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    Tuesday, July 2, 2024

    Industry, Thought Leaders Unite for World PR Day to Advocate for the Future of PR Practice

    Industry experts and thought leaders come together on World PR Day to champion the future of public relations practice.

    For the fourth year in a row, public relations practitioners, students, and industry thought leaders will gather on July 16, 2024, to celebrate, share knowledge and address critical issues facing the PR and communication landscape for the highly acclaimed global event, World PR Day (WPRD).

    WPRD, an annual event, was instituted in 2020 for practitioners to celebrate and take pride in the role they play in shaping and building brands through strategic communications. For its past three editions, it has also provided a platform for professionals to set standards for the practice, create a unified agenda, and continue to help brands, companies, and governments understand the crucial role the industry plays in shaping businesses.

    Speaking about this year’s edition, themed “The Future Of Public Relations In A Changing World,” Ayeni Adekunle, Convener of World PR Day, said that activities will be held across the globe with the ai” of furthering the message of not only what PR practitioners do, their contributions to the growth and success of businesses, and also help professionals understand the trajectory the industry is taking a rapidly changing world.

    “In line with our commitment to celebrating the pivotal role of PR practitioners, this year’s edition promises a global showcase of our industry’s invaluable contributions to business, institutions, and international growth and success,” he said.

    “World PR Day 2024 will offer practitioners the opportunity to have the much-needed conversation regarding the future of our industry – asking and answering questions like: what needs to be done to stay abreast of the dynamic changes the world is witnessing? What role can practitioners, as communicators, play in a world faced with multiple wars and where brands indulge in unhealthy competitions?”

    There has been, for years, a misconception by the general public regarding what PR professionals do. While some view their role as ambiguous, others do not trust public relations practitioners as a report by PR Week showed. Even more extreme are public views that see the industry as one contracted by brands to ‘deceive.’ Another study by PR Week reviewed that 92 percent of surveyed 1,500 Britons believe that brands and organisations use PR to “hide the truth and cover up mistakes.”

    Within the industry, maintaining ethical and professional practices remains the major concern of practitioners. As a 2022-2023 Africa PR & Communications Report review found, 20.1 percent of the over 3,000 participants surveyed expressed this concern. Talent drought remains another major problem that needs to be addressed. A staggering 74.8 percent of practitioners living across 29 African countries say there is a drastic drop in talent in their countries. This, understandably, has resulted in over 80 percent of professionals admitting to being overworked.

    Addressing these challenges, from public perception of the industry to earning trust – emphasising that transparency and integrity are hallmarks of public relations – tackling industry issues (underpayment, talent drought, and overwork), remains the core objectives and driving force of WPRD.

    Since its debut in 2021, WPRD has witnessed commendable growth as professionals continue to queue into this initiative of building an inclusive and trusted industry where practitioners take absolute pride in the work they do. While 3,500 practitioners participated in the first edition of WPRD, the second edition in 2022, themed ‘Trust, Truth, and Transparency’, saw participation grow to 10,000. Stakeholders like GLG Communications, Global Media Alliance Forum, and the Public Relations Council of India held conferences, fireside chats, virtual and physical events, summits, and festivals to amplify the need for gaining trust, standing for the truth, and maintaining transparency in the practice.

    Enitan Kehinde, Lead Coordinator, World PR Day, described the annual event as crucial, particularly in a world where there’s not only a growing need for well-tailored brand messages to stand out among competitors but also a need to show what PR professionals do.

    “Against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive landscape, the significance of this annual event cannot be overstated. It serves as a vital platform to showcase the indispensable role of PR professionals in crafting distinct brand narratives that resonate amidst fierce market dynamics,” she said.

    The 2023 edition of WPRD, with its global reach of 60 million across 20 physical and 25 virtual events in over 60 countries, garnered recognition at the 2023 Provoke EMEA SABRE awards. This achievement underscores WPRD’s ongoing success in promoting the public relations industry.

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