In the lead up to the 2012 World PR Forum, Edelman Australia offered PRIA digital support, to drive online conversations and coverage to generate excitement for the Forum. When I approached Judy Gombita of PR Conversations and pitched an interview with John Paluszek, Senior Counsel at Ketchum in NYC, she found it interesting that two firms were coming together to promote the PR industry, leaving marketplace competition aside. Judy requested that I conduct the interview with John, to create a dialogue between myself, a young PR practitioner from Edelman (Australia), with a more senior consultant from Ketchum (USA). It’s resulted in a great post which sheds light on the Forum, excellence in PR, a recent Global Alliance and Enel research study and lastly, the ongoing debate of PR measurement. The experience of working with Judy and John was very enjoyable, and the result has been that the article has been syndicated on various PR sites including CommPROBiz and Teaching PR and on the Global Alliance website.
Below is a snapshot of our conversation. You can read our full dialogue on PR Conversations here.
Katie Sheppet (KS) of Edelman: The theme of the upcoming World Public Relations Forum (WPRF) to be held in Melbourne, Australia in November is Communication without borders.
What does the theme mean to you, in particular, what it says about today’s PR landscape?
John Paluszek (JP) of Ketchum: In a very real sense, Communication without borders says it all, not just for the November 2012 Melbourne-based GA World Public Relations Forum, but also for the glowing prospects of the global public relations profession.
Public relations professionals from all over the world—practitioners, educators and students—will converge in Melbourne to share their experiences in a world that is now inter-related, inter-dependent and inter-active.
We now operate in an international community and at a time that presents unprecedented opportunities for the prepared (i.e., professionally trained) public relations practitioner. Public relations is thriving because we are offering more services to more kinds of organizations and institutions in more parts of the world.
As Walter Annenberg once said, “Every human advance or reversal can be understood through communications.”
That’s our turf. And, literally, there are no borders in the Internet ether.
KS: In your role as senior counsel at Ketchum, I understand you specialize in reputation management and corporate responsibility. Please share some insights on excellence in corporate communications. For example, which areas of this will you be exploring at the WPRF?
JP: Our profession is evolving, fittingly, in parallel with today’s profound evolution of the global society. This is particularly true in corporate public relations.
Our panel at the Melbourne WPRF will provide an ideal opportunity to examine how global corporate enterprises are “staying on the core message”—delivering the corporate brand—even as they operate in the world’s diverse cultures and socio-political-economic systems.
Many companies are finding that long-term commitments to corporate social responsibility, a.k.a. sustainable development, help them build and maintain better relationships around the world.
Of course corporate “excellence” comes in many forms. But to me the most impressive “excellence trend” is the fast-increasing number of companies in which the corporate communication function is now positioned at a very high level of management.
CEOs get it. They know that now, more than ever, companies must truly develop reciprocal relationshipswith their publics (i.e., stakeholders) and those relationships can be as complex as they are valuable.
It’s clear that we, as practitioners, can help quite significantly.