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Refreshing the PR advocacy platform through the Melbourne Mandate 2012

November 5, 2012


With only a couple of weeks to go before the Global Alliance’s World Public Relations Forum (WPRF) kicks off, I was reminded of Heather Yaxley’s post around this time last year on relationship advice for PR practitioners. More than 700 delegates from every continent will be meeting in Australia and part of the agenda will include a robust discussion on the Melbourne Mandate, designed to build on the Stockholm Accords agreed to at WPRF 2010.


The reason for the reminder was the reference Heather made to “a vital knowledge acquisition ecosystem,” with professional relationships an important way in which culture and practice is developed and corrected. Such is the appeal then of both the WPRF and the development of the Melbourne Mandate.


At WPRF, the speakers look terrific, wise and wonderful—but for me it’s all about the delegates. I know for certain that I will take home new thinking, different perspectives and challenging insights into current and cultural practice not just from the main events, but from the myriad contributions of those delegates I’ll meet in mid-November. My inner maverick also loves the fact that conversations over teacups often end up being the ones that start the revolutions (as well as the sensible business of building and sustaining essential relationships of course).


As to the Mandate, that’s been an intriguing and challenging journey so far. Initiated earlier this year under the guidance of GA chair Daniel Tisch and past chair Jean Valin, three working groups—each brimming with practitioners and academics from around the world—talked, argued and debated their way through late nights and early mornings to produce some initial drafts on the culture and character of organisations and the responsibility of practitioners to society, organisations, the profession and themselves. I was fortunate enough to serve as co-chair of the responsibility group with Toni Muzi Falconi and have to say that our group members were particularly keen on revolutionising the way in which we are both responsible and accountable to society.


The first amalgamated draft is now available for comment before the WPRF debate. The hope is that those inside—and outside—the profession will add their thoughts and ideas which can then be assimilated into the final draft. This is a classic example of Heather’s far-reaching professional relationships being formed in order to develop culture and practice.


In the Q&A session, Dan and Jean provide some more details on the Mandate and how they think it will help our professional community.


Catherine Arrow



To read the interview Catherine Arrow conducted with Dan Tisch and Jean Valin, click here.



Source: PRConversations blog