibility to be visible and be accurate, and as member led organisations, trade associations must ensure they represent their views and interests. This means they need excellent channels of communication with members and a strong feedback loop too.

Trade associations also deliver essential communications to ensure industry standards are understood and adhered to. They put in place accreditation programmes, run regular training sessions, develop routes to entry through apprenticeships and vocational learning, support continued professional development, share best practice and reward excellence. 

These communications make us all safer by protecting consumers and businesses and supporting public sector inspection regimes.

There is no doubt that investing in the skills and resources needed to have a professional communications capability is critical for associations. 

This is why TAF has teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations to work together to ensure that Associations have access to the best professional development opportunities, and why together we are looking at how to build networks and develop best practice specifically for Associations. 

If you are interested in finding out more or getting involved, we would love to hear from you. 

Recording from BPEx 2022

Catch up with some of the main sessions from TAF’s Best Practice Exchange Conference on Thursday 23rd June 2022:

Welcome from TAF Chair & Ministerial Keynote

The opening sessions from TAF’s Best Practice Exchange conference, featuring a welcome from TAF Chair, Gaynor Pates, and a keynote speech and Q&A from Paul Scully MP, the Minister for Small Business from BEIS.

The UK economy in 2022: challenges and opportunities for business

Martin McTague, National Chair of the FSB and Henry Aldridge, Head of Trade Associations at the CBI, discuss the economy, what it means for business and the role trade associations can play, all chaired by TAF CEO Emily Wallace.

How can Trade Associations Better Support SMEs to Grow?

Small businesses make up three fifths of the employment and around half of turnover in the UK private sector, and ensuring they are well represented and supported to grow is key to delivering UK economic growth. Hear from Carlo Gibbs, Head of SME Insights and Engagement at BEIS, Paloma Sackman, Head of Leadership & Management Programmes at Be the Business and Chris Noice, the Director of Communications at the Association of Convenience Stores to discuss the issues.

Keynote speech from Seema Malhotra MP, Shadow Business Minister from the Labour Party

Seema Malhotra MP, the Shadow Business Minister from the Labour Party, addresses the TAF Best Practice Exchange Conference on the 23rd June 2022, with an introduction from Tom Bowtell, the CEO of the British Coating Federation and a TAF Board member.

Role and effectiveness of trade associations in dealing with Government

A key part of the role of a Trade Association is in representing its members to Government, policymakers and regulators. This session explores the relationship between Government and trade associations and how to build long-term impactful relationships and be the most effective representatives for your members. Speakers include: – Alex Thomas: Programme Director, Institute for Government and former Civil Servant – Nikki Da Costa: Specialist Partner at Flint Global and Former Director Of Legislative Affairs at 10 Downing Street – Alistair McCapra: Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Public Relations – Tom Bowtell: CEO, British Coatings Federation

Why focusing on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is good for business

This session will explore how Associations can drive improvements in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in their sectors. We will hear examples of how trade associations have delivered real impact and discuss the role of trade associations in promoting EDI. Speakers include: Isabella Lawson – Senior Policy Officer, RIA Jessica Levy – Director of Communications, Federation of Master Builders Mandy Rico – Head of Advisory and Inclusion, INvolve

Best Practice Exchange 2022 - presentations from the day

We have collated much of the material used by our speakers on the day to share with those who were unable to make the conference due to the travel disruption, please find a selection of content below:

MEMBERSHIP B2B MARKETING 101

DELIVERING EVENTS WITH IMPACT

Improving member value with technology change

USING DATA TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR GROWTH

Revenue diversification for the post-pandemic trade association

Why focusing on DEI is good for business

LOBBYING ON A SHOESTRING

TAF Awards Winner Showcase - Member Engagement

At a gala ceremony in Central London, the winners of the 2022 Best Practice Awards were revealed tonight.

Attended by 200 leading figures from the UK trade association sector, the awards are a chance to celebrate all the amazing achievements of our trade associations and the people that work for them.

Back after a 2-year pandemic-enforced break, it was inspiring to hear all the incredible ways that associations delivered for their members during the unprecedented upheaval caused by Covid-19, with many shifting to digital in innovative and impactful ways. What came through in all the entries is the hard work and dedication that associations show to delivering for the members and leading their sector. Whether around skills, governance or sustainability, the UK’s associations have once again demonstrated what a critical role they play in our economy and society.

Congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted, it is an achievement in itself to make the final list from such a large and strong field of entries, but particular congratulations to our winners!

The Best Practice Awards will be back again (pandemic willing!) next year, so follow us on social or sign up for our newsletter to make sure you are kept in the loop with announcements.

TAF is also bringing back our Best Practice Exchange after a similarly pandemic-enforced absence on 23rd June 2022 to share the best practice examples from our awards winners and elsewhere across the sector. This event is a must-attend for any trade association professional looking to learn from best-in-class leaders in the sector and to network with peers – watch this space for more information!

View the full list of winners at the TAF Best Practice Awards 2022 here.

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