Message from the IPRA President: The IPRA Vision November 2018


Over the course of its 63 years of existence, IPRA has occasionally reworded its vision and mission. For the bigger part of that period the vision of IPRA centered around the ambition to be a relevant, resourceful and influential professional association for senior international public relations practitioners. As a consequence of this, IPRA saw its resulting mission as providing intellectual leadership in the practice of international public relations, and to make available to its members the services that will help them meet their professional responsibilities and to succeed in their careers. Thus enabling the Association to increase membership, grow financially and create a virtuous circle of success.


A sense of responsibility

These are lofty aims. For me, however, what is interesting in reviewing these texts here is the profound and almost tangible sense of responsibility that echoes throughout. For the senior PR professionals who successfully steered IPRA throughout its decades of growth in membership, finances and, relevance, this was serious business. Certainly, there was a lot of camaraderie as friendships were formed across continents, but the central aim was to establish for IPRA a position of thought leadership in the PR field. The IPRA Presidents as well as the Board and Council members of that long period in the previous millennium lent their professional stature in their respective countries and markets as collateral to back-up the Association’s claim to thought leadership. This ambition also coalesced in a series of Gold Papers which IPRA regularly published in their distinctive gold covers.


A global network for today

Things have changed since then. IPRA, along with other groups, needed to re-establish itself in a world where networks went virtual, and memberships became as fluid as the bits and bytes coursing through the fiberglass cables of the networked world. Today IPRA has re-invented itself as a global network for PR professionals, which is held together online and whose very fabric consists of an intense sharing and exchanging of views, experiences and opinions through IPRA’s online platforms. There are now over 13,000 individual PR professionals connected with IPRA and each other through their various types of membership. In conjunction with this, IPRA now phrases its vision and mission as being the leading global network for public relations professionals. IPRA aims to further the development of open communication and the ethical practice of public relations. IPRA fulfills this aim through networking opportunities, its code of conduct and intellectual leadership of the profession.


A Gold Paper for the current era

The ambition of thought leadership has remained firm in IPRA’s positioning. I am happy to say that the tradition of Gold Papers – as one of the means to serve that ambition – will be continued with a publication devoted to the CEO’s digital reputation. Research for this Gold Paper, which is due shortly, was undertaken by, among others, two leading academic institutions: Emerson College in Boston and The Blanquerna School of Communications in Barcelona. The Gold Paper will delve into the myriad ways the reputation of the C-level digital executive is changing. The paper will show how reputation can be harnessed to help drive business success and become a central part of a contemporary business strategy. Not just theoretical, the new Gold Paper will also give insight into the growing and sometimes bewildering array of communication options open to professional communicators to help bolster and maintain their CEO’s reputation. Naturally, as an IPRA member, you will be among the first to be able to download the Gold Paper. I hope you will find it useful and thus experience the added value of your IPRA membership.  


Bart de Vries

President 2016 – 2018


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