How is public relations studied and practiced around the globe is a question that always fascinates scholars and professionals. Major professional associations of Latin America, Portugal, and Spain will host the First Ibero-American Summit of Strategic Communication (CIBECOM), April 5-7, in Miami (see video). The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) is supporting the summit and is among the impressive line of the organizing committee. This is the most extensive professional collaboration ever among public relations and communication associations in the subcontinent.

IPR has always emphasized the need to involve top executives in discussions on the central role of public relations and communication management in organizations. The need to further support a global debate on the importance of our field of study and practice is one of the goals of IPR. This type of multinational events contributes to the legitimacy, understanding, and growth of public relations as a core management function worldwide.

Other international organizations like the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management and the Reputation Institute will also be present at the summit. IPR has also facilitated connections between CIBECOM/FUNDACOM and the Hispanic Public Relations Association.

The vision of CIBECOM is to “emphasize the role of communication in the creation of long-term value for 21st century organizations.” The primary aim of the summit is to become the reference forum reputation and sustainability for corporate leaders of the main Spanish and Portuguese-speaking companies and institutions.

The sustainability of this project rests on the establishment of a foundation for the global advancement of corporate communication in the Spanish and Portuguese languages (FUNDACOM). The foundation was also created to unite 12 professional associations, including trade groups from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay.

The summit’s program revolves around three pillars: reputation, sustainability, and transparency. A special panel of former Heads of State will address the relationship between country reputation and socioeconomic development. Keynote speakers, roundtable debates and case study discussions, networking sessions, and business exhibits will be integral parts of the event.

With the support of the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA), the results of the 2016-2017 Latin American Communication Monitor (LCM) will be also presented in the summit. The second edition of this quantitative and comparative research project obtained the participation of 900 Latin American public relations professionals in 18 countries. The study asked about the characteristics of excellence in strategic communication, practices in the digital era, social media strategies, and levels of professionalization in the region.

Dr. Juan- Carlos Molleda is IPR’s representative in CIBECOM’s Organizing Committee, co-director of the 2016-2017 LCM, dean of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication and an IPR Trustee. Follow him on Twitter @GlobalPRMolleda.

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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