I recently had the opportunity to participate in the annual global meeting of Worldcom PR Group, taking place in Vienna. Worldcom PR Group is the world’s largest partnership of independent PR firms, with 132 offices in 49 countries. Linhart PR has been a Worldcom partner firm since 2007. Here are five takeaways.
1. Worldcom makes us a better firm for clients and staff. In addition to the ideas and insights shared among partners, Worldcom enables us to support clients around the world. When one client impacted by Brexit needed a resource in London, JBP PR and Parliamentary Affairs, one of our UK partners, stepped in to help. When another client faced a crisis in Colombia, Grupo Albión, our partner firm in Bogotá, mustered all hands, despite the fact that the crisis was peaking during the year-end holiday period.
2. PR firms and clients alike benefit when procurement plays a proper role. The procurement function increasingly is involved when large corporate or brand assignments are in play. “Negotiations ninja” Mark Raffan shared strategies for working with procurement to ensure best value and a fair selection process, while also ensuring PR firms earn a healthy margin, and corporate PR and brand clients get the ideas and support they need over the life of the contract.
3. Twitter is changing “the speed of culture.” Twitter EMEA Marketing Director Carlos Cantu said the platform is driving rapid changes in culture, language and the global conversation. For example, he attributed the start of the #metoo movement to a tweet by actress and activist Alyssa Milano. Within 48 hours, Twitter users in 80 countries had engaged with the tweet. Ultimately, as a result of the movement, more than 200 male business leaders were replaced, half of them by women.
4. PR firms are committed to engaging Millennials and Gen Z. These cohorts will comprise a majority of the workforce in the very near future. A panel of young PR professionals from Worldcom partner firms shared perspectives on generational goals. Their priorities are rewards, growth and a sense of purpose, and the most important benefit they seek – likely as true for young professionals in corporate roles as in PR firms – is mentoring.
5. Sometimes protecting reputation means pushing back hard. During the Worldcom Crisis Practice Group session, a partner firm principal shared a presentation on the support his team provided to a world-renowned medical institution in responding to and refuting false and irresponsible reporting by CNN. This normally reticent institution went all-in to challenge the story, using primarily owned social and digital channels to inform and connect with employees and other stakeholders.
Worldcom PR Group is a powerful resource for Linhart PR, our clients and our team. Thanks to collaboration with independent partners on six continents, we’re able to support our clients and help meet any need, virtually anywhere.