‘Brilliance’ At The 2nd Beirut Public Relations Forum

Published July 8th, 2010 - 08:32 GMT

Dr. Tarek Mitri, Minister of Information of Lebanon, opened the second 'Beirut Public Relations Forum', under the theme of "Brilliance" yesterday. The Forum was organized by Trans-Arabian Creative Communications (TRACCS), the largest public relations network in the Middle East & North Africa, in association with the Institute for Media Training & Research at the Lebanese American University and held at the Gefinor Rotana Hotel in Beirut.

The two-day forum, opened to public relations and communications professionals from Lebanon and the region, tackled several strategic issues in the region's public relations industry through a series of presentations, panel discussions and workshops. The opening session, led by Mohamed Al Ayed, TRACCS President & CEO, revealed results of a PR Climate Survey that was conducted in Lebanon. One of the key results indicated that "93% of the organizations surveyed say that PR in Lebanon is at a stage of development, while 92% say that it needs to transform into a pivotal industry taking the driver's seat in key organizations." Mohamed Al Ayed also added that, "61% claimed that this industry is very slowly developing, and 35% believe that media plays a fundamental role in strengthening the industry." Case studies on PR strategies demonstrating 'brilliance' in tough conditions and the relationship between Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing in the development of a communications strategy were some of the main topics that were highlighted in the following sessions.

In his introductory speech at this year's BPRF, Dr. Tarek Mitri, Minister of Information of Lebanon, commended TRACCS for their continuous support and leadership efforts in enhancing and promoting the public relations industry in the region through developing new skills and talent. Dr. Mitri also emphasized that, "Lebanon needs more activities such as this forum to establish and enrich the public relations industry...not just in Lebanon but in the whole region." According to Dr. Mitri, "Public Relations needs to distinguish itself from other industries. People need to know that it is not media nor is it advertising."

Paul Holmes, this year's remarkable keynote speaker and President and CEO of The Holmes Group, captivated the audience with a compelling discussion about the role and value of public relations on a global scale and its growing importance. He defined Public Relations by saying, "I believe in the power of words, so my definition is quite literal: Public Relations is managing the relationships between an organization and its publics. Good Public Relations is about deciding what you believe in at your organization and acting so, incorporating it in the way you behave." Commenting on the current state of PR, he said, "We are witnessing an interesting convergence of technological and societal trends coming together just at the right time, bringing along a Golden Age of PR."

The second day of the forum will feature three interactive workshops on organizing company communications programs, crises communications planning and social media strategies directed by Paul Holmes, Yusef Tuqan (CEO of Flip Media) and Mohamed Al Ayed, respectively.

This year's BPRF was supported by MTC Touch, Lebanese American University, Gefinor Rotana Hotel, Executive, Communicate Levant, Comtrax Solutions and Time Out Beirut. 

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