The third day of the World Public Relations Forum, a major communication and public relations event, featured some prominent speakers, who expressed visionary ideas, relevant not only for corporate communication and all professionals involved in this sphere, but also globally, for the entire business community – in the short and long run.
The day started with a plenary session titled Leading by Communication. Trevor Ncube, Executive Vice President, Mail & Guardian Media Group South Africa, shared his view of the transparency era that communication is going through at the moment – an era when communication has to be sincere in order to achieve true leadership. Historically, great leaders always used communication to influence and unleash processes – and organizations have to move in this direction. Next speaker, Paul Holmes, CEO of The Holmes Group, explained that only those organizations that understand the importance of responsible behaviour will be able to become the leaders. Today, a brand is not only what an organization says about itself, but also what all other actors say about it. Paul Holmes also emphasized the importance of data and measurement tools. Measurement tools are key to building better relations.
Guests of the Forum included the Prime Minister of the Spanish Government Mariano Rajoy who emphasized the importance of communication for the brand of Spain and the responsibility that companies owe to the society.
Parallel sessions focused on organizations, persons, values, sustainability, big data, mobile devices, traditional media, etc. – all those topics that are relevant for managing companies willing to lead by excellence. Integrated reporting – a new practice aiming to generate value for companies in the long run – was an object of some interesting observations, as well as the social media, the power of the PESO channels (paid, earned, social, owned), the value of influencers and the duty of organizations to be active with respect to all these actors.
The value of sponsorships and mutually beneficial relations was demonstrated by the case of BBVA and Celler de Can Roca. Nacho Moliner, BBVA’s Director for Communication and Brand explained the importance of values for aligning business with the strategy. He talked about the responsibility of large companies with their stakeholders and society in general, and the way that companies may achieve leadership by building a good reputation, ensuring their continuity and differentiation in the long run.
Conclusions made by some speakers of the Forum have a great learning value for all participants. Anne Gregory, the Chair of the Global Alliance, shared the following ideas:
>The role of a communications manager is to develop the company’s DNA and to make sure that its stakeholders are aware of it. Developing awareness through values. Connecting in order to contribute.
>A communications manager should be an active listener in order to enable organizations to implement decisions that help societies solve their problems.
Below is the list of some universal principles expressed in the conclusions of the World Public Relations Forum held in Madrid:
>Public relations and communication management must aspire to a social purpose, serve social cohesion, and aim to bring communities together.
>Public relations and communication management can enable social integration by listening, identifying agendas, and creating shared narratives and safe places for dialogue around the social challenges of each society.
>Public relations and communication professionals must take responsibility for identifying how they can serve their own societies.
>By realizing the power of communication, each public relations and communication professional can be a leader. True leadership achieves personal, organizational and societal transformation.
>By reflecting on transformational leadership moments, our profession can learn to serve our organizations better, and by doing that, serve society better.
The principles (The Madrid Momentum) are published by the Global Alliance on its official website. The next Forum will be held in Nairobi, Kenia, in November 2015.