Understand the business, have guts and be persuasive. Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society, gives advice to communication directors.

Euprera 2015 Conference

Understand the business at a deep level, have guts and be persuasive. Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society, gives advice to communication directors who struggle to prove their value in the organization. The communication directors are often well placed to be the representative for the outside view of the enterprise, and can therefore be effective to change the view of how the enterprise sees themselves.

Bolton is visiting BI Norwegian Business School and the Euprera 2015 Conference. The topic of the conference is how PR/ Corporate Communication supports organizations and what communicators can learn from management diciplines.

The Volkswagen scandal

A relevant example is Volkswagen that has acknowledged that they have cheated with several million cars when it comes to emission levels on some diesel engines. Bolton thinks it’s most important that Volkswagen change its culture. A culture that will allow the kind of systematic flouting of regulation is more a cultural problem than a compliance problem.

BI Norwegian Business School host Euprera 2015

The European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) is an independent organization that aims to stimulate research within PR across Europe. This year, 150 participants gathered from 20 different countries to discuss how PR supports organizations, as well as what communication specialists can learn from the management discipline. This year, BI and Peggy Simcic Brønn from the Department for Communication and Culture have been invited to organize the conference.

- We want to establish BI as a place you go to for research in organizational communication. I think we have some of the best academics in the field in Norway. It is a very specific field are aiming to build up in the faculty, while we also want to bring in new researchers within public relations and organizational communication, says Peggy Simcic Brønn.

Norway lagging behind
EUPRERA is an academically-focused conference where some of the world's best researchers within PR share their thoughts on future development in the field. According to Brønn, it is extremely significant that the conference has now come to BI and Norway.

- Norway is lagging behind. Right now we recruit the most from other countries here at BI, because we do not have an education programme suitable for doctoral students in this field. As long as it continues, we're dependent on international expertise, which is good since Norway is a small country. We end up relying on the same people again and again, and therefore we have a need for new thinking. To just sit here and look at our own navel, is not going to develop the field further, says Brønn.

The need for management and economics within PR education
This year's keynote speaker is Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society.

- I would not employ a person based on their education, but based on the individual. And I've been looking for a business-oriented person with strong communication skills, or a communications student with a strong understanding of business. There is no formula, but you must be able to be effective at both, says Bolton.

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