The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) had just added a new branch: Southeast Asia. Founded in London in 1969 and now operating in 55 countries, the PRCA represents PR and communications consultancies, in-house teams and individuals all over the world. This year, Southeast Asian firms will be welcomed into the fold.
The body will be chaired by the regional director of Text100, Lee Nugent, and overseen by PRCA’s London-based events executive, Tara Munis. Munis is set to relocate to Singapore.
The PRCA Southeast Asia chapter has already been joined by a number of leading agencies, including Affluence PR, Blue Totem Communications, H+K Strategies, Lewis PR, MHP Communications, Omnicom PR Group, Rice Communications, Golin, Grayling, Text 100, The Hoffman Agency Asia Pacific and WE Worldwide.
“This is a high-growth region across many sectors, including PR and communications, and a terrifically exciting place to practise our craft,” Nugent said of the opportunity, “PRCA Southeast Asia will help PR and comms professionals to connect, share, learn and drive best practice as we grow the impact and effectiveness of what we do.”
More than mere networking, the PRCA has lofty goals to take Asia’s public relations industry to the next level. In a statement released by the association, the group has committed to enable members to “engage in world class training, network with like-minded professionals, and help to raise standards in the industry”.
Francis Ingham, PRCA director general and chief executive of International Communications Consultancy Organisation, says the launch of the Asian branch comes amid demand from regional PR firms. “The PRCA has extended our offering to Southeast Asia in response to practitioners telling us that they want a professional body that covers the whole region, and offers international reach,” he said.
Indeed, Ingham has big plans for the group. “Drawing on the PRCA UK’s 49 year history, our establishment of PRCA MENA (Middle East and North Africa) in 2016 and our management of ICCO, we bring a truly global perspective, and an unparalleled knowledge of the issues and opportunities facing our industry.
“I am delighted that so many prestigious agencies are our founding members, and I look forward to our membership growing even larger. I also look forward to working closely with the national PR associations that exist across the region.”
The explosive growth of the internet and mobile devices in Asian countries over recent years has led to a surge in marketing efforts, with social media a particularly influential channel for corporate communications. At present, almost three quarters of online communicators work in marketing, though many practitioners still do not have proper public relations training or related formal education.
The Southeast Asia branch of the PRCA officially launched on 12 September.