Jon Iwata, SVP of communications and marketing at IBM, gave the following speech on the future of the communications profession at the November 4th 2009 Institute for Public Relations Distinguished Lecture Series at the Yale Club in New York City. If you weren't at the event, you should check it out; it's a compelling read for anyone keeping their finger on the pulse of the PR profession.
“Toward a New Profession: Brand, Constituency and Eminence on the Global Commons”
Good evening, everyone.
I am honored by the opportunity to speak with you tonight. I have long appreciated the research and education work of the Institute for Public Relations. And when I think about those who have preceded me at this podium over the years, I am humbled.
As anyone does who is invited to step up to this podium, I went back and read a number of the speeches of those who have appeared here over the past 10 to 15 years. And what struck me was that they were all, in one way or another, talking about the same thing: a fundamental shift in the world, in the nature and status of organizations and of business itself, and of the implications of all of that for our profession.