A Q&A with ICCO’s Francis Ingham ahead of next week’s summit in Milan

I just caught up with ICCO’s CEO Francis Ingham ahead of next week’s summit in Milan.

What is ICCO all about? What are its aims/raison d’etre? Our role is to spread best practice around the world; to raise professional standards; to make introductions; and to be the international voice of PR consultancy. 31 Associations, 2,000 agencies. It’s an unparallellled network.

There are quite a few international PR trade bodies aren’t there? Do we really need so many? Lord no! A determined programme of merger would be good for us all –whether those mergers are voluntary or involuntary….. It’s something I’m working hard to effect.

I think Pr people globally are experiencing similar challenges – do you agree? Absolutely. Our annual World Report tells the same tale across the world. A blurring of lines; heavy demand for digital skills; a war for talent. All within the context of sustained and considerable industry growth.

Who is the best? As you travel round the world – where have you seen the best public relations? I’d have to say London and New York –two truly global hubs. But what is present in every country is a love of PR, and an unshakeable creativity.

What are you hoping comes out of next week’s session in Milan? It’s the best high-level consultancy networking there is –new friendships and partnerships made; new skills learned; new insights shared.

What do you think is the biggest risk to global public relations right now? It would be easy in ten years’ time to look back and say –we could’ve eaten advertising’s breakfast lunch and dinner. Shame we ate only its lunch……

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