Off the back of a hugely successful first day at the World PR Forum (WPRF), Day 2 did not disappoint! Not only did the insightful presentations continue, but the morning saw the #WPRF Twitter hashtag hit the number one trending topic in Australia, and the exciting announcement that the 2014 World PR Forum will be held in Madrid, Spain, followed by Kenya in 2015.
First on the agenda after the welcome address was the keynote presentation via Skype by Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman (Richard was to attend the conference but was unable to travel due to personal circumstances). Richard’s presentation was self-branded as ‘provocative’, discussing ideas and notions such as the ‘flip of the influencer pyramid’ i.e. the idea that communication is increasingly horizontal and peer-to-peer as opposed to top down. He also discussed the drastically changing media landscape and the perception / trustworthiness of PR as a profession – discussing the question, is the term PR toxic?
Continuing the Forum’s theme of ‘Communication Without Borders’, a plenary discussion followed titled ‘The Future of PR in a Borderless World’ involving Paul Druckman, International Integrated Reporting Council, Anne Gregory, Leeds Metropolitan University, Paul Holmes, The Holmes Report and Daniel Tisch, the Global Alliance for PR and Communications Management. Each speaker shed a different perspective on the topic, and interestingly, like Richard Edelman, the speakers also discussed the idea that top down message control is no longer the name of the game, rather influence is now based on dialogue.
After the plenary discussion, Jane Burns, Young and Well Research Cooperative, Allison Lee, IMPACT Communications Australia and Roger Marshall, Bite Communications, took to the stage to discuss ‘Communications and Connecting in Digital and Social Spaces’. Amongst other topics, the ever-evolving landscape of social media was discussed as well as the role and importance of bloggers and best practice for engagement. Allison Lee also raised the question, in the era of the blogger – should all PR practitioners be bloggers also?
After a jam-packed morning, the early afternoon session was one the Cube duo were particularly looking forward to – ‘Social Media for Social Change’ with Paull Young, Charity Water and Michael Sheldrick, Global Poverty Project. Both speakers were truly inspiring (even having a few of us shedding a tear at one point) and emphasised the role social media plays globally in engaging an audience and beginning a two-way dialogue that can provoke action and behavioural change. What’s the key to encouraging audience engagement / participation? According to Paull Young – inspiration and providing a platform where people can create and share their own story and experiences.
A quick 30 minutes was spent attending a ‘Lightening Talk’ session – ‘Content Obesity: an Organisation’s Silent Killer’ was presented by Sally Bagshaw (key message – lose the junk and produce lean, high quality content), while Warren Kirby spoke about the importance of truth and trust in communications.
To bring the day and Forum to a close, there was a final discussion and presentation of the revised Melbourne Mandate where amends to the document were shared based on the feedback received by the Forum attendees. With the incorporated feedback the Mandate received the stamp of approval from attendees and formal endorsement of the Forum. A final ‘Insights and Foresight’ session was then held by Daniel Tisch and Nick Turner, Public Relations Institute of Australia, which summarised what was a successful and informative two-day, international event.
We will be posting a couple more blogs regarding the Forum in the coming weeks – looking at key topics in more depth, so keep an eye out and be sure to follow us at @CubeBytes for all the Cube news!