'Diplomacy is key' - IPRA

The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) is demanding PR professionals become more globally focused. The body has also slammed the lack of intercultural skills on display in the industry.

Coinciding with the IPRA world congress in Beijing, the gold paper Public relations and collaboration calls on PROs to become 'corporate diplomats', creating connections between stakeholders.

The paper argues that globalisation requires PROs to take on 'the consultative style of senior politicians, learning to balance often conflicting and competing demands from a multitude of stakeholders'.

IPRA president Robert W Grupp said: 'PR professionals own many skills required of private sector organisations and multinational companies and therefore should also own the role of corporate diplomat for the organisations. Too often, this is not the case.'

To achieve this, the structure and role of PR in many organisations would have to be overhauled, he added.

Weber Shandwick European CEO Colin Byrne said the report made 'an important point'.

More than 400 delegates from at least 30 countries are registered to attend the world congress, which is due to be opened by Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi on Thursday, 13 November.

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