What is the value of the World PR Festival?

I had heard that 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.

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 , but where are the PR bloggers, podcasts or video downloads?

There is no indication of social media on the Festival site nor at the .  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

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Heather Yaxley

Heather Yaxley is passionate about PR - teaching the CIPR qualifications, lecturing part-time at Bournemouth University and running the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA). I'm undertaking a PhD looking at Career Strategies in PR. I love sharing ideas and knowledge - connecting news and views by blogging on public relations and educational developments, especially relating to accelerated and active learning. I'm also a published author, qualified trainer and experienced consultant.

4 thoughts on “What is the value of the World PR Festival?”

  1. Oh how people love a junket! Will it ever stop? Probably not, but we need to do something about it. Of course if business air travel gets cut back to any significant extent then many routes will struggle to make money. Business travel has a great deal to do with airline economics. How else could such cheap travel be made available?

  2. Toni Muzi Falconi (PR Conversations) has promised to post about the conference sessions and speakers (and knowing Toni, I’m sure he will follow through…in abundance); however, he’s also one of the organizers of this particular conference, so I suspect his blogging time is quite limited. (We haven’t had any offline correspondence, either.)

  3. Thanks for that insight Judy – I appreciate that as an organiser it is difficult for Toni. It is a real shame that when good discussions are (or may be) occurring that there aren’t people there who can share them in real(ish) time.

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