Today is August 11, 2010, and only seven weeks ago (June 14-15), in Stockholm, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management -in closing its 6th World Public Relations Forum- formally approved the Stockholm Accords, a two year brief for a public relations program to be implemented by the global professional community.
This digital space is a hub where professional associations, social-private-public sector organizations, scholars and educators, consultancies, solo-consultants and students are invited to monitor and to actively participate to the implementation of that brief, as it is interpreted and acted upon by all participants – Actors - from wherever they may reside- who will want to register and post their experiences, programs, research… as well as share comments, criticisms, successes and (most importantly) failures.
What is the idea behind The Stockholm Accords?
How do we help others better understand the work we do and the value we bring to organisations and society? And, as public relations and communication management professionals, how do we determine and explain that role across regions, cultures and continents?
The Stockholm Accords are an initial attempt to reflect public relations and communication management practice as it stands today. It provides practitioners with a framework that can be presented within their organisations, highlighting what they do – or what they should be allowed to do – as part of their work.
As John Paluszek, Chair of the Global Alliance commented: “The Accords can be used as a call to action for organisations everywhere to use public relations to strengthen their relationships and reputation and to achieve sustainable success”.
The Accords have also been described as a comprehensive re-statement of the contemporary public relations and communication management professions. The final text was agreed after months of development, involving around 1000 professionals in various virtual spaces, and during the ‘face-to-face’ deliberations at the World Public Relations Forum in Stockholm. Participants came from across the world and from all walks of practice – practitioners, academics, internal communicators, corporate specialists, students and many others. The discussion has been, quite genuinely, a global one, and, it continues today in many spaces.
An agreement like this has never been tried before – certainly not by our profession. You can imagine the challenges of a collaborative project such as this, that spans not only a complex profession but also a variety of cultures, languages and approaches. The final text has been produced in English but it is hoped that it will be adapted and adopted (perhaps by you) into our global language set and introduced by practitioners and organisations to promote the importance of dialogue, agreement, co-operation and sustainable social progress through effective two-way communication and understanding.
The Stockholm Accords have, quite rightly, been described elsewhere as a milestone. However, we recognise that a ‘milestone’ is just one point on any given journey. The Accords, their implementation and all surrounding discussions will be reviewed and evaluated in 2012 at the next World Public Relations Forum and so the journey will continue.
The Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management has a central role in the process as it represents more than 66 professional public relations and communication management associations and organisations from around the world. The GA is committed to increasing the understanding of the role of public relations and communication management at all levels of society and The Stockholm Accords form part of that vision.
How the Hub works
The objective is to enhance, stimulate and facilitate an ongoing exchange, so that each of you may inspire and be inspired by peers around the world. It is open to all for comments, and for direct posts as soon as we have established an operational and easy-to-use mechanism. The Hub, of course, reserves the right to edit, where appropriate, direct posts -mostly to add or remove specific tags or categories… only to improve the quality of its research feature for users.
As you may gather, the links across the upper part of the space are static and contain the who, the why, the how, and the what of this program.
On the vertical right hand side are instead the dynamic parts which will animate, as contributors will want to post, hopefully remembering to indicate tags and categories that reflect the contents of their specific contribution – i.e., from what region of the world; to which of the accord areas the single post refers to; with which stakeholder groups is the content, the action or the program intended.
In the central part of the space there are three different content segments.
On top is the From the Hub part. This first segment will add information related to changes which will likely be decided as we go through our teething process. The second segment is the news part. This, as you can see now, will be constantly updated with information related to the Accords from various parts of the world which will be mostly (but not necessarily) posted by us, here in the hub. The third segment instead relies largely on the single Actors. After having registered, they will be able to post their experiences and their processes, so that all may benefit.
As the implementation process continues, features and navigation of this Hub are likely to change, in order to better mirror needs and expectancies of users.
All suggestions are more than welcome, from this very first day of activity.
toni muzi falconi (ferpi)- past chair GA
catherine arrow (prinz)- board member GA
mario morello (bournemouth university)- student in public relations
We acknowledge and are grateful for the support, in the preparation of this digital space, received from Mario Morello, a young public relations student from Bournemouth University in the UK, as well as from the Italian multichannel communication consultancy Connexia.