I had heard that CIPR executives were cutting back on global travel expenses – but it seems unlikely as director general Colin Farrington takes over as the new chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management whilst attending the World Public Relations Festival in Cape Town, South Africa.
Although global connections are important, I believe that CIPR needs to demonstrate more relevance in the UK primarily. Current President, Lionel Zetter is also in South Africa and he has posted briefly with a link to his own speech.
PR Conversations includes a short report, but there is surprisingly little being blogged or communicated online from the 300 delegates at this year’s event. Freelance journalist, Vivian Warby is filing stories at Bizcommunity, but where are the PR bloggers, podcasts or video downloads?
There is no indication of social media on the Festival site nor at the Global Alliance. If it is important for representatives from CIPR to attend (funded by members), then shouldn’t better use of modern media be used to keep us informed and involved?
If there isn’t significant news or value from the Festival, why is money spent attending? I imagine there is value, but a basic blog post or subsequent article in PR Profile magazine isn’t a demonstration of best practice communications in a global 24:7 world.
I’m sure when the Festival comes to London in 2008 (as part of CIPR’s 60th anniversary celebrations) social media will be part of the strategy, but I am disappointed that CIPR isn’t showing a lead in this important area of global communications now.
UPDATE: See Lionel Zetter update on Festival