Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations hosted one of the most important public relations events of the year: “Voices’-PR Global Conference”, a gathering of global professionals in Strategic Communication and Public Relations from Business Consultancies, PR Companies and Public Institutions, as well as Universities.
The Dean of the School, Dr. Josep Maria Carbonell offered the welcome speech, as Barcelona was the city to host this important event. Bart De Vries, president of IPRA, the world's most relevant, resourceful and influential professional association for senior international public relations executives, explained the current trends in the sector. The voice of Philip Sheppard, secretary general of IPRA, was also heard.
Scott Ratzan, fellow of Harvard Kennedy School, came from the United States, to offer a conference entitled “Corporate diplomacy versus public affairs”. With Bant Breen, founder of Qnary, the audience explored “what kind of online activities matter to professional success”, while Breen gave us “a tour around the Qnary global study of professional digital presence 2017-2018”.
Emmanuelle Dieh, managing partner of Europe Conflict and Security Consulting, explained topics on “representation and risk”, and Etsuko Tsugihara, president and CEO of Sunny Side Up, INC., filled us on the PR trends in the B2C market in Japan.
To speak about community engagement, we welcomed Núria Arbonés Aran, programme leader of the IVCF-City Marketing in Europe, Research Cities and Visitors: Urban Field Labs Amsterdam Zuidoost, from The Netherlands, who offered the lecture “Mapping the Imaginary”.
What does it take to win a Golden World Award?
Since 1990, IPRA has organised an annual global awards ceremony to recognise public relations achievements around the world in different categories. You probably didn’t know that this award is known as the “Oscars of PR”, and to share its importance, we had two of the previous winners: Hirotsugu Otomo, director and managing executive of Daiwa House Industry, Japan Nameless Chores, for the Communications Research – Agency category, and Didier Lagae, CEO of Marco de Comunicación, Spain for the campaign for the World Water Day.
On the panel of organizational change and storytelling, we had Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua, head of communications for INEOS Manufacturing Deutschland GmbH, from Germany, and Dr. Gregory Payne, chair of the Communication Studies at Emerson College.
To talk to us about knowledge management and artificial intelligence, we had Svetlana Stavreva, IPRA President 2019 and part of IBM Europe’s External Relations team.
And last but not least, Dr. Enric Ordeix, chair of the conference and director of our Global Communication Management Degree and also co-director of the Blanquerna-Emerson Center for Global Communication, wrapped up an intense morning with the conclusions of the lectures.
Some of the most important experts from all over the world were united at our update of global communication and PR trends, creating networking opportunities and discover business opportunities in the field. It was a great opportunity to connect and build up a global network. They received feedback on new ideas and thoughts on new discussions which have opened up at our School.