The World Public Relations Forum, which will be open until September 23, opened today with the keynote speech of Anne Gregory, Chair of the Global Alliance. The communication expert said that more than 700 participants from 60 countries would take part in the event. She then announced the start of the first working day dedicated to cooperation with the academic community and scholars’ contribution into corporate communication.
The next speaker, Samuel Martín Barbero from Dircom, emphasized the importance of Big Data and its potential in the area of communication. He also talked about the contribution of academics and the academic research into the progress of communication.
Karen Sanders, Director of the Global Alliance Research Colloquium, thanked the speakers and presented the first day’s working sessions.
Ricardo Gómez from San Pablo CEU University moderated the session titled What can professionals and academics learn from each other? He outlined those areas where cooperation may be mutually beneficial for professionals and academics.
Juan Carlos Molleda from the University of Florida highlighted the importance of communication at the moments when dialogue and conversation are fundamental for the future and prosperity of the societies. According to Home Report, the communication profession continues to be on the rise. Molleda says that we are entering the Golden Age of Public Relations. He also noted that communication is affected by the interconnectivity that characterizes today’s society, which enables comparative studies and knowledge exchange between academics and professionals. The expert said that now is the time to focus on shared values, sincerity, professionals’ effective and real leadership, common standards, professional ethics codes, best practices, contextual variables, etc. All these trends offer new opportunities. Molleda believes that democratization of knowledge is one of the key advantages that communications professionals enjoy in the current context.
In the meantime, one of the parallel sessions featured Elena Gutiérrez and Mónica Recalde from the University of Navarra. The scholars discussed the issue of corporate dialogue from different perspectives. They stressed the importance of achieving legitimacy and operating licenses for those organizations that want to compete in global markets.
Studies carried out by Arthur W. Page Society show that it is especially important for organizations to break down silos. The studies also highlight the strategic role of communications professionals within their organizations.
The experts believe that organizations shouldn’t confine communication to just one isolated department. Communication is not a function that should be covered solely by the Communications Director or CCO either – it is a cross-functional area that affects all departments in the organization.
Apart from that, the session concerned with the psychological aspect of communication: Lina Marcela Gil Congote from the Antioquia University of Colombia talked about Communication and the organization’s individuality.
Lorena Carreño from CICOM (Mexico) held a talk titled Six ethical levels for building corporate reputation. The expert reviewed the history of reputation as an intangible asset in different social and economic contexts. At the beginning of the new millennium we are entering the age of values-driven communication: these values are associated with ethics, security, transparency, innovation and other aspects. The session also touched upon new relations between consumers (who have turned into “prosumers”) and brands. It is a bilateral, cooperative win-win relationship, where both sides of the relationship are able to control its development.
We also took part in the plenary session titled Communication with Conscience, featuring the following speakers: Gregor Haff, Global Alliance Singapore, Ray Hiebert from Maryland University(USA) and Robert Heath, Houston University (USA). The session focused on the importance of leadership and public relations for organizations. The speakers agreed that management of these assets not only generates financial value for organizations, but also helps them to achieve legitimacy and build long-term relations.
Other sessions held during the Forum’s first day discussed the difficulties of restoring trust in organizations and the importance of this process for improving relations with different stakeholders.
The closing plenary session of the day was titled Corporate Social Conscience in Public Relations and argued that public relations are key to building strong organizations with long-term prospects.
The day was full of new ideas related not only to communication and public relations, but also to overall organizational management and the academic perspective. Tomorrow’s sessions will be led by professionals working in the area of corporate communication – stay tuned for our updates.
Don’t forget that Corporate Excellence is present in the marketplace of the Forum. You are welcome to visit our stand and buy a copy of Strategic Communication and its Contribution to Reputation, the new title of the Corporate Excellence Series, as well as other books of the Series (Alignment Factor and Corporate Reputation).