More than 200 communication and corporate social responsibility (CSR) professionals attended the 1st German CSR Communication Congress last week in Osnabrueck. Due to management academic Dr Tim Breitbarth’s involvement in initiating, organising and moderating this successful event, BU was recognised as one of its academic partners.
This first congress was based on a collaboration between the German Public Relations Association (DPRG), the European Business Ethics Network Germany (DNWE) and the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU). Dr Breitbarth is a founding member of the CSR working group within the DPRG.
Welcoming speeches (e.g. from a representative from the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs), the keynote (from the editor-in-chief of a well-known business magazine), the panel discussion (e.g. with the director corporate sustainability of Tchibo and a board member of Transparency International Germany) and special workshops of the 1.5-day congress revolved around the rising relevance of internal and external CSR communication – e.g. in the context of increasing pressure to report on CSR; the need for constructive stakeholder dialogue; and in order to manifest internal support for sustainability strategies. Dr Breitbarth moderated the workshop on social media and online communication.
Mainly, attendees came from large firms like Aldi, Audi and German Telecom; internationally successful SMEs; leading sustainability and communication agencies; and influential civil society organisations. Reviews of the congress are widely available in respective German media. Feedback from participants very much suggests that the event built-up specific knowledge, provided inspiration to solve individual challenges and helped to create valuable business contacts. The second congress will be held in 2017.
The third edition of the enduring public relations text, Evaluating Public Relations, has been published by Kogan Page. Much revised by authors Professor Tom Watson (Media School) and former lecturer Paul Noble, the book has greater emphasis on the measurement of social media and concepts of value created by that communication.
“When the first edition of Evaluating Public Relations came out in 2005, it mostly dealt with the measurement of media relations activity”, Professor Watson said. “In it, we included a chapter on how to measure PR-influenced coverage on a no- or low-cost basis. An updated version is included in the latest edition.
“But the world of PR practice has moved on and so the book includes the measurement and evaluation of social media, more focus on outcomes rather than outputs, and advice to meet increasing demands that PR/communication delivers value to the organisation.”
Professor Watson said that the new edition calls for PR/communication practitioners to take “a big step forward in the planning and strategy-setting processes.”
“Not only should communication objectives align with organisational objectives, but practitioners must ensure that communication is part of the organisation or client’s own objectives.”
The third edition includes new and revised chapters based on Professor Watson’s research into the history of PR measurement and his work, with Professor Ansgar Zerfass of Leipzig University, on methods of performance management in PR/communications.
Planning for the 1st International Corporate and Marketing Communication in Asia Conference to be held in Bangkok on November 18-19 is progressing well, reports Prof Tom Watson.
He has just returned from meeting his co-organisers Assoc Prof Jirayudh Sinthuphan and Assoc Prof Saravudh Anantachart of Chulalongkorn University.
The conference, organised in collaboration by Chula’s Faculty of Communication Arts and BU’s Media School, has attracted interest from across Asia and the Middle East. BU’s involvement is supported by FIF.
The international review panel has chosen 30 abstracts from ten countries with a broad range of topics and approaches.
“At our meeting in Bangkok, the conference schedule was finalised and other arrangements confirmed. The facilities at Chula are very good and enable us to run parallel streams of papers on both days”, said Prof Watson. “We are really pleased with the response which is far more positive than expected. Already almost all speakers are confirmed to attend and registered.”
The audience will also include Thai and regional academics and representatives of the national advertising, marketing communications and public relations sectors. The conference schedule will be published shortly on the conference website: http://cuprimcconference.net/
Tom Watson (l), Saravudh Anantachart (c) and Jirayudh Sinthuphan (r)
Conference venue at Chulalongkorn University