Words from Johanna McDowell, IPRA President 2012


This year for me personally, has been one of the highlights of my career and I intend to continue with my work for IPRA next year as Past President and while I am still on the board.

Johanna McDowell

We have managed our finances prudently – with no wasteful expenditure.  We have held a regional conference in Lima – very successfully – and continued with our work with the GWA.  In line with our strategy to expand both the awards and our organisation, we have appointed an professional company to run and manage the awards, under our direction of course, so that we can produce even greater levels of income for IPRA than previously.  The GWA is key to our success as an organisation in that its funds will enable IPRA to do the work that it is – and always has been – destined to do in terms of leading the PR industry worldwide.

I spoke at a regional PR conference in Russia in April, at the All Africa PR conference in Johannesburg in July and of course in Lima.  I received many invitations but as I run two companies it is not always possible to  accept everything. Luckily, Christophe, as incoming President, was able to accept two invitations on my behalf and he attended some awards and a conference in Latvia and another conference is shortly coming up.

We have a conference planned in Cairo in conjunction with the ARADO organisation next year, one in Costa Rica in 2014 and of course, we are already planning the 2015 World Congress which will celebrate 60 years of IPRA in that year. That conference in planned to take place in the US in Florida.

While IPRA is not only about conferences, we have worked hard to develop a calendar of activities and out reaches which will demonstrate that IPRA is alive and well. Our communication on the web is critical and we have just commenced issuing a series of papers through our website, Linked In and the egroup channels to our members.  In addition we have created a new category of membership – Professional Members – which enables members and their companies to be found via our website – for commercial purposes ie their business links.

It has been a busy year for a group of volunteers and I am pleased that the board has been very supportive and very stable during the period. Our President for 2014 – Zehra Gungor – is in place and again, I believe that this level of stability has created a new platform from which IPRA can once again take up its unique position in the world of PR.  We have brought on board a part time membership manager to assist Jim Holt and I am pleased that Janice was able to come to Istanbul last month and meet the board.

During my year we were also able to deepen our relationship with the UN and I met with them in New York specifically to discuss future opportunities plus we met with the OECD in Paris in April.

This year for me personally, has been one of the highlights of my career and I intend to continue with my work for IPRA next year as Past President and while I am still on the board.  My President’s Award is being given to the University of San Martin de Porres in Lima and they have invited me over in March to present this and to give a workshop at the same time.

Our IPRA policies have all been reviewed and amended as necessary to stay up to date and our process with regard to supporting other conference has been formalised and is a potential revenue earner for IPRA.

2012 will be a year to remember for me and for all those around me for the rest of my working life, as a career and personal highlight. It has been a privilege for me to serve you as IPRA President 2012 and I look forward to welcoming in Christophe Ginisty as President for 2013.  

I would also like to thank Jim and Janice for their support this year in the secretariat. Through their administration, we have achieved much. I also extend my gratitude to Nigel Chism, who continues to ensure that the IPRA funds are carefully managed and secured, ready to support IPRA as it expands into the future.

Kindest regards
Johanna McDowell, IPRA President 2012


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