In a world marked by digital revolution, globalisation & heightened expectations, the role of Public Relations (PR) is evolving at an unprecedented pace. So, it was all about adapting to the changing landscape, and a deep dive into PR’s role in a transformed world.
To explore this transformative journey, some distinguished PR leaders from around the globe gathered for a riveting discussion on – “How the World is Changing PR and How PR Should Change the World.” This dynamic conversation delved into the challenges, opportunities and ethical considerations that shape the future of PR.
In the panel discussion, the panelists included – Fiona Cassidy, Immediate Past Chair – Public Relations Institute of New Zealand; Hamilton Dos Santos, Executive Director – Aberje, Brazil; Jaffri Amin Osman, Vice-President – Institute of Public Relations Malaysia (IPRM), Malaysia; Justin Green, President & CEO – Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and Paula Portugal Mendes, Director General – Associação Portuguesa de Comunicação de Empresa (APCE), Portugal.
Embracing the Digital Revolution
The moderator Sumathi Chari, PRHUB aptly framed the discussion by acknowledging the profound impact of the digital revolution on the PR industry, emphasing the rise of analytics and the omnipresence of globalisation, which have really reshaped the PR landscape. She added – “We have new expectations today”.
As Sumathi invited the PR practitioners to contribute to promoting responsible communication in this changing world, Paula Portugal Mendes highlighted the emergence of new expectations in the PR realm. Hamilton Dos Santos drew attention to the increasing prominence of Chief Communication Officers (CCOs) at the C-level, signifying the evolving role of PR in organisations.
A Glimpse into the Future: The ASEAN Acronym
Jaffri introduced an intriguing acronym, “ASEAN,” to envision the future of PR:
A for AI (Tools & Technology -Think Visual)
S for Stakeholders
E for Engagement
A for Always Engaging and Awesome
N for New Technology
This acronym actually encapsulated the multifaceted nature of PR in the evolving digital landscape.
The Vital Skillsets for PR Professionals
Emphasising the enduring importance of human connection, Fiona Cassidy described PR professionals as “connectors” at the core. She stressed the need for staying current and highlighted the role of social media in driving social change.
PR’s Impact on ESG, Diversity & Inclusion
Sumathi Chari posed a critical question regarding PR’s role in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues, as well as Diversity and Inclusion. Justin Green noted that during the pandemic, communication took center stage, elevating PR’s significance in top organisations. “PR has become more professional and recognised globally” he said and underscored the responsibility of passing down skill sets ethically.
Influence of Generative AI on PR
When the discussion then maneuvered to consider the impact of Generative AI on PR, Paula Portugal Mendes shared insights from Portugal, emphasising the need for creative approaches and ethical considerations in handling information. Hamilton Dos Santos revealed that Brazil is actively incorporating AI in PR practices.
The closing wisdom was conveyed at the end. Jaffri Amin Osman offered a succinct piece of advice to PR professionals – be “square,” which he defined as being strategic and engaging.
So, the discussion illuminated the ever-evolving role of PR in a world of rapid change. As PR professionals continue to navigate this dynamic landscape, their ability to adapt, innovate, plus maintain ethical standards will be key to shaping a responsible and impactful future.
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