Message from the President of IPRA - June 2015


In past messages I have described the importance of leadership (a key point in our World Congress in Johannesburg in September), organisational change, and the role of culture and reputation. I will now address some of the roots of misunderstanding and how that may lead to the need for Crisis Management.

What leads to misunderstanding?

The socio-cultural environment determines the design of the communication strategy. But simply repeating a successful formula for a country (whether they share or not the same creed and language) does not ensure the effectiveness of the messages. An overly-formulaic approach, blindly importing a message, may cause more problems than solutions as the good intentions of the organisation may be misunderstood.

Good PR professionals recognise the need for continuous learning. One way IPRA helps with this is from the cases and experiences recognised in the IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence in PR. As well, PR professionals should study and understand the reality around them: looking out for the subtlety in audiences and their needs, desires, philosophy, and subcultures may be a challenge but it is one that brings rewards.

Knowledge is power

This type of information may be collected by PR professionals through market studies, anthropological profiles, focus groups, surveys and other tools. It helps them to know precisely how the audiences perceive the organisation what they expect from the organisation. This aspect is essential and should not be underestimated.

This knowledge is a top priority when faced with the need for Crisis Communication. The key here is not doing the research when crisis and conflicts have already broken out but having in place a permanent and foresighted research team. Only then it will be possible to manage a crisis with skill and most importantly to manage a crisis in a short time frame.

Know more about the "8 Challenges of modern PR Practitioners"

Soon in Johannesburg

In closing I wish to ask everyone of you to join me at the IPRA World Congress in Johannesburg this September. The programme is looking excellent: keynote speakers and industry leaders are already profiled on the Congress website. This will be the place to learn! Tickets are available right now via our website

Dr. Amybel Sánchez de Walther
President of IPRA 2015


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