Start planning now for pr/communication conferences in 2008

Below are comments from various PRC contributors (that were hidden away elsewhere on this blog) on European conferences taking place next year. Should you want to recommend another PR/ communication conference anywhere in the world, please write and let us know.

Toni Muzi Falconi shares some info on the European Public Relations Education and Research Association Conference (EUPRERA): In October of 2008, Milano (IULM University and Ferpi) will host the annual Euprera congress on the theme ‘the institutionalization of public relations and coporate communication’. Euprera is an excellent organization which has done wonders to create a community in which scholars, teachers and professionals from many countries work together to forward our body of knowledge.

There are many aspects related to the institutionalization issue (a very ambiguous concept this, which raises many questions, both good and bad..) but, in my view, the central one has to do with the (if you prefer..) the consolidation of the public relations function inside any form of organization. And there is no doubt in my mind that research (including evaluation and measurement, but not only: think of the listening to stakeholders role…) is firmly embedded as a cumsubstantial (does such a term exist??) part of our day to day activity. No practice is acceptable if it is not related to a predefined objective. If we start from there, the rest comes along.

This is why I thank Fraser for having mentioned the Milano congress. If canadian, american, australian, new zealand, south african, latin american professionals, scholars and educators decide to join their thoughts with those of their european colleagues we could be hopefully leading to a truly relevant event.

More info and a Call for Papers for Euprera will appear on

Fraser Likely of Canada remarks as follows: Toni, so much to chose from Bled, Slovenia (4-6 July 2008) with the theme: “Public Relations and Marketing: A Relationship for Re-examination? Public Relations Among the Functions of Management.” I assume the “Public Relations Among the Functions of Management” will draw considerable interest. Then there is Euprera in Milan, Italy in October 2008 with the theme: Institutionalizing Public Relations and Corporate Communication.” I assume “institutionalization” includes involvement in corporate processes such as strategic management as well as relationships among other management functions.

Very similar themes! Same neighbourhood of northern Italy! A conference goer/tourist could benefit from two great events as well as take in the magic of northern Italy in a few weeks time. Except, they are 3 months apart! Too much choice …

Toni Muzi Falconi on August 30th, 2007 | 7:55 pm

Euprera, as you know, has always been involved in the Bled Symposium and I know they were well aware of the Milano Congress theme, which they selected about eight months ago, before the Bled theme was decided…. Maybe it is good that similar themes are discussed at three months distance…also, the institutionalization has many other facets beyond involvement in corporate processes and relationships with other management functions (for example, how institutionalized is a function when the director of communications leaves his corporate post as the CEO changes job?..or how institutionalized is a function when all the organization really wants from its pr director is facilitated access to specific political or media circles?…or how institutionalized is a function when personal influence and good networking is most of what a director of communication has to offer? Is the institutionalization process going to freeze the development of the profession through red tape? Is the institutionalization process the beginning of the end of a profession and the pure consolidation of a management role?

As for Bled, personally I understand the theme to be more like: let us revise the stereotype that public relations belongs to marketing and at the same time carefully monitor marketing’s increasing advances towards public relations…I sense that the reference to the other managerial functions was a post thought to discourage what could easily become a ping pong game between the two disciplines… But I agree, similar things happen often amongst associations who do not speak to each other. In this case however Bled is a private organization and not an associations, has a great reputation, and will certainly not change its mind simply because there might be some overlap… Besides….the more the issue is discussed the better and Milano will have the benefit of leveraging the contents discussed in Bled…

