The 27th National Public Relations Congress officially kicks off its three-day run today with plenaries looking into the new realities for Philippine public relations and the business and media sectors. Presented by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the country’s premier organization for public relations and communication practitioners, this year’s conference is the first time the National PR Congress is being held online in its 27 years and the first time it will run for three days instead of the usual two.
From February 17 to 19, 2021, PR and communication practitioners from all over the nation – and the world — will come together to examine the current PR landscape and find ways to move forward as one industry. Local and international experts from different fields will share their insights with more than 1,400 registrants for the three-day conference.
The first day, which sets the context and tone for the congress, will tackle the shifts in the PR industry as it is impacted and bounces back from the challenges of the past year, foremost of them being the pandemic. The sessions will look into the state of PR in the country and outside, the role of PR in the new dynamic, Filipinos’ post-pandemic profile, changes in the business terrain and how companies are adjusting, and the challenges for the media and PR in the perspective of the Philippine media.
With the theme “Transcend,” the annual event aims to inspire PR and communication practitioners to break through traditional boundaries, rise above themselves and focus on the bigger issues the nation is facing. The congress hinges on the PRSP’s theme of “PR for Good” to put a spotlight on serving the community better and making a lasting impact through PR.
Each day of the congress is designed to highlight a specific topic of focus. On the first day, participants will deep dive into the state of Philippine PR. The second day will focus on the power of technology and how it is reshaping the practice of PR and communication. Finally, the third day will encourage conversations on critical issues that are shaping business and communication narratives today.
Opening the discussion on the state of Philippine PR is Managing Director of Grupo Agatep and PRSP President Norman Agatep, APR, followed by May Lwin, chair and professor at Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information and director of the University Scholars Programme at the Nanyang Technological University Singapore, who will talk about the state of PR in Asia. Nitin Mantri, group CEO of Avian WE and president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), will then provide an overview of world PR.
Ron Jabal, APR, CEO of PageOne Group, will shed some light on the role PR plays in the new dynamic, followed by John Januszczak, president and CEO of UBX, the fintech venture studio created by UnionBank of the Philippines, who will talk about how the pandemic has changed the consumer behavior of Filipinos. Tommaso Di Giovanni, VP for global communications of Philip Morris International and recognized by PRovoke Media as one of the 20 Global Rising Stars in PR and Communications for 2020, will share about business agility, grit and community commitment.
A panel of veteran journalists will close the first day of the congress, providing insights on ensuring accurate and truthful communication. Joining the conversation are Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist John Nery, Board of Trustees of the Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility member Vergel Santos and TV5 journalist Ed Lingao.
“It is important that as we forge ahead and adjust to the new normal, we do not lose sight of what PR is all about. This is what we want to remind practitioners through this Congress: that we also serve the community even as we work with brands and organizations in sharing their messages to the public,” said Agatep.
The congress gathers together participants from industry organizations, SMEs and large corporations, government agencies, NGOs, LGUs and the academe all over the Philippines.
Congress Chair Ana Pista shared, “With Transcend as our theme for this Congress, we hope to enjoin PR and communication practitioners and all delegates to rethink our role and responsibility and in our work contribute to the solution instead of the problem. This Congress theme is about moving forward to create a better normal for all.”