Held in the Middle East for the first time, the Congress attracted more nearly 500 delegates from 28 countries for a packed programme of workshops, presentations and panel debates. Centered around the theme “From the Arab Street to Wall Street: Communications in the Age of Dialogue”, the three-day event saw more than 35 international and regional speakers congregate in Dubai to address the challenges and opportunities that face the public relations industry.
Mr. Faisal Al-Zahrani, President of the International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter (IPRA – GC), the organiser of the event, said, “Over the past decade, the Public Relations industry has come of age in the Middle East, as evidenced by the decision to host the 20th PRWC in Dubai. We are all extremely pleased with the unprecedented turnout to the event, and with the quality, depth and breadth of the presentations, debates and workshops delivered by our speakers.”
Chairman of the PRWC organizing committee, Mr. Sunil John, the founder and CEO of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said, “The reading of the ‘Dubai Declaration’ was the natural conclusion to the Congress, outlining for regional and international public relations practitioners the ethical standards expected of us. The Declaration calls on PR practitioners to make professional strides needed to maintain the trust of our clients, the media and the public at large and take Public Relations into a new era.”
The Dubai Declaration is built on four pillars, each aimed at ensuring best practice throughout the industry. The first calls on PR practitioners to foster the development of a culture of dialogue among all stakeholders, including clients, the media and civil society, to encourage the exchange of ideas and information for the greater good of society.
The second pillar calls on the industry to recognise and utilise digital communications in a responsible and effective way to promote the free-flow of information, and ensure that Public Relations is positioned at the forefront of communications.
The third pillar urges the industry to contribute to the development of young professionals and promote Public Relations as a rewarding career choice; while the final pillar calls on all PR practitioners to observe the IPRA Code of Conduct as adopted in 2011, and ensure the upholding of best practice throughout the industry.
Mr. John added, “Over the coming weeks and months, we shall be uploading content from the event to the prwcdubai.com website, and will be compiling a book documenting the Congress. These resources will serve as invaluable reference works for communications students and PR professionals throughout the region, and beyond.”
The PRWC was held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with the National Media Council of the UAE.
Speakers at the Congress included Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the opposition People’s Justice Party, Anwar Ibrahim; the Founder Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, Harold Burson; British Public Relations guru and Chairman of Chime Communications Lord Bell; former head of Al Jazeera and co-founder of the Sharq Forum, Wadah Khanfar; General Manager of Al Arabiya TV, Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed; Roger Fisk, who played a key ‘behind the scenes role’ in the election of US President Barack Obama; former President & CEO of Saudo Aramco Abdallah S. Jum’ah; Chairman of the Huntsworth Group Lord Chadlington; and many others.
Key sponsors of the Congress included Saudi Aramco and Saudi Basic Industry Corporation (SABIC), who were the headline Strategic Partners. Additional corporate support was provided Dubai Chamber and Qatar Petroleum, among others. Emirates served as the Official Airline of the Congress, while CNN and Al Arabiya TV were the International Broadcast Partners. Dubai Media City was Industry Partner of the Congress. Bates PanGulf was the Design & Advertising Partner; ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller was the Marketing & PR Partner; and Media Watch was the Media Intelligence Partner.
A biennial event, the last Public Relations World Congress was held in 2010 in Lima, Peru, and attended by industry representatives from 39 countries, while the 2008 Public Relations World Congress was held in Beijing, China. In both instances, the event brought significant media and industry attention to the host country, with the world’s foremost communications professionals and media experts attending the sessions. The first Congress was held in Brussels, Belgium, in 1955.
Wednesday, March 21- 2012 @ 9:40 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.