A global and cooperative professional/academic effort to advocate the value of public relations to organizations and society - How the global alliance is changing the future of the public relations profession

Toni Muzi Falconi
Abstract:
In the fall of 1964, aged 23, the author of this chapter found himself at a 3M Company HQ meeting in Saint Paul (Minnesota) with some ten other international relations professionals. An elderly and just retired William McKnight, legendary founder of what even today is an evergreen success story of a truly ‘communicative’ global company (can the reader think of any other major multinational that has survived and blossomed for a century without going through at least one major crisis?), walks in the room unannounced and amicably mutters: ‘Hey John, who are all these people in the room?’. John (Verstraete, at the time senior vice president for public relations) stands up and says: ‘Bill, these are your public relations people from around the world’. McKnight shakes his head, raises hand to chin, searches in his beard and suggests: ‘Yeah! Sure… Though maybe, before improving our image, they should worry about improving the image of their profession!’. In October 2006, in New Delhi (India), Harold Burson addressed the ICCO Conference in New Delhi (India) (Icco is the global umbrella organization of national agency associations) and expressed utmost urgence for a public relations program for public relations. It’s like the cobblers children, he said. Helas! An ongoing challenge each of us -seasoned professionals or scholars- have faced hundreds of times, in schools, colleges, universities, society at large, companies, governments, non profits…

Full text available in PDF: Academicus-MMX-2-033-048.pdf

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.medra.org/10.7336/academicus.2010.02.03

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