Conference Themes

This year's conference program is designed based on the following four themes and their learning outcomes.

Commitment and Engagement

Many organizations face challenges in communicating values, providing recognition and motivating employees. Good internal and external communications leads to loyalty, engagement and commitment.

You will learn:

  • How to motivate employees and rally them around the organization's core goals and mission statement
  • How to brand an organization so that it is able to attract and retain talent.
  • How to engage and motivate stakeholders to ensure the success of large-scale projects and guarantee their public acceptance.
  • How to engage communications teams with their organization’s strategic objectives.

Public Relations in 2025

To confirm and consolidate our role as strategic counsellors for the top-ranking executives, the public relations profession must ask itself if it possesses the competencies and tools necessary to reach the highest level of achievement.

You will learn:

  • What approaches and tools are currently available to measure and evaluate practical and beneficial results achieved by public relations in the pursuit of an organization’s business goals?
  • How can public relations integrate disciplines related to communications, marketing and other fields (i.e. urban planning and design) in their strategies to influence different audiences?
  • What leverage must professionals employ to make our value evident to decision- makers and guide them in their development?
  • What knowledge and competencies will be necessary for public relations professionals to positively influence organizations’ strategic decisions 10 years from now?
  • Will we have to understand and integrate other disciplines in order to ensure the healthy management of organizations’ reputations?
  • How will we be able to ensure our guiding role in the decision-making of organizations, one that will impact their profitability and longevity in an environment which, if present trends hold true, will require near instantaneous reactions to change?

New Technologies and Media Evolution

It goes without saying that the media environment keeps evolving at an incredible pace: press rooms are shrinking in size and number; bloggers are more and more sought out as sources of information and many of them are asking for compensation; the younger generations get their information via non-traditional media while the current trend among advertising and marketing agencies is to develop targeted content (e.g. video/images). The new approach is tilting toward transmitting information via images that replaces the written word. The visual is becoming the message.

Due to this transformation, communicators must redefine the ways in which they inform the public. Professionals must control new trends quickly and perfectly in order to play a strategic role in the dialogue with their stakeholders.

You will learn:

  • How can public relations professionals act and react in real time to consumers and public demands as well as to the demands of internal and external clients?
  • What new formats and tools must be considered in the development of public relations campaigns?
  • What are the best practices and evaluation tools that allow impact assessment of public relation campaigns on the profitability and reputation management of organizations?
  • What are the trends and best practices utilized by our peers regarding the use of new technologies and the relationship to traditional and social media? What are the successes and failures of these over the past two last years, and what can we learn from them?

Communicating with Conscience: Going Beyond Borders

During the last few decades many large social, environmental and cultural projects have had great potential to enrich our economy and society if they had planned an integrated, proactive communications approach with all the stakeholders. This approach would be more than influencing the progress of large-scale projects. Major societal issues have implications reaching beyond local and national borders. A society's challenges sometimes strike a resonant chord in other, distant communities, and decisions and actions taken by public and private decision-makers can cause international headlines

You will learn:

  • What is the role of public relations professionals in communications management, and what are the challenges of public acceptance of large-scale projects?
  • How can we ensure efficient management of communications in a borderless world of instant information accessibility?
  • What steps must we take to ensure healthy communication between the various stakeholders? How do we establish a healthy dialogue with the various stakeholders to ease pressure from citizens’ groups?
  • What were managers' challenges/errors during big projects and what lessons have been learned?
  • How can key players appropriately communicate the value and advantages of the project to all concerned public groups?
  • How do we prepare PR professionals to convince project managers to welcome stakeholders feedback and show open-mindedness, since it may be necessary to somewhat modify their project to meet certain concerns expressed by the public?
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