Where is the Public Benefit of Public Relations? Find out from the end of next week in London at the World Public Relations Festival

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For the fifth time, beginning in London at the end of next week, the Global Alliance will have succeeded in convening the more aware and concerned part of our global professional community (professionals, scholars and students) to

listen, elaborate and discuss some of the most relevant issues facing our profession.

After Rome (2003), Trieste (2005), Brasilia (2006), Capetown (2007), it is now the time of London (2008) on ‘the public benefit of public relations’. Next year will be Kuala Lumpur.

One may question the preferable of the many approaches undertaken by the hosting associations.
One may question whether Festival or Conference is the right name for the gathering.
One may question whether the event should be inclusive and cost attractive or only for affluent professionals.
One may question whether the contents should be also critical rather than merely self laudatory.
….
Personally, I question all of these issues….
….nevertheless, the show goes on and only at the end will we able to assess its merits, leaving aside that of its very existence.

On Saturday 20, CERP the European confederation of public relations associations will have its General Assembly and will elect a new Chair following up on Swedish Margaretha Sjoberg’s two year mandate.
Also, the german model of ethical enforcement will be discussed as both Italy and Austria have in the meantime decided to adopt it. This is a critical issue we posted on some time ago here and which has recently sparked yet another controversy between Jack O’Dwyer and the american association which in 1999 decided to stop enforcing its own code.

On Sunday at 12 am there will be an exclusive brunch of some of the co-bloggers of this blog who will be in London. If your are not a co blogger, but you would like to become one, if you are only curious, please let me know and I will be only to happy to tell you where we have decided to meet. In the afternoon there will be the Global Alliance general assembly. If you belong to any of the ga members you are entitled to sit in. The ga board instead will meet on Saturday afternoon followed by a swanky dinner in honour of Canadian Jean Valin.

On Monday and Tuesday the Festival (conference? How banal…) goes on and the detailed program which is now available, together with video interviews with Colin Farrington and a number of other UK professionals, seems to be very well thought through.

Stay tuned….

7 COMMENTS

  1. I am just about to squeeze myself into my sardine-tin seat and start the 26 hour trip to London for the festival/confence/gathering – which given the miles, expense, time and considerable back pain that will be involved, I am telling myself – almost as a mantra – that it will be worth every grimace and cramp in the next day or two. Or at least I hope so! I have been looking for signs of a simultaneous broadcast in Second Life, which would open it up to a lot of participants, or even a bit of live blogging (as at the Euroblog event in March which worked a treat),but no news of such tools being put to use as yet unfortunately, despite Colin Farrington’s rather charming video.

    The accessibility of such events is, I believe, a key issue for many practitioners and there are many voices (and ears) out there that I suspect would love to participate but cannot because of economics, distance, family and/or ordinary honest to goodness work. Not to mention of course the ridiculous cost of London hotel rooms.

    I think the public benefit of public relations needs to be discussed, discovered, agreed and then explained fully to the world at large. I certainly hope that the deliberations on ethical enforcement that you mention Toni get a wider airing as it is a subject near and dear to many. The question of what we do as a profession to make things better for society is, for me, important enough to empty my piggy-bank, winkle myself out of my Pacific bolt-hole and head to the Big Smoke to hear what everyone in the world (or at least some) have to say. So as an ordinary practitioner I am looking forward to listening to the great and good – and hoping there is a real and actionable result from the deliberations.

    Anyway, there’s the boarding call – I’m heading North.

  2. Thanks for helping us publicise this amazing conference. You are, however, wrong to imply it is only for an elite. The fees have been kept as realistic as possible to allow as many people as possible to attend, and with discounted rates well below cost being offered to those working in charity, local government and academia, and students able to attend at a rate of £117.50 per day, we are delighted that all these groups will be represented at the conference.

    To view the conference fees, visit http://www.cipr.co.uk/wprf08/fees.html

  3. The PR community in Europe sounds vibrant. I have to commend Catherine for her dedication–there’s a communicator who is truly concerned with the future of this profession!

    Toni, as a young communicator, I have to side with an event like this veering on the side of inclusive and cost attractive. There is so much young, emerging (though yet to be affluent) talent that could benefit from an event like this. Far too often are these expo’s (festival, conference– to each his own, right?) overpriced to attract only the executive breed.

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