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PENANG, 22 December 2023 – In an effort to improve public relations skills among students, several local universities participated in a collaborative programme on 8-10 December 2023 at the Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). 

Nine higher education institutions (IPTs) were involved in the three-day, two-night programme, known as the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Student Association (IPRMSA) Networking & Leadership Programme Series II 2023.

The IPTs involved were USM; Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Melaka Branch; UiTM Shah Alam Campus, Selangor Branch; Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA); International Islamic University Malaysia (UIAM); Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM); University of Wollongong Malaysia (UOW); and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC).

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This programme was jointly organised by the IPRM Education Committee led by its Director, Professor Dr. Jamilah Hj Ahmad; APR, FIPR and IPRMSA-USM Chapter led by Chapter Advisor, Dr. Suriati Saad. Both Jamilah and Suriati are from the USM School of Communication.

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It is a collaborative endeavour aimed at fostering a fraternity of public relations experts from the professional body (IPRM) and lecturers teaching public relations to elevate the standards of Public Relations profession and contribute to a brighter, more interconnected future for the young graduates.

IPRMSA Networking & Leadership Programme Series II 2023 provided a platform for the IPT students to improve their public relations skills, resulting in the development of their personal and professional growth, as well as creating industry-ready talents in the related field.

Students who attended the programme get to engage in a variety of interesting activities, including activities that develop students' critical thinking skills as well as helping them to be more creative when solving problems.

In addition, it also allowed the participants to network themselves with the IPRM top leadership, the council members, and future public relations practitioners who would likely be among those who attended the programme.

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Overall, the goals of the programme were achieved, which were to connect participants with other organisations while practicing public relations knowledge and skills in a more professional way, and to prepare them to adapt to the constant change brought about by the use of modern technology, public expectations and communication mediums that have a significant impact on public relations in the future.

Thus, such a programme can help to produce a generation of public relations trainees that can improve the standards of public relations in the country in the future.

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Also present was the IPRM President, Jaffri Amin Osman who encouraged industry practitioners to share their experiences with students and academics to ensure the ecosystem in the field of public relations is always conducive for the rapid development of this industry, in line with the current trends and its relevance.

The emergence of Industry 4.0 as well as new communication technologies such as social media and big data requires public relations practitioners who are creative and innovative, skilled in writing, having the ability to discern which news are fake and which are not, in addition to working as a team in performing their respective tasks.

Text: Dr. Suriati Saad (School of Communication)/Editing: Tan Ewe Hoe 

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