The final day of the ICCO Global Summit, being held in the Capital, delved on issues confronting tomorrow’s public relations firms. The morning session kickstarted with a discussion on ‘Tomorrow’s Public Relations Firm: Capabilities and Service’. Paul Holmes, President and CEO, The Holmes Group, chaired the discussion. The panel had Helen Ostrowski, CEO, Porter Novelli and Aedhmar Hynes, CEO, Text 100 as speakers.
Putting forth his views, Holmes underlined the need for having holistic strategy and said, “We need to deliver in addition to traditional media relations.” He also stressed on the need for globalisation.
Drawing comparisons between public relations and advertising, he said, “PR is a process while advertising is a tool.”
Taking over from Holmes, Hynes put her views through a presentation titled ‘Agency of the Future’. She highlighted the significance of technology, which according to her, was an enabler of change. Hynes also echoed the same thought as propounded by Holmes when she talked about globalisation. She said, “We need to have a global mentality which is all about having the best skill set and the best resources that we need.”
Besides highlighting the importance of being global (in culture and operations), Hynes also laid stress on being holistic (in terms of dealing with public), being direct (while connecting with influencers). She emphasised on interactivity and on being text savvy.
While talking about the criticality of the adaptability factor, Ostrowski of Porter Novelli, gave five observations. She highlighted the point of having a different roadmap, formulate a new approach to risk taking, focusing on value proposition, the need to have diverse people on board. She also said, “We require tremendous discipline to align our organisation.”
Responding to a question on the difference between public relations and advertising, Ostrowski said, “Advertising is about push messages while PR deals with the issue of relationships.” Supporting her point of view, Holmes said, “PR is about having conversations, having dialogue.” He cautioned the audience by stating, “Do not underestimate the value of this industry.”
Another session of the day deliberated on the topic of ‘Measurement: Our Holy Grail’. The session was chaired by David Gallagher, Partner and CEO, Ketchum, London, and had Peter Verrengia, Regional President and Senior Partner Flieshman- Hillard Inc and Managing Director, Communications Consulting Worldwide, as the main speaker.
Stressing on the point that organisations needed to tackle communication integration issues, Gallagher said, “Corporate value increasingly depends on intangible rather than tangible things.”
He concluded his presentation by saying, “Communication is not an option, communication activities have value.”