“Sometimes our profession suffers from an image problem,” says new Global Alliance president Justin Green in an interview
Justin Green was elected president of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management in April this year during the alliance’s meeting held at Aberje headquarters in Sao Paulo. On occasion, Green also participated in the Aberje Trends 2019 Global Trends panel, bringing a perspective of communication in Ireland, his home country.
Inspired by Green’s message disclosed in late July, named “Delivering Globally” [ https://www.globalalliancepr.org/thoughts/2019/7/28/delivering-globally-a-message-from-the-president- ] and addressed to the global community of communicators, Aberje conducted a short interview with Green. The new president talks about the challenges of the profession, the next steps of the Global Alliance, and also about Brazil.
In your opinion, what are the main challenges of communication professional nowadays?
While we are in the business of influencing and shaping perceptions, our profession sometimes suffers from an image problem. This is something I am keen to see addressed in a sustained way in line with Global Alliance’s mission, which commits us to be the global voice for public relations in the public interest.
Our best defense against a poor image is consistently ethical behavior and high professional standards. This starts with individual professionals and the decisions made every day. However, at a global level, there is also an onus on leaders to set the direction and champion doing the right thing every time.
This is particularly important in our era of low trust as people the world over grapple with oceans of information spreading at a rate unimaginable even as recently as 2000 when Global Alliance was established.
Collectively, those of us fortunate to work in public relations and communications can make a huge positive contribution to restoring public trust in verified and reliable sources of news and information.
The privilege – and that’s what it is – of working in our profession brings with it responsibilities, and I am sure each of you will share my commitment to further improving both the reality and image of professional life for current and future leaders.
Together, we can make a great profession even stronger and ensure we continue to attract and retain the brightest and best people.
What is your plan for the Global Alliance? What can be improved?
Today, Global Alliance is a global, diverse, and multicultural organization representing professionals across religions, cultures, societies, and races. Recent changes to update our by-laws mean we are now more inclusive than ever before, working together worldwide. As President, I believe Global Alliance must continue to evolve to be more relevant and progressive. We need to improve our structures, offerings, and business model. With the full support of the new board, we have already started to make changes, and there is much more to come. As a member organization, accountability, transparency, and sound corporate governance are vitally important to us.
How can regional councils contribute to strengthening the Global Alliance?
A huge practical step was taken towards getting closer to our membership so that we hear you clearly and bring forward fresh thinking is the establishment of six Regional Councils covering Latin American, Europe, Africa, North America, India-Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. The Regional Councils increase our reach from 16 board members spread all over the world to 36 Global Alliance ambassadors on the ground. The Councils are the ‘eyes and ears’ of our members and ‘lifeblood’ into the minds of your professional management team – the board of Global Alliance. The Board needs your help with direction and ideas. We should not be shy about reaching out, asking for our member’s support and input. I can see the next leaders of our global professional body coming from these Councils. I would encourage you to consider your own role within the profession by supporting their mission and joining your local Regional Council. Always think global but act local and that is exactly what the regional councils allows Global Alliance to achieve.
You were recently in Brazil. How do you rate communication in the country compared to the rest of the world?
I sometimes feel we are our own worst critics and most of all, when it comes to comparing perceived less advantaged countries in our profession. Standards I witnessed in Brazil are as good if not better to anywhere in the world. Brazil has an excellent strong professional system, with great organizational structures in ABERJE, lead by two of the most respected professional practitioners in the world in Hamilton and Sir. Paulo. Most other countries would envy your standards and organizational skills. The question should really be: How does the rest of the world communication profession compare to Brazil?
Which legacy do you want to leave for Global Alliance?
None, I want to take Global Alliance with me into the next world as I believe there will always be a huge demand for good professional communication management.
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