Roberto Zangrandi: Cultural and professional cross fertilisation as a basis for open PR in the Euro-Med area
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Roberto Zangrandi: Cultural and professional cross fertilisation as a basis for open PR in the Euro-Med area

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Perception of MENA* countries: partners or developing countries?...

Perception of MENA* countries: partners or developing countries?

►Geopolitical implications:
►post-colonial heritage
►recent history
►cultural clash
►religious fundamentalism
►democracy at work
►Professional development of
communication and toolkit to foster
dialogue: another clash?

*MENA – Middle-East and North African

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  • 1. Cultural and professional cross fertilisation as a basis for open PR in the Euro-Med area Roberto Zangrandi, CERP President
  • 2. A matter of points of view ► Perception of MENA* countries: partners or developing countries? ► Geopolitical implications: ► post-colonial heritage ► recent history ► cultural clash ► religious fundamentalism ► democracy at work ► Professional development of communication and toolkit to foster dialogue: another clash? *MENA – Middle-East and North African
  • 3. Points of view generate stereotypes One of the main problems involving general evolution of MENA countries in a shared Euro- Mediterranean communication context
  • 4. Economic diversity and divides ►MENA countries are usually perceived as natural resources basin ►The region is economically diverse and includes both the gas or oil-rich economies in North Africa and those countries that are resource-scarce in relation to population, such as Egypt, Morocco
  • 5. Behind the figures ►About 23 % of the 300 million people in the Middle East and North Africa living on less than $2 a day; empowering poor people constitutes an important strategy for fighting poverty ►The region’s economic fortunes over much of the past quarter century have been heavily influenced by two factors: ► the price of oil and the generated revenues ► the legacy of economic policies and structures that had emphasized a leading role for the state World Bank data
  • 6. The North Mediterranean vision ► No acceptance as interactive partners – From both sides… ► Developing countries still far away from evolved modernized market – according to “western” standards… ► No professional parity and evolution pattern possible in the near future… ► Difficulties… in focusing priorities in any cooperation process…
  • 7. In the news ►The region’s image as a permanent crisis area ►The manifold territorial and border disputes (Israel and Palestine, Syria, Lebanon; Greece and Turkey, Turkey and Syria, Egypt and Sudan) ►Ethnic and religious rivalries (Cyprus question, Kurdish question, Algerian civil strife) ►Weapons proliferation ►General political instability; threats of violent civil wars ►Missile technological capacity ►Potential for massive migratory movements
  • 8. A way out These topics might well also become ground for an enhanced communication effort towards basic stakeholders on the “both sides”
  • 9. Start point, the differences ► Social systems and worldviews ► Understandings of the role and responsibilities of ‘civil society’ ► Different degrees of democratization and readiness to democratize ► Violation of human rights ► Migration
  • 10. Not easy, but feasible ►A precondition to cooperation in the social and cultural dimensions in the region is the acceptance and respect of cultural and religious diversities, which entails recognizing and emphasizing their potentials and not their dividing lines ►Taking into consideration the cultural division between modernism and traditionalism the communication approach should be oriented on countering intolerance and prejudice based on religion, race or ethnic grouping as well as on integration and dialogue on the regional level
  • 11. Priorities of professional interaction ►Strong orientation towards the cultural contribution PR professionals could provide for these countries ►Exchange of experiences, best practices and tools to improve mutual understanding and acceptance in the public relations industry
  • 12. Aggregate, share, join ►The Global Alliance of Public Relations is the best level playing ground where confrontation and growth of professionals is granted through an open exchange of best practices and ideas – and a first step to integrate with the most unbiased network of PR professionals ►Thinking of a more stable cooperation with PR representative bodies, professionals and scholars as a way to share approaches and mutually fine-tune the communication process in the Mediterranean area
  • 13. Thank you cerp.info@yahoo.com