Dear fellow members, colleagues and friends,
On behalf of EUPRERA, the Board of Directors and in my own name, I wish you a productive, successful and, first and foremost, a happy New Year 2020!
We have the privilege of living in exciting times. We began a new decade with plenty of promising changes, opportunities and experiences. Our field, more than ever, is expanding both in academic and professional terms. The management of communications is more and more important to the operation of the companies, public institutions and agencies and every kind of political, civil and non-profit organization. Communication departments and CCOs have a great influence on management boards and decision-making tables with the evolution to more complex and strategic ways of influence. The increase of the consultancy market is expected to hit 20 billion dollars this year. This expansion of the professional field will surely have also interesting implications for our academic field.
As usual, changes are not exempt from difficulties and challenges. This new decade finds Public Relations and Strategic Communication’s scholars in the ever-competitive scenario with some interesting issues like the non-solved duality of areas of knowledge, the “hunter games” of editorials and international ranking systems, the competition of other specialities’ scholars to attract resources or re-placing Public Relations’ objects of study into their fields, etc, etc. In a broad political and social perspective, expert knowledge has become today suspicious for many groups of polarized citizens and there are claims for clarifying and justifying the applicable utility of research. This claim is particularly addressed to the social sciences and sometimes even a shared with scholars from the natural sciences.
From this point, EUPRERA starts from an advantageous position. The contribution of our association and our members to the knowledge and social and industrial transference of this knowledge is very well-known around the world. We currently have behind our label some of the most prestigious projects in the world from global studies to innovative EU funded projects in communication education. We are very proud of each and every one of the contributions, publications, recognitions and internal, national and overseas visibility of our members. We are especially proud of our recent and younger members with their powerful work frequently recognised in awards as well as the exciting and inspiring contributions of our PhD network.
The respect for diversity along with the very sense of community are two of the specific values and identity of EUPRERA, based in a European context. Could we imagine some years ago that the quality of Universities or academic publications will be assessed and certified in part because of their social media outreach? The scenario for the new decade will require more than ever a solid and friendly real community where we can face together the new challenges and opportunities and support each other in the achievement of our individual and shared commitments. In the last few years the Board of Directors has tried to anticipate some of these new challenges and have expanded the network of influence to diverse academic and professional associations all over the world. We have also standardised EUPRERA’s networks and projects for a better support and equal contribution, attracting new European and overseas scholars. Recently, we also launched a new research study to feed further well-founded and informed discussions about the issues of publishing systems in our field.
But certainly, the new decade will require new ideas and solutions. Members are the lifeblood of EUPRERA. Engaged and active members have historically been a particular characteristic of EUPRERA in contrast with some other associations. The board invites every one of you to start new projects and networks between members, to invite your academic contacts to join the association and participate in new initiatives, to include EUPRERA as social or expert partners in your bids for project funding. Civil associations, research groups, editorials, women’s networks, professional bodies, agencies and companies with interest in expert knowledge and applied research in Strategic Communication are also welcome to contact us to explore ways of cooperation. We warmly invite lecturers and younger scholars to be engaged with us and to bring fresh ideas and new critical thinking to our community.
Please, save the date 8-10 of October as a first entry on your new 2020 calendar! The EUPRERA Annual Congress will take place this year in Pamplona (Spain) with a very inspiring topic to start the decade: The Camino of Strategic Communication: (re)discovering the human element in public relations. Diverse and broad subthemes are included in the call for papers to ensure your current research will fit in one or more of them and we are willing to listen to you. Abstract deadline: February 29.
The EUPRERA Annual Congress is one of the most prestigious academic meetings for public relations and strategic communications scholars and it’s an opportunity to connect and make contact with researchers from across the continent and prominent figures from all over the world. Most of our most famous projects and initiatives have being conceived in these productive face-to-face meetings. We will have two full days to catch a sense of the latest original quality research and to critically discuss trends of research and education in Public Relations and Strategic Communication. However, in addition, our colleagues from the University of Navarra are also working hard with the board to welcome us in their northern-southern amiable city. On Saturday, we will visit the Castel of Olite and for wine testing and a farewell meal. As we are accustomed to in our annual meetings, these three days will be the right combination between hard work and fun with old and new friends.
To finish I would like to thank our past-president, Ralph Tench, for his remarkable supportive and inclusive leadership. He has devoted his managerial experience to our association for a long period of time in diverse roles and we are glad to have his support for one more year. For the current year we will continue carefully serving our members and our organization along with Diana Ingenhoff, Stefania Romenti, Etienne Claes (finances) and the precious work of our DPRA, Virginia Villa. Please, contact any of us for new projects and initiatives and let’s build together a splendid 2020.
President of EUPRERA