Message from the IPRA President: A time of transition  September 2023


Hello, dear PR enthusiasts from all over the world.


This is my ninth message to you. Almost three quarters of a year have passed. September is a month of transition – to warmer times in the Southern Hemisphere and colder times in the Northern Hemisphere. There are signs that society itself is in transition. The belief that economic growth is the only answer to development is being challenged as an expression of one-dimensional thinking. We are living today at the expense of future generations. An understanding of sustainability in absolutely all areas of life has not yet taken hold, neither at the top nor at the bottom of society.


What does it take to choose the right path towards sustainability?

In my opinion, we in the industrialised world need a change in thinking and action. A circular and holistic approach is urgently required. We need to stop being inhibited by the unconventional and need to start to collaborate imaginatively. We would be well-advised to be open to to the wisdom of ancient cultures as we look towards the future. We need to shift from simply greening the present to creating transformation. Let me quote the conclusion of the book you can see at those last two links. “For the future we want, the world has a collective responsibility to build a new normal based on well-being focused ethics and values.”


A brave new world of thinking

It is my firm belief that we already have the intellectual resources we need: there are a lot of bright minds out there, with countless more to come. What these minds need is the space to thrive, to try, to err, to fail and to learn. We need to provide them with a framework in which they can grow both personally and intellectually. Between organisations and society, between the unheard and the overly noisy, we as communications professionals need to be the mediators. If you recall IPRA’s definition of PR here you will remember this central phrase: “We are tasked with building interests and relationships between organisations and their publics.” We must mentor upcoming communications professionals to challenge current leaders and build those relationships.


What IPRA did

With this in mind, I am proud that IPRA’s submission on Climate Change Guidelines issued in January 2023 in Cologne, Germany, has been accepted for the United Nations high-level political forum on sustainable development, held under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. IPRA proposed that the UN consider the IPRA Climate Change Guidelines in a modified form suitable for adoption by all communicators. On a personal note, I am pleased that at the conference of “Public Relations and Social Responsibility” that took place in Tehran, Iran, on 29 August 2023, ten companies and organisations declared their readiness to adopt the IPRA Code of Ethics and the IPRA Climate Change Communication Guidelines.


What IPRA did next

The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence awards ceremony and Gala dinner will take place at 19.30 on Friday 20 October 2023, in Barcelona, Spain. Mark this date in your diary. The dinner is open to all GWA winners, IPRA members and friends. Book your ticket here for this wonderful networking event at £220 each or a table of ten at £1980.


Along with the Global Contribution Award for PR with an objective of meeting one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Grand Prix for Excellence is awarded to the entry judged to represent the highest standard of the year 2023. Both of these will be revealed to the world at the GWA Gala. Book tickets and get the IPRA discount for the Gala hotel here. I look forward to seeing all winners with their friends and colleagues at the GWA Gala in the vibrant city of Barcelona. Let's all come together for an evening of joy with like-minded PR professionals. We will celebrate in style, and, once again, in person!


Best regards,


Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua PhD

President 2023


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