Message from the IPRA President: A Reflection December 2021


When our Secretary General, Philip Sheppard, gave me his friendly hint to write this message, I realised it would be my last. The previous 12 months have flown by, but we've achieved so many things together. December is always a good time to reflect on the past year.


About our people

Our own IPRA board member, Jacqueline Purcell FRSA, was awarded the PRO PR Globe Award for her contribution to the development of the public relations profession. And our aforementioned Secretary General, Philip Sheppard, is the recipient of the PR Visionary Award 2021, which is presented every year at Eventiada IPRA GWA.


Without passionate professionals like Jacqueline and Philip, the members of the board and the many colleagues from around the world who contribute to our success, IPRA wouldn't exist. I'd like to thank you all for this support and passion. It definitely makes it easier to put into practise the responsibility that comes with the Presidency.


About our activities

Over this year public relations colleagues from all disciplines will have written 52 Thought Leadership Essays with insights ranging from crisis communication to internal stakeholder management to digital communication. These essays document some of the best thinking and case studies in our profession.


It was a calculated gamble, but it paid off. Our monthly Thought Leadership Webinars have reached over 600 public relations professionals from around the world in a highly interactive online environment. This means that every month we've had an hour of lively discussions with an average of 60 colleagues in attendance. We can be proud of this webinar series of 2021 and equally proud to know the programme for the first quarter of next year is already in place.


The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations (the GWA) were an outstanding success this year. Not only in terms of the number of entries (a record year), but also in terms of the quality of the case studies we received. The 2021 Grand Prix went to the Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori campaign, an authentic example of community engagement, goal setting and strong campaign execution.


We've expanded our PR association agreements and currently have 38 bilateral agreements with international, regional and national associations in place. We've also established links with other associations in our field, such as the PR Academy via CIPR, the European Communication Research and Education Association and many others.


Under the leadership of our board colleague Daniel Silberhorn, we now have the IPRA Climate Change Chapter. With this chapter we will make a valuable contribution to promoting the communication aspects of climate change in line with sustainable development goal 13 of the UN. Mail the Secretariat to join the Climate Chapter mail list.


My outreach and a farewell

Taking on the role of IPRA President has allowed me to meet with international colleagues, discuss our profession and promote our inclusive association. I was invited to speak at the African PR summit, gave a presentation at Bledcom, spoke about my experiences in the field at the Crisis21 conference organised by ECREA and deepened the good relations with our Iranian colleagues. And these are just a few of the many opportunities I've had to connect with members around the world.


It's been a great honour to represent you all as President of IPRA over the past 12 months. Our profession is undergoing profound change. We'll face many challenges, but more importantly, we need to be prepared for the opportunities that lie ahead for public relations professionals. That's why I'm delighted that Etsuko Tsugihara has accepted the position of President for 2022. She has the experience, the passion and the professionalism to ensure we stay on track. I wish her all the best and give her my full support as a board member.


With that, I bid farewell as President 2021 of IPRA. Enjoy the upcoming break and stay safe.


Philippe Borremans

President 2021


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