Benita Steyn on August 30th, 2007 | 10:30 pm

I’m sure it is not that Fraser can’t make up his mind. I think it is that he doesn’t want to make up his mind–he wants to attend them both! And so do I–but for us intercontinentals from the Third World the exchange rate is a killer.
I remember 2002 when Bled and Euprera were together. What a wonderful conference it was. And how much you made us from faraway places feel at home–although some of us came with strange ideas. And 2005 when the 2nd World PR Festival was back-to-back with Bled. We came in droves. And taught the Europeans how to party, now didn’t we Fraser?
It is obviously less than ideal for the Europeans to have the conferences close together. But what about say once in 3 years to assist us ‘financially disadvantaged’ ones. (It doesn’t need to be Bled and Euprera each time. There are also other conferences to back up to. For instance, the Corporate Communication Institute’s conference takes place just one month before Bled in the UK. So close and yet so far). But then, we all have a wishlist, don’t we……

João Duarte on August 31st, 2007 | 1:29 am

May I suggest that you consider also the 5th World Public Relations Festival taking place in London between 23-24 June 2008. Next year this gathering promoted by the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management (GA) member associations will be organized by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and will be discussing “The Public Benefit of Public Relations”.

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14 Replies to “Start planning now for pr/communication conferences in 2008

  1. I’ve been meaning to put the PRINZ conference on for a while – here is the organisation’s current info.

    PRINZ National Conference 2008 – 22-23 May – Auckland, New Zealand

    “The Right to Advocate”

    Public Relations operates at the leading edge of a challenging, demanding and fast moving global communications industry. As governments of different hues struggle to adapt to a rapidly changing world the right to free speech, to express critical views of government policies, to free peaceful assembly and to advocate peacefully for change, as well as the right to receive and impart information and to communicate with national and international organisations are increasingly undermined.

    The PRINZ National Conference 2008 looks at changing trends in public relations, the effects of legislation on advocacy, developments in new technology and new media.

    Full details on

  2. The next Toronto CaseCamp offering (which I detailed above) was recently posted. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

    Presenters include:

    1) – Engaging the community: Comments and Beyond, Angus Frame, Editor of

    2) Mobile Marketing for Levis @ Virgin Fest Toronto – Brady Murphy, Managing Partner at Vortex Mobile

    3) – Growing a global online community –
    Lloyd Alter,

    4) TBA

    As well, Wireless Toronto will have a interactive mobile experience in the lounge, and Andrew Mcconnachie will be spinning tunes all night.

    For more information and to register (it’s free!), visit:

  3. The 20th Annual Meeting of the INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY OF BUSINESS DISCIPLINES is taking place from April 3 – 5, 2008 in Houston, Texas. The topic is ‘Diversity, Dialogue, and Multiple Perspectives’. The submission deadline of the Call for Papers is November 1, 2007.

    There are several relevant tracks such as Global Corporate P.R.; Social Responsibility and Culture; Public Relations and Corporate Communications; Advertising and Marketing Communication; Communication and Technology; Health Communication and Public Policy; and Ethical and Social Issues. More information at

  4. I want to add to our list two conferences taking place in South Africa:
    –the IABC Africa’s 14th Annual Conference (8-10 October 2007) in Johannesburg.
    –the South African Communication Association (SACOM)conference (19-21 September 2007, in Bloemfontein.

  5. May I suggest that those reading this and representing Global Alliance member associations use the Add Event functionality under the “Event Calendar” at the Global Alliance website and share information on all these and future events. Some are already included here

    This is important when planning your attendance because one of the advantages individual members of Associations belonging to the Global Alliance get is the “World at a Member’s Rate” policy. With this policy all member associations offer the same event’s rates to their members and to individual members of other Global Alliance associations.

  6. As tasked by Benita, I hereby submit some upcoming Canadian public relations/communication management conference options. (Note that I am not including the numerous targeted, for-profit-organization conferences that are held throughout the year in various parts of Canada, which include a high registration price/low registration numbers).

