Monday 3 October 2011

IPREX EMEA Fall Meeting, Stockholm

I have just returned from IPREX’s EMEA Fall Meeting in the beautiful city of Stockholm. Based on the topical theme of Digital PR and The New Web, the meeting provided thought provoking insights into future developments and ways of practice.

The opening evening provided an idyllic combination of great food, wine and engaging conversations, a trend that lasted throughout. Peter Ericsson, a former IPREX partner, gave a talk on the rise and fall of PR, a subject of great relevance in light of the current economic climate. He took the group back to past events that led to the unfortunate closing of his firm in one week. Peter advocated the need for internal crisis plans as a form of security.

Highlights included a talk by Jim Walsh of Walsh PR via Skype. Jim discussed how a small PR firm can tackle the challenge of managing digital and online programs for clients. His independent research revealed that agencies are split on their approach: half hire a ‘guru’ on either a full or part-time basis, while the rest upgrade current staff skills to meet new demands.

Nicolas Merigeau of New Cap shared details of how his firm handled recent challenges regarding digital PR and crisis communication, emphasising the importance of online interaction. Nicholas used the example of Air France’s neglecting of online comments from customers regarding the price rise on flights from France to

The full group in Mariatorget Square on Saturday afternoon

Beata Wickbom suggested that companies should see social media as an experiment, and that those who do are the most successful in the space. She believes that companies should focus on appealing to users’ emotions when operating in such a social environment.

A big thanks to Johan Wetterqvist of Spotlight PR and the EMEA team for hosting a highly beneficial event, with much to take away from.

It is well advocated that the communications landscape is becoming increasingly digitalised, as companies seek to offer multi-layered services. Every aspect of how we exchange information is feeling the impact of the technological revolution. Therefore, we as PR professionals must follow suit, and adapt to meet our client requirements.

With Facebook Inc., projected to float at US$100bn, it really does put the prominence of new media into context.

Henry Harrison-Topham, Managing Director

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