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Public relations ‘is key’

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Public relations ‘is key’

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It will not be business as usual for Barbados’ business communicators.

Concerned that corporate communications and public relations practitioners were being pigeon-holed and positioned as junior functionaries when they were actually key players, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Barbados president Sophia Cambridge said her organisation would be leading efforts to improve the situation.

Speaking last Thursday evening at IABC’s end of summer mix and mingle and membership meeting at Island Inn Hotel, Cambridge, who is Banks Holdings Limited’s group public relations manager, said practitioners like her “have to overcome the challenge of being narrowly defined”.

“Regrettably, we have let others define it for us.  And sadly, even some of our own people have compounded the problem.

“As a result, too many in the private and public sectors, including those at the top, still believe that public-relations equates solely to publicity and promotion: lots of grip and grin photos and self-serving press releases, and not much more,” she said.

“There are others who will tell you that when all is said and done public relations is basically a marketing function and proffer that its job is to help you sell something. They are mistaken. We are not simply publicists.”

In response, Cambridge said IABC would be increasing its emphasis on ensuring members “stay sharp and earn that respect”.

“To do that, we are in the process of putting together a professional development programme that we can realistically deliver over the next nine months before our term ends,” she said.

We also want to ensure that there is a learning component to all of our quarterly membership meetings. And we will hold these according to schedule. (SC)