    Jean beat me to the punch in indicating the most obvious and targeted option for Canadian public relations practitioners, the annual conference of the Canadian Public Relations Society ( The next edition is themed: Charting the Seas of Change/Suivez la Vague du Changement and is scheduled from June 8-10, 2008, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. More information will be updated at a later date at:

    Moving from the specific public relations discipline to the more generalist, communication management function, two options are on the immediate horizon. The IABC Canada West Conference, Inside Out: Conversations You’re Not Having in Your Organization (a.k.a. “Trumpeting Internal Communications”), is scheduled for October 14-16, 2007, in (beautiful) Kelowna, British Columbia. The (very slow-loading) brochure is available here:

    The next month sees the IABC Canada East Conference, Blast of Fresh Air (“a conference for business communicators designed to make you think differently about communication”). It’s scheduled from November 18-21, 2007, in Canada’s eastern-most capital city, St. John’s, Newfoundland. IABC Canada East boasts a conference website at
    Note: in researching this conference, I was most interested to see my friend Mike Zimet on the agenda, presenting on IABC’s advocacy initiative.)

    Although not a Canadian conference, per se, the spring edition of the Council of Communication Management’s ( CCM 2008 Annual Conference is scheduled to be held in my hometown of Toronto, Ontario, from April 30 to May 7. (An American friend who is a great supporter of the wonderful senior-level knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities afforded to CCM members alerted me to this local offering. CCM is open to individuals of any nationality, although its membership is primarily American.)

    I’ve been a very happy attendee of the first two offerings of Canada’s premier social media event, the mesh conference. mesh organizers have stated that their targeted audience segments include marketing and public relations; media; investors and entrepreneurs; plus politicians and social activists. mesh06 and mesh07 were both held in the month of May at the MaRS Collaboration Centre in Toronto, Ontario; I have every expectation that mesh08 will be the same. Promotion of this event, plus full details, is done 100 per cent online. Monitor (And if you are planning to attend, don’t delay too long in obtaining one of those “hot tickets.” Registration is capped at 400, and mesh has sold out both years in advance of the event.)

    Another ongoing professional development option is CaseCamp, the brainchild of Eli Singer (whom I have written about elsewhere in PR Conversations). “CaseCamp is a marketing-oriented, ad-hoc gathering inspired by David Crow and BarCamp. It’s open to anyone and completely free.
    CaseCamp is about telling stories. Presenters, following The Rules of CaseCamp, share case studies of their work. The goal is to create a commons for discussion, learning and networking between all participants.” The original offering was in Toronto, Ontario, but others have since been held in Ottawa, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Oh, plus one was held in Second Life. (Recently I was in contact with Eli, who told me he is in the planning stages for the next Toronto-based CaseCamp.) For more information on upcoming CaseCamps, monitor the website at

    On a side note, the two events I’m registered to attend right now are LERN’s Annual Conference 2007, which is being held November 15-17, 2007, in Orlando, Florida: This will be preceded by the Second Annual LERN Association Education Symposium (which I co-planned), held the day before (Wednesday, November 14, 2007) at the same venue: I’m in my fourth and final year as a board member of LERN, which is one of the reasons I’ll be attending these conferences, rather than a PR-specific event. On the other hand, organizationally LERN is quite targeted to my current position at a professional association that has the promotion of lifelong learning (and currency of competencies and skills) as its core mandate. What I’m finding particularly valuable from my Learning Resources Network connection these days is the groundbreaking research they are doing in generational learning styles and generational marketing.)

    C’est ca.

  7. Another very interesting (from the preliminary program anyhow) event will take place just in between the London World Festival and the Bled Meeting. The venue is Torino where from June 20 to July 5 the International Union of Architects will hold their triennial World Congress on the fascinating theme TRANSMITTING ARCHITECTURE which will see the presence of some of the world’s leading thinkers, architects and scientists, including (hear,hear…) public relations scholars and professionals.
    As a preliminary document says: quote
    …A title that on the one hand is intended to represent architecture’s ability to communicate the meaning of what it does, both as design creation and for the deep social involvement it leads to; on the other it stresses architecture’s active role in perceiving positive energies and society’s emerging phenomena. An antenna that transmits and receives: a symbolic antenna that, through dialectics between the field of learning presiding over territorial transformation and all the actors involved in this process in various ways, helps architecture and environmental quality become the rights of all citizens in a world that is so rapidly evolving. Architecture takes on the onerous task of transmitting messages for better quality of life and at the same times acts as a sensitive receptor that listens to and adopts the needs of society and of people….unquote.
    for more info see:

  8. Unfortunately some of them make their conference papers available to delegates only. But maybe those who attend a conference can post highlights at least. We can also discuss and swop conference papers or approach a presenter directly if we hear his/her paper was great.

