Kevin Welman, Managing Director of FleishmanHillard South Africa, opened the morning session of day one of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) Annual Congress with a debate on the Decline of Trust.
This year the congress theme was summed up in one simple and powerful phrase, ‘Leadership in Communication – the Way to Trust.’
Welman said, “Without trust, the brand’s foundation’s crack, the infrastructure breaks down, without trust relationships fall apart, communication breaks down and sales suffer.”
He added, “The words trust and authenticity are bandied around marketing boardrooms at will but how do you build trust in a word where it seems that trust is fast declining. How do you stay authentic when news travels so quickly; where bad news travels at ten times the pace of good news?”
The panel consisted of four international speakers from the UK, Spain, Middle East and India. The session can be summarised in one simple quote from Sconaid McGeachin from Hill & Knowlton, “It is easier than ever to destroy the trust you built up over years.”
Elena Fadeeva, MD of FleishmanHillard Moscow, also attended the conference and delivered a powerful presentation on leadership in communication on Day Two.