President's message January 2016


Dear IPRA members


As 2016 commences and I assume my new role as IPRA President, I want to extend a big thanks to my 2015 predecessor, Amybel Sánchez. She has been a highly representative President, passionate about the meaning and role of public relations and tireless in her devotion to offer her professional and theoretical insights to IPRA members and the world at large. On behalf of IPRA, I extend our gratitude to her for this.


A moment of reflection

Last year, IPRA commemorated its 60th year with a World Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa. Several hundreds of communication professionals and communication students from 38 countries attended the two-day programme. Renowned leaders of our profession honoured IPRA with speeches and presentations. Their presence proved the enduring legacy of IPRA as the only global association for communication professionals to belong to on an individual basis and thus share knowledge, insights, experiences, network contacts and professional friendship. For those of you interested in the Johannesburg highlights, please visit our website . The IPRA site has recently been renewed, making navigation easier yet and offering lots of useful information. We will be adding new services for members as the site continues to grow.


Looking forward

As IPRA President 2016, I aim to support the crucial characteristics of IPRA membership. I will do so by through outreach such as this and through my contributions to the IPRA LinkedIn group. In addition, I will speak on behalf of IPRA at conferences and symposia around the world. One of my recurring themes will be the meaning of IPRA in the communication profession and the relevance of belonging to IPRA. Upcoming engagements include two conferences in Moscow and a presentation in Milan at the commemoration of the flooding of Florence 50 years ago.


We have made the free IPRA membership easier by creating the LinkedIn group. Some 10,000 communication professionals have joined IPRA in this way and lively discussions take place amongst them. However, I strongly recommend you take this one step further and become a formal member of IPRA through our membership structure. Consisting of two tiers, and thus offering increasing membership benefits, the basic membership comes at just £100 and gives you exclusive access to a selection of web-based resources.


At 60, IPRA is obviously looking ahead and several changes have been made in 2015 to bolster our Association for the years to come. Over the course of last year, long-time IPRA CEO Jim Holt retired and was succeeded by former IPRA President Philip Sheppard as Secretary-General. IPRA owes Jim Holt huge thanks for his tireless work and devotion. His practical wisdom guided IPRA through eventful times. We will miss his iconic humour.

An inauguration

I will end my first communication with you on a personal note. On Saturday, February 6, I will be officially inaugurated as IPRA President. This will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands. IPRA Board members will attend, of course. But since we are a truly global organization, I extend an open invitation to any IPRA member interested to join us. I would be greatly honoured by your presence. Please let the Secretariat know if you wish to attend. Also, I am sure you will find the opportunity to engage with other IPRA members highly stimulating and a confirmation of why you and your professional colleagues from around the world chose to be part of IPRA in the first place.

Bart de Vries

IPRA President