The future of PR in a digital world—From Asia Pacific to America #AreWeReady?

The session will explore communication trends in different regions, where practitioners are dealing with a changing business and marketing landscape, diverse cultures and the rise of integrated PR/marketing strategies in a digital world. With a panel of speakers from around the globe—spanning Perth, Singapore, Chicago and Malaysia, we will be discussing shifts in local environments, as well as challenges external to PR, that impact the field on a global scale.

The panel aims to initiate a two-way conversation between regions and the world, as we examine differing business practices and capability horizons—particularly in terms of the varied levels of maturity across regions when it comes to digital, engagement & measurement. We will look at the idea that communicators must not only be masters of digital marketing and advertising, they must also be well versed with future applications of artificial intelligence in communication, an area which only 3 percent of practitioners recently surveyed in a global report, claimed to be knowledgeable in.

We will be addressing questions such as:

  • What is the state of PR in different regions?
  • How do we manage the complexities of a global business communication in local markets?
  • In what ways are PR and Marketing converging and how do we prepare?

Format: Panel
Track: Creativity, Technology & Design

Moderator / Rita Zonius / Australia supports organizations and their people be the most collaborative and engaged they can be by using social technologies inside and outside the workplace. As an experienced communication professional who’s taken on the challenge of working with social technologies, she can provide unique perspectives on the challenge organizations face in trying a more open way of working in the digital age. Zonius’ work has included providing CEOs and leadership teams with advice and counsel spanning a range of communication practices, including internal communication, media relations and issues management. She has supported organizations across a range of industries, including professional services, financial services, manufacturing and higher education. She’s a social media advisor at a global management consultancy and is a co-host of Twitter chat, #ESNchat.

Panelist / Kristy Christie / Malaysia is an entrepreneur, public speaker & consultant who conducts sessions on topics such as leadership, digital communication and marketing, online business and Industry 4.0. She regularly speaks at events, such as the “Women in Leadership” conference in Malaysia, “Communicating for a Better World” Fusion18 Panel in Melbourne and the IABC Leadership Institute in California. Christie has managed & consulted for Online Media Units for companies, helping with the planning & creation of online content including articles and video production. She has interviewed business leaders, celebrities, and facilitated panels on a variety of PR & Communication topics. She serves as vice chair of IABC Asia Pacific and volunteers on conference committees worldwide. She holds an MBA in entrepreneurial management, an advanced diploma in software development and a post graduate diploma in research methods.

Panelist / Ben Shaw / Singapore is CEO at SE10, a global content and communication agency with offices in London, Singapore and Chicago. The company serves clients in a range of sectors including the manufacturing, technology and energy industries. He has worked in media and public relations for over 20 years, starting as a technical writer at a publishing company in 1997 before leaving to co-found SE10 in 2002. Based in Singapore, he oversees the company’s day-to-day operations and divides his time between Asia, Europe and North America.

Panelist / Randolph Pitzer / U.S. has worked on both the agency and corporate sides of the communication and marketing business for over 30 years. His breadth and depth of knowledge of communication techniques provides clients with the best thinking around how to leverage earned media to deliver meaningful business results. Pitzer came to Porter Novelli after nearly nine years at Edelman where he led the technology and business marketing group within the corporate affairs practice in the Chicago office. His range of experience includes client work for leading brands such as AT&T, Canon, EDS Epson America, Expedia, Fujitsu America, GE, Metavante, Microsoft, Motorola, Rockwell Collins, and Qwest Communications. On the corporate side, Pitzer worked in corporate communication and integrated marketing roles for Mercantec, Spyglass, SPSS, and Universal Access. Pitzer is a member of the board of directors of the Business Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America, and board of directors of the Market Creation Group. He has won several awards from BMA, PRSA, Publicity Club of Chicago, National School Public Relations Society, and won a local Emmy in St. Louis. He holds a bachelor’s of journalism degree from the University of Missouri.

Panelist / Lydia Gallant / Australia has nearly 20 years’ Australian and Canadian experience in strategic communication, brand development, stakeholder relations, relationship marketing and business management. She’s worked in agency and in-house roles, and as a lecturer at universities in these disciplines. Recent experience reflects her research interests and values with digital marketing and communication working with a portfolio of clients in the pharmaceutical, health services and wellness sectors. She specializes in digital and social media approaches in marketing communication, reputation management, content creation and public relations. Her work is closely aligned with education, health services and disability sectors, and she advocates for health, wellness, inclusion and accessibility. She is a current communication director of IABC Western Australia and IABC Asia Pacific region boards and was a past IABC BC (Vancouver, BC, Canada) assistant director, communication. She has been an IABC member since 1999.

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