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Report of the 16th International Public Relations Conference of Iran (IPRC)

Monday, January 27, 2020

Report of the 16th International Public Relations


 Conference of Iran (IPRC)

First Idea-based Event of Iranian Public Relations



The 16th Iran International Public Relations Conference (IPRC) (First Idea-Based Event of Iranian Public Relations) was organized by Kargozar Public Relations Institute at the Industrial Management Conference Hall, on Monday, January 13, 2020, in which communications science professors and scholars, PR executives and practitioners in the public and private sectors participated with an "idea-making" approach.

According to the Iranian Public Relations Information Network (SHARA), the 16th Conference consisted of several sections, including: Opening Ceremony, the 8th International Prize in Memory of Dr. Hamid Notghi, founder of Modern Public Relations in Iran, granting the 17th Award of the “8th Art” to select PR offices, lectures by keynote professors and visiting experts in several panels, and holding two training workshops. The following is the full report of the event.

Opening Ceremony: IPRC Secretariat Believes in the Power of Idea-Based Events
Addressing the opening ceremony of the 16th IPRC, the Conference Secretary-General said: “Despite the fact that developing lucid and influential ideas is the most difficult part of the process of ensuring "being distinctive", collaborative efforts by PR executives and practitioners, not only direct us towards the realm of creative ideas, they would also pave the ground for learning from more experiences and discovering novel methods.

Mehdi Bagherian added: “By providing and valuing an environment for reflection of innovative and creative activities such as IPRC, we can support and encourage each other which will increase the self-confidence of the practitioners of the 8th art in the field of innovation and sharing new ideas in various PR fields.

Noting that “this would require facilitation of creation and expansion of the necessary context for personal and professional interaction of public relations practitioners," he added: “If PR practitioners fail to put receiving training for practical skills in the form of presentation of ideas, practical models, and other new forms of interaction that stem from creativity, innovation and distinctiveness on their agenda, the real professional status of public relations will be lost more than ever.”

The head of the Association of PR Experts further said, "Fortunately, the 16th IPRC has been organized with this approach in mind. Although the IPRC secretariat believes in and trusts the power of experience-based events and banks on its success, affording the expenses of a scientific conference, choosing the right venue, managing an important event, inviting and welcoming audiences especially foreign ones, building deeper relations and preventing the conference from becoming a purely audience-based event and initiating a major stage under the new circumstances is no easy task.”

"We need to induce the power of creativity and ideation into different areas of public relations, especially in the fields of knowledge and tools, as well as daily activities, to be able to become distinctive in what we do and break away from the conventional practices; if so, we will get the desired result that is "creating a turning point".
Dr. Bagherian finalized his address expressing optimism that PR experts and executives would join the IPRC agenda to develop and reflect upon creative and fresh ideas and play an active and acceptable role in this field by playing their valuable part.

Prof. Bagher Sarukhani Granted Dr. Notghi Award
In the second section of the 16th IPRC, the ceremony of the 8th International Dr. Notghi Award was held and Professor Bagher Sarukhani, the father of Sociology of Communications, was lauded.

Dr. Saeed Reza Ameli, Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution and University Professor, and Dr. Ali Akbar Farhangi, the father of media management in Iran, delivered speeches during the ceremony.

Dr. Dr. Hamid Notghi Award has been held in Iran at both national and international levels on the initiative of the Kargozar Public Relations Institute since 2004, said Mehdi Bagherian during the ceremony.

In the previous editions of the award, Kazem Motamednejad, the father of modern communications in Iran, James E. Grunig, public relations theorist, Professor Emeritus for the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park, the US, Ali Akbar Jalali, the father of Iranian Information Technology Science, Ali Akbar Farhangi, the father of Media Management in Iran, Saeed Reza Ameli, Senior Associate Professor of Communications at Tehran University, Younes Shokrkhah, Founder of Online Journalism in Iran, and Hassan Bashir, senior professor at Imam Sadiq University (AS), were honored with the award.

The Secretary of the 16th IPRC said the conference awarded Prof. Sarukhani, a Tehran University professor, this time, given his lifelong scientific endeavors and research achievements in the field of public relations.

He added: “Kargozar Public Relations Institute and the Permanent Secretariat of the International Public Relations Conference of Iran had established the Dr. Notghi Award and Statue to pay tribute to him and honor the values he supported.”

Mehdi Bagherian stated that, over the past two decades, Professor Baqer Sarukhani had left very precious works in the field of communications and public relations, adding: "Prof. Sarukhani’s friends and fans refer to him as the “Father of Sociology of Communications".

