The ‘Be Payroll’ membership campaign

02 May 2019

The ‘Be Payroll’ campaign is a welcome addition to the profession’s efforts to improve its image and profile, complementing the already excellent work of National Payroll Week and other similar initiatives. The campaign focuses on payroll as a profession, showcasing real-life CIPP members and the key values and attributes that is in the DNA of their careers.  The campaign shows that having an interesting and fulfilling career is not limited to our accounting or HR colleagues. We focus on the impact that engaging with the CIPP has, clearly demonstrating that membership can provide all the support any payroll professional will need for a rewarding and successful career.

About 'Be Payroll'
An early concept from CIPP creative manager James Bartlett late last year coincided well with initial thoughts around the need for a new membership campaign. Our membership communications were due a refresh, and in tapping into the trend within professional bodies and higher education around role modelling, we decided that we could go further and use our own members as ‘brand ambassadors’ for the campaign.

Since joining the organisation, I had come across plenty of discourse with members and senior management to appreciate that we were experiencing the same fate as other professional institutes. A clear sense that the profile of the profession wasn’t as high as it could be; that those operating with it could sense a slightly higher standing when comparing themselves to their professional cousins in accounting and HR; and a “what do I get for my money” low value, almost transactional, perception of membership. Experience shows that comments like these very typically swirl around other professional institutes. Also, interestingly and typically is the fact that it is usually in marked conflict to all the evidence of competence and passion from individuals who make up the professional body. It was high time to then to feature our members and their stories, front and centre in a refresh of our membership materials. A simple membership communications update wasn’t enough. We needed a campaign. These real and active payroll professionals were just the role-models existing members and those new to the profession might need. And fantastic advocates to help us dispel some of the myths around what it takes to survive and then thrive in payroll.

Getting started
A suggested list of names of engaged members who might make good advocates for Be Payroll and from the names, an invite was sent out to join the CIPP team for a day in March at our London offices. It involved professionally shot photos and video interviews. The day also provided a good chance to get to know some of their peers and give them a cheer when it was time for their photos and interviews.  The stories we have captured have massively helped segment our membership offer under the key pillars of knowledge, development, recognition and support. 
What is happening? 
We launched on 2 May 2019 at the Bristol National Forum where our members become CIPP role models and feature across a new suite of membership communications and materials. A new campaign featuring photos and videos of our real-life payroll and pensions members alongside key values and attributes of the profession and CIPP membership. Showcasing the high-level of professionalism in payroll and how CIPP membership is the perfect career partner. The social media campaign using the hashtag #BePayroll started on May 2.  As we progress we are encouraging the entire CIPP network and membership base to engage with the campaign on social media and in their business relationships.

We’re extremely pleased that this represents a shift in the discourse around CIPP membership. From a list of benefits and focus on price to the highlighting of the value, skills, knowledge and attributes of the profession and the scale of opportunity of a career in the industry. CIPP membership acts as valuable a career partner through its knowledge, development, recognition, and support.  As we continue to improve the experience for our members, we will do so by adding strength to these underpinning four key pillars.

What do we hope to achieve?
We want everyone to gain a better understanding of the professionalism within payroll and how the CIPP is designed to help. Be payroll is the start of a new membership value proposition around the core underpinning pillars of membership and the intended outcomes of joining and engaging with us. We hope the campaign will attract potential and current members to join in by viewing, sharing, creating content using #BePayroll and for those prospective members, showing them that membership will help them stand out from the crowd and make the most of the careers, regardless of what stage they are it, it might just be the incentive they need. We want current members to consider growing with us too, upgrading their membership as they progress their careers and aspiring to become Chartered. For example, many of our associate members who have management experience may be due an upgrade to full membership following our recent update to our criteria.

How you can help?
We want more people to benefit from the opportunities that exist within payroll, as you have throughout your career. But we also want you to shout about your successes, your payroll journey, and the tremendous work you can see being done by your colleagues – using the #BePayroll

Get involved. We want you to share, like, comment and get involved with the campaign. We are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram. Tell your story, share your videos and use the #BePayroll – inspire other payroll colleagues to join the CIPP and raise their profile, but also their support network.

Check out our new membership pages featuring case studies and photos of the campaign volunteers at If we, as members, can’t shout about the value that payroll brings to the world, who else can?!

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