WPRD: Practitioners reimagine the future of PR practice

By Abimbola Mohammed

In celebration of the World PR Day (WPRD), professionals in the Public Relations industry globally have termed the practice of PR as creating and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship between an organization/brand and its key stakeholders.

To, therefore, honour and advance the field of Public Relations and the communications industry, GLG Communication in collaboration with The Guardian Nigeria and WPRD organized a webinar with the theme: “Harnessing the Power Of Public Relations”, with global professionals as speakers and panelists.

In their submissions, the panelists agreed that PR practice has gone beyond writing press releases, organizing press conferences, stating that the profession has advanced to the level of partnership/collaboration with clients, storytelling, experience, social media, technology tools, assessment etc.

On her part, Stacey Ross Cohen, CEO/President of Co-communication, an Author/ TEDX speaker, while speaking on the future of PR and what is on the rise, noted that the future of PR is will offer so many opportunities clients and professionals.

Her words: “We know that there is an explosion and it will continue to explode; but it’s a good thing for us professionals, because the intelligence is going to inform our decision, it is going to allow us to be more strategic than ever. It’s also going to be important to identify and work with influencers effectively, as we know a lot of speech today has technology which we all have an impact on our world.

“Press conferences to webinars will also be another thing that will change; there is also AI that we can use in a number of ways, and contact recommendations, not to mention analysis. Analysis is important because it enables us to know how messages are received.”

She added that the most valuable media is the one you can’t buy. “For the past ten years I would say I have not been a fan of distributing press releases and news releases. I think as practitioners we have to be mindful of adding value and not clutter. As practitioners we have to be strategic, creative and precise because we need that precision with implementation.”

Cohen  predicted that in the future, clients are going to expect more than ever that PR impacts the bottom-line and so PR practitioners are going to need an understanding to be able to help clients achieve their business goals using metrics.

Deborah Gbadamosi, CEO EMEA at Brand Advance Group, in her submission said: “We are in a world where there are 4 billion content creators. They say content is king and AI is the queen so we professionals need to find a way to make the king and queen our servant and not the other way round as well as control the narrative in a positive way. As PR professionals we continue to help brands, build our own personal presence, use the tools that are available to us and work collaboratively so we do not burnout.”

Maxim Behar, President, World Communication Forum Association, spoke on the role of social media in solving client problems and what the future holds for PR practices.

His words: “Social media is a new tool, a new concept, and it’s changing the world. But public relations professionals must keep it very close, keep it under our control, under our knowledge in order to provide trusted service to our client. PR business is a process, it is about the relationship between organization and its publics; the relationship is what shapes the perception of the organization to its audience.”

Behar concluded his session by saying PR practitioners are matters of content.


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