The second day of the Changing Communications, Communicating Change: PR & Image Building Conference and Exhibition continued to enlighten delegates with interactive discussions surrounding the image of the petroleum industry in the world.
Discussions lead by industry leaders including Dr. Majid Al Moneef, Saudi Arabia Governor to OPEC and H.E. Dr. Mohamed Birkando, Former Acting for Secretary General of OPEC highlighted the importance of capitalizing on the opportunities in the Gulf as the region has been the center of world energy for the past decade. With oil and gas poised for further accelerated growth, global investment needs to be studied with a fresh perspective providing greater vistas of opportunities for communications to play a more proactive role in raising awareness on the need to find alternative energy resources, diversifying national economic drivers and call for more environment-friendly renewable energy sources. It was agreed upon that the image of oil is negative and that there is ever increasing need for public relations to educate and inform stakeholders of the oil contributions to economic growth and the result of improved quality of life.
Speakers also addressed public relations as an effective partner is organizations with respect to providing a full range of communications services much more than media relations. Tim Walmsley, Regional Director of Impact Porter Novelli, Mohamed Tahlawi, PR Consultant and Cheri Lofland, Partner of Reputation Inc. discussed the importance of corporate reputation management and stakeholder relationship management to enhance an organizations image.
The second half of yesterday’s sessions discussed Opportunities and Challenges for Women in the PR and Media Sector. Alison Bell, Managing Director of Globell Media, Eman Mahmoud Al-Mandeel, Media Specialist at Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network and Zahra Taher, Managing Director of T&M Events Com reflected on their experience in public relations and media sharing their much valued insights. Bell highlighted the prominent gender bias in the field and the importance of eradicating these barriers for the industry. The changing face of communications was also explored as the world is being transformed by the advent of new technology.
Other sessions of the day included: The Value of Talent and Innovation in Public Relations, PR and Major Public Activities; Campaigns as Examples, PR Measurement: An Effective Tool to Achieve Success and Tomorrow’s PR Firm: Capabilities, Service and Expectations.
Organized by the International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter, the Conference is under the patronage of His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The conference is sponsored by Saudi Aramco, Ministry of Information of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Tariq Al Qahtani & Bros Co. as Diamond Sponsors, Al Yaum Newspaper, Al Ayam Newspaper and Al Arabiya as Media Sponsors, Attariq Communication, The National Commercial Bank, Gift Mart International and Trans-Arabian Creative Communications Services (TRACCS) as Platinum Sponsors and PETRORabigh, Al Falak, TECHINT, Al Zamel Company and the Committee for International Trade (CIT) as Gold Sponsors.
About the International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter
The International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter is a regional chapter of the International Public Relations Association. IPRA-GC was initially formed in 2003. Members come from all GCC countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, the UAE, and Oman. The Chapter has an elected board chaired by a president. Working along with him is the vice presidents for each region, as well as directors for certification and training, memberships, media relations, and treasury.
The Chapter's vision is to be recognized throughout the Gulf Region for advancing PR excellence. Its objectives are to develop its members' public relations skills and expertise, broaden their experience in the international PR arena, and establish stronger ties among PR specialists throughout the region.
With the objective of changing the traditional image of public relations in the region, IPRA's strategy involves organizing a series of seminars and conferences to create awareness of the public relations industry. To this extent, IPRA will organize and participate in three key conferences in Jeddah, Kuwait, and Manama.
These conferences will feature leading media and communications experts from the Arab and Western World presenting their long experience in the field.
IPRA-GC opened its doors for membership providing a unique opportunity for members to exchange ideas and make use of local, regional, and international expertise, in addition to attending the regular lectures and courses organized in the Kingdom and receiving the periodic publications. IPRA-GC has an interactive website (www.ipra-gc.com).