35 international speakers to address PRWC

Speakers include Roger Fisk, Prema Sagar and Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed

Around 35 internationally renowned speakers will attend the 20th Public Relations World Congress (PRWC) in Dubai, said a press statement on Thursday.

The 20th edition is being held for the first time in the Middle East from March 13 to 15 in Dubai, hosting Roger Fisk, who played a key “behind the scenes role” in the election of US President Barack Obama; Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, General Manager of Al Arabiya TV; and Prema Sagar, the founder president of the Public Relations Consultants Association of India (PRCAI), among an impressive line-up of 35 speakers.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and in partnership with the National Media Council of the UAE, the three-day Congress is organised by the International Public Relations Association – Gulf Chapter (IPRA-GC) and will present the newest insights and trends in communications.

Addressing the core theme of the Congress, ‘From the Arab Street to Wall Street, Communications in the Age of Dialogue,’ the speakers will share their views on the changing political landscape, challenges and opportunities in the Public Relations sector, the future of the media, social media trends, and Public Relations in the Middle East.

Over 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.

Roger Fisk will deliver the keynote address at PRWC’s session on ‘Social Media & Public Relations: Innovative Strategies for a New Age,’ sharing a ringside view of the Obama experience, how the aggressive use of social media has been revolutionised and how the Obama organisation is looking at an even tougher fight – the re-election.

Al Arabiya TV’s Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, who was previously the editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat, will share his views at the session on ‘The Changing Political Landscape: What’s Next?’ One of the 2009 Time 100 finalists of the ‘World’s Most Influential People,’ he is a Board Member of Foundation for the Future, an independent organisation committed to promoting Civil Society Organisations in their efforts to foster democracy and human rights in the region. Joining him in the session will be Dr. Tarik Yousef, CEO of Silatech, Qatar and Rami Khouri, Director, Issam Fares Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut.

Prema Sagar played a leadership role in the Public Relations industry of India as founding president of PRCAI, and has managed complex reputational issues in the fast-growing Indian business environment. The Principal & Founder of Genesis Burson-Marsteller, she will share her views on ‘Public Relations in the Age of Dialogue: Challenges & Opportunities,’ at a session to also be addressed by British public relations guru and Chairman of Chime Communications Lord Bell.

Faisal Al Zahrani, the President of IPRA-GC, said: “The sessions at the 20th Public Relations World Congress reflect the shifts in the society that affect not only the communications industry but also the way governments and businesses function. The perspectives shared by our speakers will be of great value to communications industry professionals in further sharpening their own strategies.”

Sunil John, Chairman of the Organising Committee of PRWC Dubai and Chief Executive Officer of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, said: “What sets apart the speakers at the PRWC is that they bring insights that have been shaped by their personal experience working on some of the most defining moments in contemporary history. By sharing their views at the Congress, they will open up new channels of dialogue for the participants.”

Abdullah Jum’ah, the former President and CEO of Saudi Aramco, will deliver the welcome keynote for the Congress.  Dr. James Bellini, a communications expert, broadcaster and futurist, and founder of Media Counsellors, a UK-based communications and reputation management consultancy, will join a team of other high-profile communication professionals to moderate the sessions.


Other confirmed speakers at the Congress include:

·        Richard Linning, Founder & Senior Partner, The Stable House Partnership, UK & IPRA President 2011

·        Christophe Ginisty, Deputy Managing Director (EMEA), Edelman, France

·        Chris McLaughlin, Vice President of External Affairs, Inmarsat, UK

·        Sultan Al Bazie, Executive Vice President – IPRA-GC, and Co-founder & CEO of Attariq Communications, Saudi Arabia

·        Maha Abouelenein, Head of Communications – MENA, Google, UAE

·        Mohammed Al Ayed, Founder, President & CEO, Trans-Arabian Creative Comms Services, Saudi Arabia

·        Mazen Nahawi, President of News Group & Board Member, Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA), UAE

·        Tariq Al-Ghamdi, Manager, Public Relations Department, Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia

·        Eileen Wallis, Managing Partner, The Portsmouth Group, UAE

·        Rishi Saha, Regional Director (Australia, ME, Africa, South & Central Asia), Hill + Knowlton Strategies, UAE

·        Wadah Khanfar, former head of Al Jazeera and co-founder of the Sharq Forum

·        Lord Chadlington, Chairman of the Huntsworth Group, UK

·        Mark Kimmitt, former US Assistant Secretary of State for Political/Military Affairs, USA

·        Dr Herbert Heitmann, Executive Vice President of External Communications at Royal Dutch Shell, Netherlands

·        Khaled Al-Maeena, Editor at Large, Arab News, Saudi Arabia

·        Richard C. Powell, Jr, Chief of Communications at Bloomberg, USA

·        Jamal Khashoggi, Head of the new Bahrain-based Al Arab news channel

·        Michael Peel, Middle East Correspondent, Financial Times, UAE

·        Jay Walsh, Head of Communications, Wikimedia Foundation, USA

·        Daniel Tisch, Chair, Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management, Canada

·        Hoh Kim, Founder and Head Coach at THE LAB h, a Korean consultancy that provides leadership communications coaching and crisis management


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