"If I want to define Professor Sarukhani in one sentence, I can say that he is an epitome and a symbol of sincerity, action and science."

Professor Bagher Sarukhani, who was granted the 8th Dr. Notghi International Award at the 16th IPRC, said in a speech: “I do not regard myself worthy of such reception but it is my honor to be among such scholars and veterans as you.”

Referring to the ups and downs of his childhood and schooling, he said: "I was selected as a top student for admission at Sorbonne University and just after completing my PhD and defending my doctoral thesis entitled "A Comparative Study of Family and Dominant Thoughts", I returned to my country Iran immediately despite having received invitations for residence and work in that country.”

Elsewhere in his address, Professor Sarukhani stated that sustainable development in the third millennium would not be possible without public relations; smart, capable, dynamic public relations would be the basis of social life and the basis of social movement.

He further praised Mehdi Bagherian, Director of the Kargozar Public Relations Institute and the organizers of the 16th IPRC as well as those present at the ceremony.

First panel
In this section of the 16th IPRC, Dr. Saeed Reza Ameli, Full Professor of Communications and American Studies at the University of Tehran, delivered a lecture on "Integrated Management of New Public Relations and Comprehensiveness", Dr. Kambiz Kamkari, Psychologist and a Member of the Scientific Board of Islamic Azad University, spoke about "The Applications of Behavioral Analysis Techniques in the Field of Public Relations", Paul Ruters, Founder of the Institute of Artificial Intelligence, talked about "The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Public Relations" (Video), and Dr. Saeed Khazaei, Full Professor of Tehran University, spoke about "Problem Solving Techniques in Public Relations”.

At the beginning of the first panel, Dr. Hassan Bashir, secretary of the Scientific Committee of the Conference, discussed the aims, topics and achievements of the conference.

The Imam Sadegh University Full Professor of Public Relations further shed light on the status of public relations with emphasis on the three effective factors of interaction, exchange and continuity of information. “Public relations are a unified organ whose activities require realistic coherence, cooperation and realistic idealism. This would not be possible without "permanent engagement".”

Commenting on the achievements of the conferences held so far, Dr. Bashir stated: "Growing and evolving in every field of science and practice requires some form of interaction, exchange and continuity of scientific and experimental information. Without these three essential factors, we cannot reach an acceptable level of scientific and executive development.”
"The past 15 editions of this conference have taken great strides in this field, and it can be claimed that the “live stream of public relations” in the country is highly indebted to this conference,” he added.

The Professor of International and Intercultural Communications and the Scientific Secretary of the 16th IPRC further added that public relations could not promote real growth without the exchange of ideas, thoughts, policies, plans and products between themselves and most importantly between themselves and the society. "The exchange of information in every field, along with samples of experiences gained, especially with people, is an important step that can put public relations in an ongoing 'discourse' stream with the community,” Dr. Bashir said.
"This stream of discourse blows life to public relations by itself," he said, stating the conference has also had some outstanding activities in the field, and the very essence of holding a conference with scientific articles and publications is a kind of information exchange based on public relations knowledge.

Second panel
In the second section of the 16th IPRC, in which presentation of select ideas was top on the agenda, Dr. Ahmad Yahyaei Ileei lectured the audience on "An Applied Pattern for Inter-organizational Communications Pathology Management".

Furthermore, Shaker Khafaei spoke about "The Role of Public Relations in Establishing Social Responsibility" and Dr. Hossein Afkhami presented his speech on "Campaign Planning and Management".

Top Articles
The articles "Communications, Planning and Development in Iran; Providing a Framework" authored by Masoud Toufan corresponding author, PhD candidate of International Relations, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Ghader Bastani, Journalist and University Lecturer, and Mohammad Hassan Dad, Ph.D. in Public Relations Eindhoven University of the Netherlands, “Role Public Relations in Establishing Social Responsibility (with emphasis on: Tabriz Oil Refining Company)" by Shaker Khafaei, Head of Public Relations and International Affairs of Tabriz Oil Refining Company, "An Applied Pattern for Inter-organizational Communications Pathology Management” (A case study for Persain Gulf Fajr Energy Company), authored by Ahmad Yahyaei Ileei (Public relations lecturer and advisor) and Behnam Seifoury (Head of Public Relations at Persain Gulf Fajr Energy Company) and "The Role of Public Relations in Crisis Documentation" by Abbas Khosravani were selected for presentation and publication in the conference proceedings book.

The Conference Proceedings Book, which entails 10 scientific papers on conceptualization and empirical research in the field of public relations, will be published after the conference.
In addition, a number of the selected ideas will be published in the book.

