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A Master Class in International PR

One of the CIPR International Committee’s aims is to nurture young talent and, in line with this aim, committee member and former Chair of the committee is a regular lecturer on issues in international communication, ethics and reputation management. Her lectures are well-respected, as this blog from Anaïs Eusebio, MA student Southampton Solent University, School of Business, Law and Communications, shows.

By Anaïs Eusebio, MA student Southampton Solent University, School of Business, Law and Communications

Last weeks’ Professional Practice unit offered Multi-Media Master students at Southampton Solent University an opportunity to attend an international PR lecture with specialist and published author Eva Maclaine as guest speaker. After achieving a BA (Hons) in Russian, French and Philosophy at Bristol University and also having gained several years’ experience working in communications, she created her own PR agency in 1993. The UK-based Maclaine Communications specialises in providing reputation management as well as stakeholder and issues management within the UK and internationally. Eva Maclaine is an elected member of the CIPR Council and committee member of CIPR international.

The guest speaking session was organised in two parts, an hour presentation of the PR industry including the current specifics of growing global demands for PR followed by a Q&A session offering the students the possibility to ask questions and discus the topics covered during the session.

After a brief synopsis of the Maclaine’s career she emphasised the importance of research, objective, strategy, implementation and evaluation (ROSIE) before discussing the keys to a successful career in a developed world. International public relations requires understanding and assimilating high volumes of information, the building of relationships and cross-cultural competencies and strategic thinking. Maclaine pointed out that when comparing relevance of skills in communication that specialist practitioners are drastically lacking management and business knowledge. Ethics has an increasing place in PR and no individual is immune to it. CIPR offers topic specific podcasts to help communicators understand the importance of ethics in the industry. Based on her expertise Maclaine advises international public relations practitioners to research and understand cultural differences between areas, to never assume anything, especially that related to consumer behaviour, and choose your channels wisely. Maclaine highly suggests that students learn a new language and explained the main reason for failure is either arrogance, ignorance or stubbornness and the lack of local knowledge or local relationships. The lecture was beautifully illustrated by the guest speaker’s own experience in the industry.

In the Q&A session students got the chance to ask questions about the industry as well as seek advice they need in order to succeed in the Public Relation world. Multiple questions were related to client/communicator relations and how to ascertain and build upon these. Ethics was also a topic that was brought up several times as well as the demand for PR in a digital world. The lecture was concluded with an open discussion about student award opportunities.


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