Firstly, I take this opportunity to extend to all every good wish for a wonderful 2020 that brings you lots of exciting opportunities and success. To colleagues in China, a special greeting as you now celebrate the arrival of your New Year.
When I became President of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management in July of last year, I never envisaged the great adventures that lay before me.
The second half of 2019 was truly memorable with plenty of standout moments from our global partnership with Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) at their conference in San Diego to Global Alliance holding its first ever regional conference in Hangzhou, China in conjunction with the Public Relations & Global Communications Club, not to mention the many other highlights in between.
Last summer, Global Alliance set out a work programme for the years to 2021 with all activity designed to progress our vision “to enhance the role and value of public relations and communication management to organizations and to global society”. With your support, we continue to take great strides towards achieving our ambitious goals. At board level, we are committed to becoming ever more relevant to you as members with improved services and benefits and ever stronger two-way communications so we stay close.
Our Regional Councils in Africa; Asia-Pacific; Europe; India-Middle East; Latin America and North America are working effectively to narrow any gaps between the Alliance and members operating at the frontline in your professional bodies, thereby underlining the extensive global reach of our Alliance.
Along with our hardworking board of directors and members of our Regional Councils, we now have over 50 worldwide ambassadors, providing us with tremendous diversity and a truly innovative outlook. In July, we opened our first head office in Lisbon, Portugal, followed soon after by a regional hub in Jakarta, Indonesia to help us to get closer to our members by delivering services more effectively and efficiently.
As President, I am fortunate to have a very committed and truly representative global board of esteemed professionals who now lead groups focusing on key topics. Within the last six months alone, we have held nine Global Alliance management meetings, including five board meetings, two of which were held ‘in-person’. This represents a huge voluntary time commitment by those involved and I thank each and every one of them for this.
Governance & Membership Growth
To help ensure we exemplify the highest standards of corporate governance, we undertook a governance review that examined the Global Alliance bylaws and resulted in nine policy documents being created to guide both the current board and future directors. Our ongoing work will ensure that we serve our profession in the best manner possible which, I believe, will also help us achieve our target of reaching 100 members by the end of this year. Membership currently stands at 77 which represents an increase of 55% since January 2019.
Ethics, Education, Diversity & Inclusion
Our inaugural Global Ethics Month under the leadership of Sarah Hanel, Ethics & Standards Director takes place in February. This will see professional bodies across more than 50 countries raise awareness of the importance of maintaining the highest ethical standards. This will be followed by our first Global Education & Training Month in April and Global Diversity & Inclusion Month in June – all designed to help advance our profession and especially that part of our mission that commits us to raising professional standards.
These and other topics will be addressed at our AGM in Lisbon on 19 April and this year’s World Public Relations Forum from 12-15 October in Auckland, New Zealand. I encourage those of you who can to consider investing in your future by attending such events. Member feedback tells us that the learning and experience gained from a real melting pot of ideas will repay the financial outlay many times over.
Celebration & Accreditation
This is a year of celebration for Global Alliance as we mark 20 years since the Alliance was founded. This is also the first year that Global Alliance – under the stewardship of our newly-appointed Academic Council – will be accrediting the education and training programmes that members offer at a country level.
This member benefit will assist in further strengthening the value placed on such qualifications by those pursuing further learning, ensuring their learning is recognised across an ever-more connected global profession.
Global Communications and Public Relations Model
In Auckland in October, we will also be launching our new Global Communication and Public Relations Model in partnership with Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership. This publication will provide a roadmap on the future of communications and intangible assets management, helping to enhance the role of corporate communications professionals and ensuring our voice is heard and understood at the very highest level in organisations.
Three members of our Global Alliance board have taken a lead role on this and I must acknowledge the contribution to date from past chair José Manuel Velasco; Dr Amybel Sánchez, Universidad San Martín de Porres, Peru and Dr Ángel Alloza, CEO, Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership.
Global Capability Framework
In wide use by individuals, teams, employers, academics and professional bodies around the world, the Global Capability Framework created in collaboration with University of Huddersfield (UK) and their partners is also again available to members this year. The Alliance is underwriting the costs to ensure you have free access until the end of 2020 as members have requested.
Finally, both our monthly newsletter and soon-to-be updated website continue to keep us fully up-to-date and globally connected. To further demonstrate your global links, we are also producing new membership certificates to be proudly display at your organisations’ headquarters.
To any of you who I have had the chance to meet in person since joining the Global Alliance board and – especially – since being elected President, thank you for the energy and drive you have to improve our profession to ensure it offers even more rewarding careers for those following behind us in the years ahead.
2020 is the year to think global, go global and be global with your Global Alliance. Together, we can help make the 2020s a decade of renewal and growth for our profession and ensure that we hand it on to future generations in the best shape possible.
Thank you for your continued support and the mandate to represent our wonderful profession on your behalf,
President of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management