Public Relations pioneer Harold Burson shares 65 years of industry insight at 20th Public Relations World Congress in Dubai
Harold Burson is a pioneer of modern Public Relations and the Founder Chairman of Burson-Marsteller. Today he told delegates at the 20th Public Relations World Congress in Dubai that PR was no longer the “corporate step-child” it once was. It seems the best years for the industry are yet to come. Burson attributed this positive industry trend to increasing awareness of the value of corporate reputation, especially among CEOs.
Burson presenting a keynote address on ‘Public Relations in Perspective’ at a special session, ‘An Hour with a Living Legend.’ He delivered a wide range of compelling insights gained from his 65 years of industry leadership.
The best Public Relations practitioners are “able to deal at the top of the management pyramid, holding their own with the toughest, most-demanding and smartest CEOs,” he said
Burson, 91, also commented that the ongoing decline of print media offered an opportunity for Public Relations firms to identify and hire talent from the world of journalism. But the industry veteran warned that practitioners must do more to assert themselves in boardrooms, and said that agencies should avoid putting too much store in how social media and digital communications is reshaping the industry.
“Too many Public Relations professionals have failed to put digital in the proper context,” he warned. “It is not a new form of Public Relations; it is only the latest and most impactful in the continuum of mass information dissemination devices that started with Gutenberg’s printing press.”
Ending his address on a bullish note, Burson told Congress delegates: “The best is yet to come for Public Relations. Moving forward, demand will further raise the market value of our services.”
The Public Relations World Congress is organised by the International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter (IPRA-GC) at the Grand Hyatt Dubai. The Congress concludes on March 15, 2012.