The summer meeting of the member agencies of our international network PRN in Paris was all about intensive dialogue: Among other things, we discussed how the partners can collaborate on behalf of their clients across national borders. Digital transformation, sustainability and employer branding have become dominant cross-cutting issues in communication across the globe and are also challenging us at the agencies. Not to forget how the exchange of employees between agencies can be designed in a successful way. Hannah Hong from the agency Integra in Seoul only recently spent some time working with us and, still full of positive impressions and encounters, reported how enriching it is to live and work in another country and culture. This was one of the reasons for agreeing on a staff exchange programme, which is subsidised by PRN. Considering their own employer branding, this is a valuable advantage that each agency can offer their employees.
From flair to facts
Our perfect hosts Sandrine Auvray and her team from the agency Auvray & Associés organized a charming location with an inspiring ambience and planned the course of events with attention to every little detail. The “We are” club turned out to be a beautiful and inspiring location, which – surrounded by a green oasis in the middle of the city – created a good atmosphere in every way. The organizers also provided two highly relevant and stimulating keynotes on freedom of the press and AI in communication.
When free press coverage comes at a high price
In a very personal keynote, the Syrian journalist Manar Rachwani reported from his own experience on how free press coverage in the Arab world is thwarted and how media professionals are prevented from doing their work. After fleeing from Syria to Jordan, Manar Rachwani worked after a few different positions as editor-in-chief of “Syria direkt”, a medium that tried to deal objectively with the actions of the Syrian regime. In 2021, the Jordanian secret service accused him of espionage, especially for France. Faced with the dubious choice of putting himself and his team in prison and thus in mortal danger, or shutting down the medium, Manar Rachwani preferred to resign. The French embassy granted the Syrian journalist asylum; Manar currently lives in the “Maison des Journalistes” in Paris. Despite everything, his goal has been to use the freedom of the press, which we usually take for granted in Europe, to establish an investigative online medium that focuses on the Arab world. The least we could do was show him the utmost respect.
Don’t hide, utilise!
There is no doubt that AI will change our work in the long term. Thus, Mitch Joel’s exciting keynote was less about the question of whether tools like ChatGPT will become part of our daily work, but about how this can be made as beneficial as possible. “AI is a co-pilot that makes us even better,” Mitch Joel is convinced. The digital expert is, among other things, co-founder of ThinkersOne, a community that unites leading minds on the most diverse trend topics of our time. His example in using ChatGPT impressively showed how changes in perspective gained in a matter of seconds during research can give a topic new drive or how surprising approaches can arise from the request to develop an idea further. “Can you act like a journalist with an expertise on …?” “Could you rewrite this in the voice of …?” “Could you create ten compelling titles, playful and smart in wording?” The results from questions like these are by no means perfect, but even at its worst, it’s a suggestion. “AI is assisting me to be creative,” Mitch Joel sums things up. His keynote was announced with “You will never have the same vision of AI after Mitch Joel’s talk.” We can confirm: Indeed!
Virtually present …
… were all those who could not make it to Paris in person. After all, it has proven useful to maintain the dialogue, to get to know the other participants and to take advantage of every opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the work of the partner agencies. The fact that PRN is not an anonymous network, but rather works as a globally positioned, excellently functioning team for international PR, is an asset that we are happy to pass on to our clients!