    The Masterclass in London sounds real interesting. If you attend, please comment. I don’t think I will make it since I want to go to Euprera. Such tough decisions.

  9. Obviously for us in UK, the big event next year will be the Global Alliance Festival in London. I am aware that CIPR is hoping that a number of other events will be organised around the Festival and that regional groups are looking at what they can offer since 2008 is also the 60th anniversary of CIPR.

    With my Motor Industry Public Affairs Association hat on, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary – among the events will be a PR Masterclass in London (timed to coincide with the GA Festival) and at the end of the year, we will have a major conference tackling some big issues such as environmentalism, future of media etc.

    It is great to hear of all these events – I hope that as many as possible will use social and other online media to enable those unable to attend to access discussions, presentations, etc.

  10. Thanks, Joao–I cleanly forgot that WPRF was taking place in London late June. So you are the fairy godmother with tidings of two important conferences in Europe only 9 days apart. Fraser (and all other intercontinentals) — make a note. You can have your European holiday still while resting between conferences!

    Toni–what a wonderful idea to make up a group and get a special group-rate. I stand to be corrected, but I don’t think we have ever done something like that here in SA. Maybe because we are so few. But it is worth a try. Thanks for this.

    We would love to hear about non-European conferences. Where are the Canadians–Terry, do you have an Educators research conference in Canada like the one in Miami each year or do you go there? I see the International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference is heading your way, taking place from May 22-26, 2008 in Montreal, Quebec, CANADA. Have a look at Judy, any local conferences you want to recommend?

    The Summit on Measurement is presented by the Institute for Public Relations for experts in communications and PR measurement and evaluation, and PR practitioners who want a more focused research strategy. There is still time to attend it this year–the 5th Summit is taking place October 3-5, 2007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, US. Info available on

    Also coming up is the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2007 International Conference taking place in Philadelphia, USA from October 20-23 — featuring more than 100 comprehensive Professional Development sessions led by top industry experts,

    The 11th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference is taking place in Miami from March 6-9, 2008, sponsored by the Institute of Public Relations and the University of Miami. IPRRC is one of the top venues for the presentation of new PR research and for interaction among scholars and PR professionals. See

    The Summit on Corporate Communications took place in Boston 13-15 June 2007, co-sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society and PR News. Watch for next year’s dates.

    Catherine, what about New Zealand and Australia — which ones do you like? Heather?

    If we can get a good list together once, people can track those they are interested in themselves every year.

  11. This is a good idea, Benita. May I extend it to non european conferences as well?
    Toname but one, in the month of November (13-15), in Bejing Ipra will hold its 18th world congress on Transforming Public Relations: New Solutions in an Interconnected World. You can read about it on
    For this occasion, as far as I know, both the German and the Italian Public Relations Associations have launched to their members an invitation to form a group of participants (thus significantly reducing costs) and add on to this meetings with chinese professionala, scholars and students and of course the CIPRA (the chinese public relations assocation).
    This concept of groups visiting colleagues from other countries had been very successful in Italy over the years. We have been to the USA, to Canada, to South Africa and, for next year, we are also planning a group excursion for the 5th World PR Festival in London organized by the Global Alliance and the CIPR.
    If adequately organized these trips are an excellent opportunity to exchange perspectives and develop relationships worldwide.
    I don’t know about Germany, but the Italian association ( welsomes also non members (and non italians for that matter..). Only they pay a bit more..but it is still worth while…

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