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Remembering Maggie Nally

By Lucy Chapple

CIPR International recently hosted its annual Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture. The 2018 address was given by Ricardo Carioni, Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of Nicaragua to the UK and Ireland, and offered PR professionals invaluable insight into Latin America’s diverse communications landscape.

Other prominent speakers who have given the address include economist Sir Howard Davies, civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabati, film maker Lord Puttnam, Al Jazeera media presenter Richard Gizbert, and media commentator Sir Bob Worcester.

But who was Maggie Nally, and why do we honour her with this annual event?

Margaret “Maggie” Nally was a well-known force in the UK’s burgeoning public relations industry in the 1960s and 1970s and became the first woman President of the Institute of Public Relations, now the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) in 1975.

Maggie initially joined CIPR as an Associate in 1957 and became a full member in 1961, serving on the CIPR Council and various Committees. She understood the importance of creating ties between PR professionals to build a global industry and she was instrumental in the formation of this sectoral group, CIPR International, where she remained active until 2001.

Maggie was also the first woman chairman of the National Union of Journalist’s Press & PR branch. These were the early days of Margaret Thatcher’s assent to power, and perceptions around the role of women in the workplace and in positions of influence were slowly shifting.

Maggie Nally paved the way for women who aspire to become leaders in our industry, and her contribution to the CIPR and to the wider communications sector is worth celebrating.


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