Inside Argentina: Gabriel Sadi talks about PR practice in his country and the upcoming 4th International Public Relations Conference
How is the public relations profession perceived in Argentina and, more widely, in Latin America?
In Argentina in particular, and the whole region in general, the profession holds an affected public perception, among other things, due to the media treatment some members of the entertainment business receive, who are often referred to as “Public Relations” or “PR”. Nonetheless, inside the organizations and the business world, the profession has managed to consolidate for the last 25 years -since the establishment of the democratic governments- a positive representation in organizations of all fields of activity, thanks to its contribution to their sustainability.
In June the Global Alliance will hold a Global Summit to discuss developments in the area of credentials and accreditation. How does Argentina approach professional qualifications and credentials?
Argentina is one of the regional leaders in undergraduate and postgraduate level, with 17 universities who currently offer the course and precedents on the topic for 50 years. During that time, there were certain national normative that attempted to regulate the activity, establishing the professional scope of the Degree in Public Relations, but regulations did not prosper. There are not, until this date, certifications issued by any professional institution, other than the undergraduate and master degrees issued by universities. The Professional Council of Public Relations of Argentina plans to advance on the future on some type of professional certification that could add an extra value to university training.
Transparency in communication is one of the themes that will be discussed this September at the 2014 World Public Relations Forum in Madrid. With this in mind, how important is transparency in political and financial communication in Argentina, especially in the context of the recent economic crisis?
A crucial part of our activity resides on establishing medium and long term relations with the public on which depends the development and growth of the personal, organizational or social structures for which we are working for.
In that sense, transparency assumes a strategic importance in any professional practice, even more on those that could hold a degree of suspicion. However, the practice of PR on public fields, such as political communication, has been turning into an essential asset for this type of organizations, especially in the last 10 or 15 years. Regarding financial communication, instances with a more professional and creative approach need to be developed in order to make this area of the professional field transcend the instrumental and show itself, transparently, as an authentic platform of persuasive communication.
What is the role of the Professional Council of Public Relations of Argentina (CPRPA) in the development and in the enhancement of the public relations profession in Argentina?
The Professional Council of Public Relations of Argentina was founded in 1958, becoming the first organization to link PR practitioners in the country. Currently, it counts with close to 600 members and represents PR professionals of all fields of activity, both public and private, social and academic. In this context, its main roles are establishing standards for professional behavior, look out for the professionalism and the interests of its members, while promoting the research and development of the activity on the market, in order to consolidate its public legitimization.
In August you will hold the 4th International Public Relations Conference and Anne Gregory, GA Chair, will participate as a speaker. What will be the main focus of this key event for Latin America?
The intention of the CPRPA, and my own as president of this edition, is to organize a leading event of its kind in Latin America. Anne Gregory’s presence, as well as the other distinguished international speakers, reaffirms that wish. On this edition, the general focus will be on debating how to lay bridges between the different social participants through institutional dialogue. Some of the specific thematic areas will be transmedia storytelling, relationship between the public and private sector, corporate reputation, sustainability, organizational change, corporate branding and big data. The program and list of speakers are available on www.cirpargentina.com.ar (in Spanish). We hope to receive in Buenos Aires on August 25th and 26th, all of those interested in Public Relations, in a conference that will hold Spanish as its official language.