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Argentina: Milestone conference tackles new dimensions of communication, diversity and dialogue, combining words and visual display

September 19, 2012

 

August saw more than 300 communicators from all over Argentina tackling the profession’s current issues at the 3rd International Public Relations Conference. Held at the Catholic University of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, the conference turned out to be a milestone for the PR and corporate communication profession in the country.

 

The main theme of this key biannual event organized by the Professional Council of Public Relations of Argentina (Consejo Profesional de Relaciones Públicas de la República Argentina), was “The new dimensions of communication: from control to collective construction of meaning”.

 

Notable national and international speakers included academics Magda Pieczka (UK) and María Aparecida Ferrari (Brazil); David Shore (US); Antonio Vives (Spain) and Roberto Igarza (academic, specialized in new media), Pablo Mancini (Infobae.com), Diana Schenone (Nike Cono Sur), Sabrina Romero (Telecom Personal), Ignacio Marseillán (Spencer Stuart), Jack Smart (HR counselor ) and Hernán De Filippo (Folino Learning Organizations).

 

Magda Pieczka, who presented a session on “Diversity and dialogue, the path of development in the PR field: 1992-2012”, stresed that, in her opinion, “most part of the work done in PR is focused on persuasion rather than dialogue”.

 

Roberto Igarza, an academic specialising in new media, participated in a panel discussion together with Pablo Mancini (infobae.com) with the focus on new ways of acting in the digital era.

 

Dr. Igarza stated that “the new cultural and media context is posing several challenges to traditional media: television, for example, has lost its traditional role in the latest years” and he concluded that “it’s no more about being online: it’s about being also live, on the move and on-site”. Mancini stressed that nowadays we’re witnessing a change of paradigm, in which “people are getting more and more aware of their ability to access all content and reach out to all people.” He also added that “our image is strictly defined by the way we cooperate with others”.

 

David Shore (Professor at Harvard) stressed in his panel - Key factors in the development of successful PR campaigns -  that “companies which don’t plan their campaigns appropriately are likely to have a higher chance of failure”.

 

One of the main conference goals was to enhance the attendees’ visual experience and participation. Some of the key ideas implemented were:

 

  • Using a wireless realtime voting system. Most of the panels featured a specific session when participants were asked to express their opinion: with this system they could vote in real time and get a prompt feedback, as the results were immediately displayed on a central screen. In this way the attendees could participate actively to the discussion, while the speakers could take the pulse of the audience thoughts on the issues discussed.
     
  • Live display of infographics. During the Conference, a graphic expert created infographics to summarize the key insights and data emerging from each discussion
     
  • Display of tweets about the conference on a central screen. Discussion on Twitter around the conference hashtag triggered debate with the most recent tweets were displayed on a central screen.