Paul Holmes 28 May 2014 // 4:55AM GMT
I’m in Mauritius for the African Public Relations Association conference, which has an interesting agenda, ranging from its focus on “Advancing Africa” to discussions of reputation management, crisis communications, corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, and of course digital and social media. But the first thing that strikes me—especially in light of all the discussions I’ve had with industry leaders in recent months about the growing importance of Africa—is the absence of most of the major multinational PR agencies. The notable exception is Burson-Marsteller, which is represented by Robyn de Villiers from South Africa, chairman of the Africa region, and by EMEA chief executive Jeremy Galbraith, who is delivering a keynote tomorrow. It’s clear that APRA is an organization that is still finding its voice, but it’s equally clear that it has an ambitious agenda for integrating the African PR profession into the broader global community, and it is incumbent on those who have a genuine commitment to developing the PR business here to support regional institutions that can further that objective.