John Saunders, president of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation and regional director of Fleishman-Hillard in continental Europe and Ireland, talks about the upcoming ICCO summit in India.
Q: What is the reason for organizing the ICCO Global Summit in India for the first time?
JS: Well, India is no longer a “feel good” location anymore but has become a “must have” location to be present in. India is the fastest growing free market economy in the world today and has become a priority not only for our clients (who have started doing more business in India) but also for the public relations fraternity. All big and medium international public relations firms need to be present in India to tap the growing opportunity.
Q: When the world is still talking about “Best Practices,” why has ICCO chosen as the theme of the Global Summit 2006 “Next Practices?”
JS: The best practices will take the companies only so far as others and no further. However, “Next Practices” are trends which are slowly emerging for the future and the companies need to be aware of these trends and harness them to power ahead of competition and to provide strategic counsel to clients.
Q: How has the industry responded to this futuristic theme?
JS: We have got amazing response to the Summit theme. In fact, the response is even better than we expected which clearly shows that we are going on the right track. We have got a large number of international delegates booked for the ICCO Global Summit 2006. This is going to be a truly international affair!
Q: Can you outline the key speakers who will participate in the Summit?
JS: It is like reading out the who’s who of the public relations fraternity. Some of the living icons of our age who will address the Summit are Harold Burson, Founding Chairman, Burson-Marsteller; Harris Diamond, CEO, Weber Shandwick; Helen Ostrowski, CEO, Porter Novelli; Aedhmar Hynes, CEO, Text 100; and Louis Capozzi, Chairman, Publicis Public Relations & Corporate Communication among lots of other industry leaders.
Q: PRCAI, which is partnering ICCO for the Global Summit 2006, is organizing a “Matchmaking Session.” What is this?
JS: Public Relations Consultants Association of India’s “Matchmaking Session” would help the international public relations industry capitalize on India’s rapid economic growth by introducing them to their Indian counterparts in a pre-determined format.
Q: What are the objectives of the “Matchmaking Session?”
JS: The objectives are to help the companies form alliances or partnerships and also to serve as a platform for networking between international and Indian public relations professionals.
Q: What are the tangible outputs that you are looking to achieve out of the Summit?
JS: We are looking forward to more than just making the ICCO Global Summit 2006 being used as a platform for discussion and networking. The knowledge partner of the Summit will debrief the delegates by capturing the essence of the learning of the two days and will present them a package of practical ideas on how to adopt the learning in their company. So, basically we will follow up the learning with action points for implementation.