IPRA President’s Letter15 years ago
Loula Zaklama says that now more than ever it is the role of PR practitioners to communicate values, truth and understanding, across the globe.
How time flies! We are already in October, three quarters of the way through my tenure as IPRA World President.
It is indeed a most rewarding, challenging position to be heading this prestigious association of professionals in the PR industry, in over 90 countries. There is so much to be done, and so few of us to do it. But it is encouraging to see just how much has already been accomplished.
We, in the shape of the IPRA Board, have the main objective to best serve our profession and our members through a number of communication tools.
During these past months, I have traveled extensively across the globe, communicating with practitioners in developing and developed countries. I have devoted a lot of time to promoting IPRA and PR in my home region [the Middle East], where it is most needed.
Many issues and concerns were raised throughout the many countries where PR conferences were held, and which I attended. The IPRA Board is addressing these issues in the best way it can.
Over and over again the issue of media transparency keeps coming up. We do not advocate or encourage the practice of payment for editorial or stories. However, it does happen, and if it does, it must be clearly identified as such. We cannot deceive our audiences.
We have developed a code for media transparency, and I am pleased and encouraged to see that it has been adopted by 100 members of IPRA, around 85 ICCO members, and the International Journalists Association. Many more to come!
A second subject area that often comes up is education. This year we are taking a more proactive role working towards providing programs, and forming a special panel of educators who would be available to travel to various locations and present IPRA educational programs.
Golden World Awards
We are encouraged to see the continuous success of the Golden World Awards, IPRA’s annual competition for best campaigns in several categories, about which I wrote at greater length in the previous issue of IPRA FrontLine. Not only have the number of entries increased, but so too has the quality of the campaigns. Tough work for the judges! Many of the entries are coming from developing countries, where PR was in its infancy only a few years ago.
But we cannot rest on our laurels. A lot more needs to be done in the areas of technology, education and training. We need to capitalize our assets.
PR is on the rise – everywhere. The future, is definitely bright for our esteemed profession.
All of us, working in this honoured profession, are proud of it. We consider it as a medal on our chest. PR is now the focal point of all countries, corporations, and individuals.
In this blazing world of conflicts, PR is not an option. It is mandatory. It is our role, as practitioners of this noble profession, to communicate the messages of values, truth and understanding, across the globe.
Loula Zaklama is IPRA President 2006.mail the author
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