In today’s world of perpetual connectivity where information has become very accessible not just for consumption but also for analysis and commentary, getting the public’s interest and engaging them in the discourse has become a lot easier. Social media platforms—and the brands and organizations that depend on them—leverage the Filipinos’ fondness for political and social narratives to capture the attention of their different stakeholders. For their part, Filipinos harness the power and reach of the internet and social media to share their opinions and be heard.
It is this interplay between the growing availability of communication platforms digitally and Filipinos’ penchant for joining online discussions that has given rise to the phenomenon called “citizen journalism.” Although Filipinos have always engaged in political narratives, it is with the wide use of the internet and social media that more Filipino netizens are now able to learn about political and social developments and comment on them in real-time, and even get some politicians and celebrities to reply or react. Besides being able to “reach” public figures much more easily than before, netizens can now play a more active role in sharing news, analyzing information and influencing others’ actions. Indeed, public figures, brands, corporations and organizations find themselves increasingly being under the constant watch—even scrutiny—of citizen journalists.
How much of public perception then is influenced by citizen journalism? With netizens able to react and influence the general public, what alternatives do brands and organizations have to talk to their stakeholders? What role does media play in this evolving landscape?
These are just some of the questions that the upcoming National Public Relations Congress will try to address. Spearheaded and organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the premier organization in the country for PR professionals, this year’s Congress carries the theme “Amplify” and aims to deep dive into issues and evaluate current practices and industry developments.
Scheduled for September 24 and 25 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the 26th edition of the annual PR Congress will bring together under one roof high-caliber international and local speakers from the PR and communication industry, media and corporations.
PRSP President Andy B. Saracho, APR, said: “Citizen journalism, wokeism, always-on connectivity and all these are reshaping the communication terrain not only here in the Philippines but also abroad. The challenge for us, as PR and communication practitioners, is to assess our existing approaches and see where we can blend old and new to adapt to the flow.”
Ana Pista, chairwoman of the 26th National PR Congress, shared: “We now have the tools to learn about public opinion and use the knowledge in crafting our messages. We have to recognize the weight of public opinion but also be aware of our responsibility as PR and communication professionals.”
The congress will be capped off by a framework of an industry roadmap aimed at standardizing and professionalizing the practice.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC RELATIONS SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES
The Public Relations Society of the Philippines is the country’s premier organization for public relations professionals with dedicated programs in professional development and continued learning, PR excellence, student PR education, social outreach and partnerships with institutions. Annually, it confers the Anvil Awards, the Academy Awards of PR in the country, and holds the National PR Congress in September, the National PR Month.