In 2014 the people of Scotland for the first time will have a say on Scotland’s attachment to the British state.
There is a very good chance that they will vote yes in the independence referendum, thus creating one of the newest independent nations in Europe. This can only be described as the most captivating political battle in Scotland ever.
I must declare a vested interest. I am a Scottish civic nationalist; I feel that my small but great multi-cultural and innovative nation will be best served by independence. I’m not going to argue and attempt to convince you of independence but what I will say is this:
Scotland is a nation and nations are best served when they govern themselves.
What I will write about is the effect Scottish independence will have on the PR industry within Scotland.
Many anti-independence politicians and lobbyists claim that businesses will leave an independent Scotland and jobs will be lost. This is a ridiculous argument. It surfaced when Scotland was fighting for its own parliament and was proven wrong then.
On the contrary I believe that independence will be good for not only the PR industry but many other industries in Scotland.
I mean what sane CEO would move his company out of an emerging market? Surely to be involved in the early days of a better nation is a dream of many organisations?
In PR especially this would be true. Many English-based agencies have Scottish offices, which more often than not are tiny and have a small number of specialists due to the nature of a British state.
However with a newly declared independent Scotland they would surely create HQs in Scotland as a nation they know a lot about anyway.
They would by proxy have to create jobs if they wanted to maintain their image as a public relations firm in Scotland, to serve all the nations who have shown interest in investment in an independent Scotland. This would mean more substantial jobs in PR.
Also as an independent innovative nation there would be a growth in boutique PR agencies as the competition sought to fight over the fledgling new nation. Imagine the catalyst that would create in PR. All that innovation, all those new companies and new jobs.
It would be foolish to think that Scotland would lose jobs; it would also be foolish to think lots of new meaningful jobs would not be created.
From an academic point of view, some of the top courses in PR are in Scotland, not just in England. In Scotland you have top HND courses such as City of Glasgow College as well as degrees.
From a university point of view, Scotland already produces more research papers per capita than any other nation on earth. Imagine how this catalyst of independence and a new self governing nation would produce!
Also from a professional development point of view. The CIPR is London-centric. PR would need a professional body in an independent Scotland which would see the more hands-on role of a professional body in Scottish PR than has been present before.
To sum up, new jobs would be created in European PR; new agencies would be formed, with more offices opening. More academic research would be encouraged and the European PR scene would be the centre of innovation rather than leaving it all up to the yanks!
Imagine the competition between our friendly nations if we both had equal servings of the PR pie. The sparks created would be worthwhile in making European PR the centre of the industry, rather than where it seems to be going, America.