President’s Perspective – Global Reach, Regional Leadership12 years, 10 months ago
Maria Gergova highlights several important IPRA initiatives and events that underline the organisation’s pivotal role in providing intellectual leadership and professional development opportunities for PR practitioners around the world.
After I received the topic of the conference that my successor as IPRA president Elizabeth Ananto is organizing for her inauguration in 2010, I thought more deeply about how IPRA can educate, mentor and lead its members at a regional and national level. I thought of this because IPRA has gathered expertise, knowledge, contacts and has created a platform for exchanging ideas, advice and opinions. Yet each and every country, region, nation and continent faces its own issues and challenges, is at a different level of development and needs different activities, knowledge, expertise and advice.
IPRA is the organisation that unites PR experts around the globe, which understands cultural differences, knows the needs of PR experts at a regional and national level, and is there to reach out a hand in order to aid the professional growth of PR practitioners all over the world. IPRA comes closer and closer to its members by looking for innovative ways for maintaining contacts and exchanging ideas and information.
Currently, a virtual platform is being developed and tested. Once finished, it will give members the ability to communicate in real time, to create workgroups under different projects, to get advice and to do all those things in their own language. This project is on course to be presented in October in London, during the traditional IPRA summit.
Call to action
We, the members of IPRA Board of Directors, would like to call upon the different regions and countries to develop their own annual programs – IPRA will back up each and every one of them that meets the standards and the goals of our organisation. I am happy to observe the fact that some countries have taken the initiative to organise their own activities that make IPRA popular. In so doing, they are helping the communication between PR professionals at regional levels, allowing for the discussion of hot issues in the field of PR and looking for ways to contribute to the development of our profession in the respective region.
Recently I was notified that the Philippines are launching a local IPRA website – http://www.ipraphil.org/. I would like to congratulate the IPRA Philippines chapter. I hope that other local representations will follow their lead.
For a couple of years now the Bulgarian IPRA group has had a presence in the digital world – http://www.ipra-bg.org/. Soon IPRA will have an Arabic version and versions in Spanish and other languages are to follow in the next few years.
Thus IPRA will overcome language barriers and open its doors for new members all over the world. It will provide them with invaluable experience, knowledge and information so that they can grow professionally, which in its turn will contribute to an increase in the level of professionalism in the field of PR, irrespective of any geographic, cultural, religious and national differences.
By enabling them to take advantage of IPRA’s experience, knowledge and expertise, we would like to help IPRA local members become leaders in the field of PR, secure their position as experts and become a bridge between their country and region, on the one hand, and on the other, the global PR industry though the platform called IPRA.
Annual Country Report
Another initiative which is currently being developed and which aims to present IPRA as a global leader in the field of PR with local expertise is the so-called Annual Country Report, in which all members will be able to find invaluable information about the status and history of PR in the respective country. We hope that this will become a priceless reference book for the PR practitioners in today’s digital world, where we may have no borders, but where cultural differences and local expertise are of paramount importance. Its first concise version is expected in early September.
Returning to the theme of the conference in Indonesia in February 2010, let me reiterate my belief that as a leading international professional organisation IPRA should get closer to the PR professionals in different countries and regions. This conference is a great opportunity to share knowledge, to understand regional PR development, to create opportunities for further co-operation and mutual understanding. Regional and international PR practitioners will get together to network, learn, share, understand and discuss the latest developments in the PR industry, the challenges and the opportunities presented by the PR profession.
IPRA has been the platform for providing intellectual leadership and professional development for more than 50 years. IPRA is an organisation without borders. IPRA membership is available to all PR professionals around the world.
In today’s interconnected world, with news and information flowing 24/7, with every communications expert having instant global reach, it is even more important to understand local culture and behaviour. Therefore regional leadership is of extreme importance.
I believe this conference is yet another great opportunity to showcase what IPRA stands for – GLOBAL REACH, regional leadership.
Maria Gergova is IPRA President 2009 and managing director of United Partners, Bulgaria.mail the author
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