Global Alliance: Two intensive days of debates, panels, and conferences that brought together communication professionals from all over Europe marked the 2024 edition of the European Communication Summit in Madrid. Led by the European Regional Council of the Global Alliance and hosted by Dircom, this summit brought together high-level PR experts and leaders of major national communications associations.

International Best Practices

On the first day of the European Communication Summit 2024, there was a presentation and analysis of some good communication practices at an international level, marked by the role of sustainability and innovation in communication strategies. The first intervention was on “The Impact of Velo-city’s Post-pandemic Communication Strategy,” a case in which it was possible to see how communication can promote sustainable mobility, presented by Ricardo Carvalho, CEO of the project in Lisbon, and António Rapoula, CCO EMEL, and co-organizer of Velo-city 2021. Ana Martines, Communication & Engagement Director of L’Oreal Spain & Portugal, starred in the second intervention under the title “Reputation at the Center of the Business.” Martines stressed that reputation is the heart and fundamental basis of any company. “Now, most brands work on intangibles and focus on coherence, on the unification between the global message and the one emitted by the different divisions,” she said.

SDG 18: Clear, Ethical, and Responsible Communication

The initiative to request a new SDG 18 from the United Nations, for clear, ethical, and responsible communication, was also present at the European Communication Summit. Miguel López-Quesada, president of Dircom; Cecilia Carballo, director of Sustainable Development of Prodigioso Volcán; and José Manuel Velasco, former chair of the Global Alliance, highlighted the importance of achieving this new sustainable development objective in the current context of global communication.

Strategic Political Communication Campaigns

Václav Sochor, Head of Corporate Communications at Tipsport Group Czech Republic – the largest betting company in Central Europe – shared with the attendees some details about the campaign “We Know Who Will Be the Next Head of State!”, revealing how creative and strategic communication can capture the public’s attention. The first day closed with the presentation of the communication campaign organized by the Lithuanian government in July 2023 on the occasion of the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Marius Gurskas (Government of Lithuania) highlighted that the context is what can lead to changing the entire communication strategy of an event. “We are living in a complex landscape, and our duty is to address disinformation campaigns to ensure a strong message,” he said.

Day 2

The second day featured two panels. The first addressed the “Impacts of AI on Internal and External Communication,” with Kia Haring, Senior VP Communications & Sustainability at VR Group Finland, and Alastair McCapra, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), moderated by Roksana Obuchowska, Vice President of the Polish Public Relations Association. The second panel focused on “The Fight Against the Polarization of Society: The Role of Public Relations,” with interventions by Nils Haupt, Senior Director for Corporate Communications at HAPAG/LLOYD AG Germany; Patrick Frison Roche, CEO at Hopscotch Europe Ireland; and Biagio Oppi, Director for External Communications at Pfizer Italy, moderated by Silvia Arto, Head of Functions Communications at BNP Paribas France.

The closing was led by Ramón Salaverría, professor of journalism at the University of Navarra and coordinator of Iberifier – the digital media observatory of Spain and Portugal, promoted by the European Commission – who gave a presentation on the European strategy against disinformation.

After the presentation, Ramón Salaverría held a dialogue with Miguel López-Quesada, president of Dircom, in which they once again highlighted Europe’s role in regulation and the fight against disinformation.