Communication and PR Issues Take Center Stage at 26th National Public Relations Congress

Spurred by the goal of elevating the practice of PR in the country, the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), thenation’s premier organization for public relations professionals,puts the spotlight at this year’s National Public Relations Congress on current trends, issues and challenges faced by the industry to explore where to take it next.

Set for September 24 and 25, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the 26th National PR Congress has the theme “Amplify” toinitiate a conversation on communication, PRand relatedissues that challengeindustry practitioners. This year’s congress brings together local and international industry leaders to headline its roster of high-caliber speakers.

Amplifying Communication and PR Issues

With most Filipinos being active social media users and therefore very much involved in social narratives, PR practitioners are increasingly hard-pressed to find the balance between engaging their publics enough, particularly on the digital platform, and getting entangled in issues that could harm brands and clients. While some brands have had success riding on wokeism and similar causes supported by millennials and the Gen Z—the biggest demographics today—and tackling issues such as gender and environmentalism in their campaigns, many are reluctant or do not know how to proceed with caution.

“On one hand, you have consumers that demand brands participate in social narratives. But when brands do, they either do it right or fall on the wrong side of history. On the other hand, there’s a huge number of organizations that remain apprehensive, probably cowed by consumers’ aggressiveness and the country’s predominantly conservative culture,” said Andy Saracho, PRSP president.

This year’s PR congress, according to Ana Pista, vice president of PRSP and chairwoman of the 26th National PR Congress, aims to equip PR professionals with the right approach to navigating such polarized conversations. “These issues are being talked about in the digital sphere, with articles and maybe videos here and there. What we envision for the Congress is to have industry leaders and communication professionals together and talk about these issues on a magnified platform,” she said.

Right from Industry Leaders: Elevating the Profession and the Industry

With more than300 PR professionals expected in attendance, PRSP sees this year’s congress as the appropriate forum to calibrate the local industry vis-a-visglobal PR practices. High-caliber international speakers headline the talks to provide practitioners with insights on best practices, trends and developments outside the country. Local industry experts will then present the state of public relations in the Philippines.

With global and local PR landscapes as backdrop, the congresswill look intotimely issues such as measuring PRsuccess, the right and wrong way of managing a crisis, building thought leadership, and penetrating the startup market.

The two-day conference will also seek to (a) address industry misconceptions that put the industry and the PR professionals in bad light and (b) position public relations as a viable profession. “We hope not just to equip the current crop of young PR professionalswith the tools that they need but also to inspire them to be proud of their chosen field,” said Pista.

With the aim to bring PR practices and standards in the Philippines to a higher level and stand head-to-head with neighboring countries and the rest of the world, PRSP eyes to present an industry roadmap at the end of the two-day congress. “We hope that our conversations in the 26th PR Congress will lead us to a 2024 Philippine PR Roadmap that we can use to navigate us to where we should be over the next five years, or even beyond,”Saracho said.

PRSP will release its full list of agenda and roster of international and local speakers on its website and social media pages within the month.

ABOUT THE PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES

The Public Relations Society of the Philippines is the country’s premier organization for public relations professionals with dedicated programs in professional development and continued learning, PR excellence, student PR education, social outreach and partnerships with institutions. Annually, it confers the Anvil Awards, the Oscar of PR in the country and holds the National PR Congress in September, the National PR Month.

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