In an age marked by rampant misinformation and fake news, the role of communication professionals has taken on profound significance. It means aiming to communicate for a better world.
The panel discussion on “Responsible Communication: Your Reputation, Your Influence, Your Role” delved into the complexities of this evolving landscape, featuring a cadre of esteemed PR experts from around the globe.
The distinguished panelists were – Ana Pista, Founder & CEO – Ardent Communications; Beatrice Guay, Executive Director & Board Secretary – Chambre Huissiers de justice du Québec; Boy Kelana Soebroto, Head of Corporate Communications – Astra & Chairman of Perhumas; Jose Manuel Velasco, Head of the Executive Coaching area – Llorente & Cuenca and Peter Mutie, CEO – Peterson Communications. And Sudha Singh, from The Purpose Room, skillfully moderated the discussion.
Navigating in the Age of Misinformation & Fake News
It was indeed, navigating the world of responsible communication, where insights surfaced from PR thought leaders.
Highlighting the challenge of misinformation in today’s world and the responsibility of the PR industry to build trust, Sudha Singh aptly set the stage. Jose Manuel Velasco underscored the urgency of the situation, noting that in a world where falsehoods often overshadow truth, it’s crucial for the PR industry to lead a movement to prioritise communication.
Challenges Impacting the PR Landscape
Ana Pista articulated four major challenges affecting businesses today: climate change, cybersecurity threats, technological advancements and social & ethical concerns. Peter Mutie identified disruption, driven by technology, as the most significant challenge. Boy Kelana Soebroto emphasised the difficulty of navigating a polarised world, while Beatrice Guay stressed the importance of strategic thinking in PR, emphasising its role in top management and strategy.
The Role of PR in Building Trust
The panel addressed the crucial role of PR in building trust and how this responsibility is disseminated. Jose Manuel Velasco clearly emphasised the need to shift the focus from the ‘message’ to the ‘procedure’ and suggested a review of ethical perspectives through procedural means. Ana Pista advocated for industry accountability and regulatory measures as a way to uphold trust. Peter Mutie categorised trust-building as a matter of meeting expectations, while Boy Kelana Soebroto highlighted the necessity of goodwill in action and said – “The biggest challenge is navigating in a polarised world”.
The AI Revolution in PR
The discussion also touched upon what everyone is talking about today. The rise of Generative AI and its impact on PR. Ana Pista acknowledged that AI is transforming the communication landscape and urged PR professionals not to fear it. “Should we worry about AI? We should not. We should manage it, or it will manage us”, was her quick reply and added – “So, invest in AI skills”.
Boy Kelana Soebroto echoed this sentiment, emphasising that embracing new technology is key to becoming effective communicators and said – “It’s all about how we embrace new technology to become good communicators”. Jose Manuel Velasco encouraged learning from AI and not fearing it.
As the PR industry continues to evolve, these insights from global PR leaders provide valuable guidance on not only navigating the challenges, but embracing technology, and upholding ethical communication standards. In a world where trust and responsible communication are paramount, the role of PR professionals remains indispensable.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.