IPRA's latest news and notifications
The Economist Magazine runs a column called Johnson in which the meaning of words and the use of words is discussed. In his recent column Johnson seeks the Word of the Year for 2016 and chooses “Post-truth.” Another word of phrase struck me at the beginning of 2017 in connection with the US Presidential election. This came about after a statement about President Trump’s inauguration by the White House press secretary (a professional communicator), Sean Spicer: “This was the largest inauguration audience ever”, he said to the assembled media in the briefing room, while at the same moment social media showed pictures of rows of empty seats. In an attempt to clarify, the President’s counselor (another professional communicator), Kellyanne Conway, told NBC’s Meet the Press TV programme that Spicer had merely been offering “alternative facts.” This made me wonder about the idea of “alternative facts.”
As I, unusually for IPRA, enter a second year as President, I wish all members of IPRA a fruitful and healthy New Year. According to the Chinese Zodiac, at the end of January we start the Year of the Fire Rooster. The characteristics of the Fire Rooster are ‘Trustworthy, with a strong sense of timekeeping and responsibility at work’.
Looking back over the past 11 months, the event which most immediately springs to mind is IPRA’s 2016 Golden World Awards for Excellence Gala in Doha, Qatar. This was special for several reasons. Firstly, it was the first time the Gala has taken place in the Gulf region. It offered the many PR practitioners in this region the opportunity to meet and mingle with professional colleagues from elsewhere in the world. The large presence of IPRA members and communication professionals from elsewhere in the world was the second aspect which made this year’s Gala remarkable. The awarding of the Grand Prix to Philips Breathless Choir - in support of the company’s medical solutions for patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease - was a highlight of the Gala evening. Many of you meanwhile may have seen the outdoor and billboard publicity for this campaign. Those of you who haven’t seen the video showcasing the choir should do so on IPRA’s website here. It is truly great.
A sensational PR campaign – The Philips Breathless Choir - created by FleishmanHillard won the top prize in this year’s IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence. The prize was awarded at the 2016 Gala held in Doha, Qatar on 5 November.
Please follow this link to a Podcast by IPRA President Bart de Vries in conversation in New York with IPRA's UN liaison team Jim McQueeny and Barbara Burns:
The time of the IPRA Golden World Award Gala in Doha (Qatar) is rapidly drawing near. The Gala is one of IPRA’s highlights of the year. It is the singular occasion during which IPRA celebrates some of the best public relations work done by PR practitioners across the globe in a great variety of assignments, campaigns and programmes.
The start of Autumn in Europe is perhaps a far cry from the desert heat of the Gulf region, but that is still the area with the key attention of IPRA these days. We are hard at work putting the final touches on the organisation the first Golden World Awards Gala in Doha, Qatar. IPRA’s Board Member Jassim Fahkroo is our man on the ground there and he promises all who attend a rather special experience.
The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Asian Task Force made a substantial contribution to informing NGOs and others about the 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference in Korea, a fact that was reflected in the excellent participation from the region: 3,750 attendees, most of them from Asia. The strategy of reaching out to media audiences by local/regional public relations professionals is certain to be considered for other important NGO events.
A Golden Day
The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence: the world’s most prestigious PR awards scheme, is delighted to announce a total of 57 winners for 2016.
It is not uncommon for organisers of PR conferences in countries around the world to seek endorsement of IPRA for their programs. There are guidelines for these arrangments, and it is one of these that I would like to share with you. The President of IPRA will usually make a contribution to the conference in question. Thus I have traveled in the past few months to countries geographically and culturally as far apart as Kazakhstan, Nigeria and Iceland.
At a World Press Freedom Day conference in Helsinki, media practitioners, representatives of governments and civil society adopted the “Finlandia Declaration,” calling on UNESCO’s 195 Member States to “reaffirm that press freedom and the right to information are essential for a free, independent and pluralistic media and crucial to the advancement of human rights and sustainable development.”
Make yourself a golden PR person.
As the UN prepares for its next NGO Conference, IPRA board member Jim McQueeny from the United States helped showcase on his New York television show this upcoming global conference which takes place in Korea from 30 May to 1 June. The conference will have 48 workshops with expert speakers on various topics revolving around education for global citizenship and the UN sustainable development goals.
Last week in Sofia, Bulgaria, the 2016 BAPRA Awards were announced in front of an energised crowd of public relations professionals. The Bulgarian Public Relations Association recognises each year outstanding PR work in a range of categories. Having been a judge for BAPRA for over several years, I can attest to the quality of entries and the relevance of all the assignments they covered. But this year was more special to me than other years. In addition to speaking at the preceding BAPRA Conference, I also attended the award ceremony itself. Moreover, I was in the presence of no fewer than two previous IPRA Presidents, Christophe Ginisty and Maria Gergova-Bengtsson (whose agency United Partners, incidentally, won three awards).