Anwar Ibrahim among key speakers at world PR meet

DUBAI — Malaysia’s former Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, will be among a line-up of eminent speakers addressing the 20th biennial Public Relations World Congress (PRWC) in Dubai next month.

Others in the panel of 35 speakers from the worlds of politics, public relations and the media at the event highlighting a core theme “From the Arab Street to Wall Street, Communications in the Age of Dialogue,” include British public relations guru Lord Bell and the former head of Al Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, said Sunil John, Chairman of the Organising Committee of PRWC Dubai, and Chief Executive Officer of Asda’a Burson-Marsteller, organisers of the congress said at a Press conference on Thursday.

PRWC, being organised by the International Public Relations Association-Gulf Chapter (IPRA-GC) in partnership with the National Media Council of the UAE, will take place at the Grand Hyatt Dubai over three days from March 13 to 15.

John said politics, business and media in the Middle East are undergoing significant upheavals in the wake of the Arab Spring. “As PR professionals, it is up to us to help manage that change. The PRWC offers us the opportunity to hear first hand the ideas, trends and concepts that will form the basis of successful communications strategies in the years ahead.”

Faisal Al Zahrani, President of IPRA-GC, said: “We are delighted that the first Congress to be held in the Middle East can boast not only an impressive list of speakers, but also a hugely exciting programme.

“Given the events of the past year, these themes are especially relevant to those of us who practice public relations in the Middle East, and we are sure that industry professionals will be extremely keen to hear these diverse voices debate the real issues facing PR today.”

Other high profile speakers include Lord Bell, who played a key role in former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s three successful election campaigns and now the Chairman of Chime Communications; and Wadah Khanfar, Lord Chadlington, Chairman of the Huntsworth group and Mohamed Abu Hamed, Vice President, Free Egyptians Party and Member of Parliament in Egypt.

Abdullah Jum’ah, the former President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, will deliver the welcome keynote for the Congress,.

The PRWC Organising Committee will shortly announce the second line of speakers. At least 500 PR professionals are expected to attend the PRWC, where they will have the opportunity to participate in Master Classes and Training Workshops, creating a compelling platform for information sharing and knowledge transfer.

The last Public Relations World Congress was held in 2010 in Lima, Peru, and attended by industry representatives from 39 countries, while the 2008 Public Relations World Congress was held in Beijing, China. In both instances, the event brought significant media and industry attention to the host country with the world’s foremost communications professionals and media experts attending the sessions. The first ever Congress was held in Brussels, Belgium in 1955.

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