Notes from the ICCO Summit in Helsinki

Elise Mitchell, ICCO President and Nitin Mantri, ICCO Vice President

There are five international Public Relation conferences of some standing. One each organised by IABC, The Holmes Report, ICCO and Global Alliance. The fifth is India-centric but has attracted global speakers and a certain uniqueness which very few others can match. I am fortunate to visit the beautiful country of Finland for the ICCO Global Summit.

Few speakers stood out and I want to share one takeaway each from five of them. But before I do that would like to place on record the Helsinki declaration:

The 10 principles in the Helsinki Declaration call on PR professionals:

  1. To work ethically and in accordance with applicable laws;
  2. To observe the highest professional standards in the practice of public relations and communications;
  3. To respect the truth, dealing honestly and transparently with employees, colleagues, clients, the media, government and the public;
  4. To protect the privacy rights of clients, organisations, and individuals by safeguarding confidential information;
  5. To be mindful of their duty to uphold the reputation of the industry;
  6. To be forthcoming about sponsors of causes and interests and never engage in misleading practices such as “astroturfing”
  7. To be aware of the power of social media, and use it responsibly;
  8. To never engage in the creation of or knowingly circulate fake news;
  9. To adhere to their Association’s Code of Conduct, be mindful of the Codes of Conduct of other countries, and show professional respect at all times;
  10. To take care that their professional duties are conducted without causing offence on the grounds of gender, ethnicity, origin, religion, disability or any other form of discrimination.

Well, the summit was at an excellent venue but it tends to get consultancy centric, Europe centric and male centric. My favourite eight stand-out speakers were four who have been to PRAXIS and three who we must get in future –

  1. Rob Flaherty – The global CEO of Ketchum spoke on the Future of Communications
  2. Aedhmar Hynes – The Text 100 global CEO shared insights on Humanising Technology
  3. Paul Holmes – This was the stand-out extempore speech at the summit
  4. Roger Bolton – The Arthur W Page Society President talked about The New CCO in a Disconnected World
  5. David Orlic – Prime Weber Shandwick in Stockholm dwelt on the Purpose Backlash
  6. Aaron Kwiktten – runs his own consultancy and he spoke about Purpose in a World Full of Brands
  7. John Brown – Head of Engagement at Hotwire was absolutely engaging with his 12 Myths of Integrated Communications
  8. Elise Mitchell – ICCO President and global CEO of Dentsu Public Relations made several interventions.

To learn more about what happened read this exhaustive collection of notes by the outstanding Elise.

Next yeas the summit will take place in October in Dublin.

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Amith Prabhu
Amith Prabhu is the Founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals.

He is also the Founding Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe).

He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.

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