Training Workshops
(1) Workshop on "A Glance at the Future of Visual Works and Products"
The policy-making council of the 16th IPRC developed and organized the "A Glance at the Future of Visual Works and Products" workshop parallel with the conference in response to the new needs of public relations practitioners. Dr. Maryam Salimi, a communications and visual researcher, conducted the workshop which was crowded by PR experts and executives from state and private companies from across the country.

(2) Workshop on "Visual Communications and its Applications in Public Relations"
Simultaneously with the 16th International Public Relations Conference of Iran, the "Visual Communications and its Applications in Public Relations” workshop was held in the presence of PR executives and experts of public and private companies and organizations. Dr. Mahmoud Mokhtarian, professor of journalism and university lecturer, conducted the course.
Books Unveiled on PR, Communications at IPRC

Parallel with the 16th International Public Relations Conference of Iran on January 13 and 14, 2020, a ceremony was held to unveil two book titles, "Strategic Planning for Public Relations" and "The Role of the Media in Flood Management (Integrated Flood Management Toolkit)". The two items were jointly published by Public Relations Specialists Association and Kargozar Public Relations Institute released.

53rd Issue of Kargozar Public Relations Quarterly Released
The 53rd issue of Kargozar Public Relations Quarterly was published by the Institute in 104 color pages.

A part of the editorial of this issue, written by Mehdi Bagherian, reads: "It is impossible to hold an international conference on public relations without the participation of the public relations community and benefiting from the experiences and ideas of those who work in this field. For this reason, from this year, the conference has put practical skills training in the form of new and applied ideas and patterns top on its agenda. This will be fully implemented when PR practitioners display more interest and reception of this idea.

We are confident that the advantage of enhancing the quality of such events will be far more significant than in the past 15 editions. For this reason, the Secretariat of Public Relations Conference intends to hold the 16th edition of the event with an idea-centric focus. This will help us deliver a higher quality conference.
The quarterly is published with Mehdi Bagherian as its managing director and publisher, and Zahra Babazadeh as its chief editor.

Statement of the 16th International Public Relations Conference of Iran
The 16th Conference began with an evaluation of the past 15 editions of the conference and a major breakthrough in how the event was held, lectures organized, opening upon new horizons for enriching the theoretical and practical approaches towards public relations.

Idea-building and experience-orientation were of particular importance at this conference and performed as a new method for exploiting pure ideas and life experiences of the large public relations family.

Holding the 16th Public Relations Conference, by presenting lectures, ideas and life experiences and invaluable achievements resulting from extensive cooperation of professors, researchers, administrators, experts, students and all supporters and participants of the conference, is an indication of the expertise, insight, vigilance, professionalism, proficiency, and dedication of every single member of the large family of public relations who continue to be committed to the realization of professional ethics and serving the public.

It can now be said that with the measures adopted by the Conference and all its participants, access to the sublime goals of public relations has become more feasible than ever, and it is not only impossible to ignore this important communications and management structure, but also it is incumbent to put more focus on it than ever.

We, the participants of the 16th International Public Relations Conference of Iran, while being grateful for the efforts undertaken by this conference organizers and with emphasis on the need to continue such world-class scientific and specialized conferences, demand full implementation of the provisions of this Declaration which pave the ground for promotion of public relations in Iran;

(1) Practical and in-depth attention to scientific and knowledge-based approaches in all fields, including public relations, which have a great responsibility for creation of empathy and synergy of institutions, organizations and managers of the country with the society, is not only a necessity, but also a social and public responsibility that must be emphasized by all those interested in purposeful and sustainable development and progress.

(2) The cyberspace has created an additional opportunity for the simultaneous application of the two real and virtual spaces, requiring the use of novel ideas and diverse experiences in order to optimally manage different fields, especially public relations.

(3) Commitment to professional ethical standards is emphasized for the establishment and expansion of relationships based on trust, integrity and equity at all managerial and operational levels of public relations organizations throughout the country.

(4) Strengthening and supporting public relations can be effective in advancing development objectives, and it is essential that special attention be paid to this important institution at the national level by government, private institutions and the community.

(5) The evolution of public relations requires a fundamental change in management approaches, related training, strengthening the required skills, attention to new ideas and finally policy making, planning and constant evaluation; here, the managers of this important field of communication can play a key role in this development.

(6) The development and deepening of professionalism in public relations require the necessary insight, knowledge-based experience, creativity and committed action that can best be achieved in healthy communication practices and the informed action of all the stakeholders and communicators, especially public relations, at the national and international levels.