In London last night the UK PRCA recognised the best work of the past year from agencies and in-house teams at its annual Mayfair awards programme.

Once again pros from established power-house consultancies and edgy new start-ups rubbed formally-attired shoulders with each other and their counterparts from industry, government and civil society.  And as is always the case, a good time was had by all.  A full list of winners is in the link below. 

We also, importantly, recognised the 10th anniversary of PRCA director general Francis Ingham, who has led the association from a very modest start to a leading force in the global communications industry.

Separately I'll write about what I've learned from Francis and team on the importance of industry associations for our business, the differences between running a consultancy and chairing a trade body, and an opinion that all successful leaders find ways to support their wider industries. 

For now, as a few requested, a transcript of my comments offered in commendation of Francis's achievements in his first (of many, we hope) decade at the centre of the UK PR community. 

~~Francis wasn’t aware that I’d be speaking here today, which is why he may look slightly alarmed. But I’d like to say a few words to mark the fact that Francis is celebrating his tenth year at the PRCA.

Just 10.5 years ago, Richard Houghton and I were charged by the board to find a new director general, and I am happy to say we found one in Francis Ingham.  

We knew with him our future would be interesting and we hoped it would be successful, but we had little idea just how epic it would be in reality.

A decade is hard to describe in a minute, so let me use a few numbers for perspective. That’s:

- 238 rousing speeches like the one we’ve just heard

- 1,678 lunches with prospective members that left no one in any doubt of the benefits of joining the PRCA

- And that’s 33,114 tweets that left no one in any doubt about his opinion, on anything.

- That’s 18 wee drams of single malt whiskey with me alone in Istanbul.

- It’s also 24,000 practitioners that now follow the PRCA’s Professional Charter and Codes of Conduct.

- It’s an astounding 435% growth in the Association’s annual turnover.

- It's a modern model for what an industry association should be and look like in a globally connected, rapidly transforming world.

- It’s a series of hard-fought battles to do the right thing in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

And finally it’s one huge record of achievement.

Francis, please could you return to the stage to receive a very special award for ten years of success?

Congratulations, Francis.