Interactive Challenges Frame EUPRERA debates
As the doors close on the EUPRERA Spring Symposium, Valérie Carayol, President of EUPRERA, talks with the Global Alliance about some of the issues raised such as the profile of women working in PR, the impact of social media on the profession and the most challenging innovations in the PR industry.
You held a successful Spring Symposium in Germany in February on the theme “Web 2.0 in governmental and NGO communication in Europe”. What are the main ideas that emerged from the debate on this topic?
There is a great demand for participation and collaboration in the public sphere. The new media may help answer this demand but institutions and NGO are not totally ready to develop new models of communication and new digital media.
What conclusions were drawn during the empirical session about Governmental communication? Is there any EU country that can be regarded as a successful model in dealing with social media communication?
Everyone is experimenting at the moment. The introduction of interactivity is a big challenge. Institutions are trying to be more reactive, more interactive, without losing control, and it is not easy in centralized and hierarchized organizational environments.
We know that you are active with several different projects and, as March is the month dedicated to women, let’s focus on the one about “Women in PR in Europe”. What are the main goals of this project? How has the PR women profile changed in the last years?
Gloria Walker leads this project from the United Kingdom and it aims at introducing a gender issue in the study of the professionalization of European Public Relations. A majority of professionals are women, a majority of students in PR University departments are women, but few of them belong to the top management committees, even if some very successful careers are publicized in professional journals. We need to better understand the situation and to have more precise observations in order to give more reflexivity to PR professionals.
What is the impact of social media on the PR profession? In your opinion, do they enable organizations to easily manage their reputation?
The challenge and impact of social media are very important. They give an opportunity to better understand and observe the public of an organization. At the same time, new competences are needed, if we want to take advantage of their potential, in terms of reputation.
On your website you say “EUPRERA is the organization for innovation". What, in your opinion, are the most challenging innovations in the PR industry across EU?
In my opinion, the ability and capability of the PR industry to develop new models for the analysis of opinion on social networks will be crucial in the future.
Dr Valérie Carayol (PHD of Bordeaux University, 1993) is Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Bordeaux University (France). She is the director of the Research group MICA (EA 4426, Médiation, Information, Communication, Arts).
She is the editor of the academic review Communication & Organisation, founded in 1992 and she is a reviewer for several academic reviews including "International Journal of Strategic Communication, Management Communication Quaterly, Public Relations Inquiry, Communication, Revista Internacional de Relaciones Públicas, Sciences de la société, Questions de communication, Recherches en communication.
Find out more about Valérie Carayol and EUPRERA on their website