On the Importance of Public Relations

A panel discussion entitled “Why do we need public relations?” was held on Friday, November 15, 2019, at the Student Center’s Café “Akvarij” at the UNIRI Campus. The discussion was organized by the Croatian Public Relations Association, Primorsko-istarska branch, in collaboration with the Primorje-gorski kotar County and the University of Rijeka.

The participants of the discussion were:

  • Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D., UNIRI Rector
  • Prof. Ana Tkalac Verčić, Ph.D., President of the Croatian Public Relations Association and Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Zagreb
  • Assist. Prof. Damir Jugo, Ph.D., Dean of the Edward Bernays University College
  • Mr. Branko Mijić, journalist, editor and columnist at Novi list Daily
  • Mr. Boris Lešić, communications expert and entrepreneur

The discussion was moderated by Ms. Ermina Duraj, Head of the Public Relations and Protocol Office, Primorje-gorski kotar County.

The participants were also greeted by Mr. Zlatko Komadina, Head of the Primorje-gorski kotar County, stating that public relations are equally relevant in business as they are in politics.

Professor Jugo pointed out that public relations are not only media relations, as it is often perceived, but also include internal communication, crisis communication and relations with partners, investors, etc.

The participants agreed that the term ‘spokesperson’ is no longer a good term and prof. Tkalac Verčić further explained the premise: “The best spokesperson for an institution is its leader/head, but also, the best PR officer of an institution or company is its satisfied employee.”

The participants discussed internal communication and its importance and it was later concluded that it is the basis for the functioning of public relations.