THE International Public Relations Association (IPRA) has installed Robert W. Grupp as its President. Grupp brings 30 years of public relations experience to IPRA, with special expertise in international corporate communications. IPRA is an association of nearly 1,100 individual public relations executives in 100 countries including Nigeria. Emeka Oparah, Head, Public Relations, Events and Sponsorship of Celtel, is the Chairman of Nigerian chapter of the global body. 

As President of IPRA, Grupp’s role is to expand the organization’s global network and to advance the public relations profession in both established and emerging markets. Public relations education, ethics, transparency, and demonstrating and measuring the value of public relations to companies and organizations are central themes in IPRA initiatives.

In his remarks, Grupp said his leadership priorities include improving communications with members, publicly promoting the public relations profession, international member recruitment and retention, and providing intellectual leadership to the profession.

Meanwhile, the association will host two major events during his term, the IPRA Summit in London June 9-10 (www.iprasummit. org) and the IPRA 2008 Public Relations World Congress in Beijing November 13-15 (www.ipraworldcongre ss.org).

As IPRA President, Grupp joins China International Public Relations Association President Li Daoyu, the former Chinese Ambassador to the United States, as co-chair of the IPRA Public Relations World Congress. The triennial congress is expected to draw 800 people to China from more than 50 countries to discuss trends and issues facing public relations professionals worldwide. Registration for the conference is now available at www.ipraworldcongre ss.org. Lead sponsors for the World Congress include PR Newswire, Ketchum, Fleishman-Hillard and Wieck Media.

Grupp, a vocal proponent of “public diplomacy” and its relevancy to business and public relations, describes it as an essential tool to foster understanding of common interests and to build respect for cultures and contributions by people across a dramatically changing world.

“IPRA’s founders wanted to use public relations to help the world reunite after world war – geographically, culturally and economically. Today, some 53 years later, IPRA pursues a similar vision as we operate in challenging new global markets that are growing and evolving rapidly,” Grupp said.

“We public relations practitioners can help our businesses and our clients be more successful in this wide-open, vastly more interconnected world by being public diplomats, not official ones. As ‘everyday diplomats,’ on the job, in business, with a public purpose, we have an enormous opportunity for greater impact. In fact, we have a professional obligation to engage in public diplomacy and articulate solutions for better global understanding and respect.”

Grupp is President of Grupp Global Partners LLC, an international management consultancy. Most recently, he was Vice President of Communications at Cephalon, Inc. an international biopharmaceutical company based in suburban Philadelphia. Before now, Grupp held senior positions in public relations at Eli Lilly and Company and at Dow Corning Corporation. He is an accredited member and past chapter president of the Public Relations Society of America; a trustee in the Institute for Public Relations; a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and the National Press Club. He has been an IPRA member since 1987 and has been elected to the IPRA Board and Council on numerous occasions. Grupp received his B.S. in Journalism and Communications from Southern Illinois University. He and his family live in Malvern, Pennsylvania.

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