Vatican PR buff visits Western

Dave Shinall

Advice from an Italian public relations executive whose firm has had the Vatican for a client highlighted Western’s second Public Relations Symposium Thursday and Friday.

Giancarlo Polenghi, a partner in Marketing Communication Mix of Florence, spoke to students about what it takes to carry out successful PR campaigns in a global market.

“In Europe, to work in communication, we know two or three languages, and that’s very useful to understand things and to deal with people,” he said.

Drive helps, too, when it comes to selling a client to the world.

“It’s so important to have passion and to work hard to increase passion,” he said.

Honesty and developing close relationships are at the heart of public relations, Polenghi said.

Preston Holland, president of Western’s Public Relations Student Society, agrees with Polenghi about the meaning and goals of public relations.

“This guy obviously knew what he was talking about,” Holland said. “It’s about relationships and communicating effectively.”

The symposium’s theme was “Cultural Crossroads.”

“We don’t have a clear definition of what globalization is,” said PR professor Wilma King-Jones, the symposium’s organizer. “Our idea with the symposium was to bring in people with international public relations experience and backgrounds and let them tell us what globalization is.”

For Polenghi, the concept of global public relations is simple.

“To know what you believe is true, and be able to communicate to everybody in a very open way,” he said.

Reach Dave Shinall at [email protected]