Dr. Zehra Güngör is president of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and founder of STAGE Communications Consultancy (a member of the Worldcom Public Relations Group) in Istanbul, Turkey. IPRA's Golden World Awards for PR Excellence, now in their 22nd year, are managed by the Stevie Awards. The GWAs are the world's top PR awards competition, and feature a variety of categories for both agencies and in-house departments.
We asked Zehra for her elevator pitch to communications professionals on why they should enter the IPRA Golden World Awards.
Zehra told us that she sees it as “a great motivation for the project staff and the project itself. Winning an IPRA Golden World Award provides a validation of the quality of an organization’s work. It’s marketing plus. IPRA is the pre-eminent international PR organization, so it is a great honor to receive an IPRA award from the global PR community. Furthermore, it’s a recognition of the talents and effort of the staff involved in a project.”
Or, for that really short elevator ride: These awards offer worldwide recognition for world-class public relations programs.
IPRA teamed up with the Stevie® Awards two years ago to manage the IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence Zehra told us that the partnership has contributed significantly to the perception of these awards. As she put it: “Partnering with the Stevies has extended our reach and brought the Golden World Awards to a wider audience. Both the Stevies and the Golden World Awards have a worldwide reputation for consistency in rewarding success. This partnership helps to provide a more potent recognition for people in the PR industry.”
New Categories for 2014
The IPRA Golden World Awards categories cover a wide range of fields. We asked Zehra what new categories had been introduced for 2014. “This year, we talked to the European Commission department responsible for the digital agenda, and are pleased to announce a Special Award this year for ‘PR with an objective of progress in digital inclusion within the EU.’ Additionally, we already have a UN Award, which will be made for a campaign that best demonstrates PR with an objective of social progress. We are also in discussions with other international organizations for future special awards.”
The Future of the Communications Industry
Zehra has worked in the communications field most of her life, and is excited about the future. “The dynamism of the communications profession is what inspires me,” she told us. “There are no borders for this industry: it is multi cultural. Tolerance and empathy are the key words I use to describe successful PR professionals.”
Zehra sees big changes ahead: “I know that there are going to be many changes in the future, so the business of communications will become more challenging. This is what stimulates me. I look forward to the test.”
About Zehra Güngör
Dr. Zehra Güngör has been a member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) for 10 years and has served on both the former Council and the Board for some eight years. She has been Jury Chair for the IPRA Golden World Awards for the past two years and was appointed president of IPRA for 2014. She is also a member of TUHID (Turkish Public Relations Association) and a founding member and former board member of KAGIDER (Turkish Women’s Entrepreneurs Association) and the Propeller Club.
Zehra worked as an economics journalist for 20 years before founding a PR consultancy, STAGE Communications Consultancy, in 1999. During her journalism career, she was named “Best Journalist of the Year” three times by the Turkish Journalists Association. She was awarded a scholarship to the USA by the Turkish Government and worked as a journalist at McGraw-Hill Publications in New York for one year. Zehra has been running STAGE Communications Consultancy for the past 14 years.
Zehra is the holder of an MA and PhD in communications together with a BA in English Literature. She currently lectures in communications and publicity at both Okan and Yeditepe Universities in Istanbul. She is married and lives in Istanbul with her husband and her daughter, Melisa.
The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) was established in 1955 and is the premier international association for individual public relations practitioners with members in more than eighty countries. IPRA prides itself of its Code of Conduct governing public relations across the globe and is the patron of the World Public Relations Congress with recent events in Chicago, Istanbul, Beijing, and Lima.
IPRA is recognized by and enjoys a close relationship with major international bodies including the United Nations. For more information please visit www.ipra.org.
About the IPRA Golden World Awards for PR Excellence
The IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence in Public Relations (GWA) were instituted in 1991. Each year a panel of international judges selects the GWA winners from hundreds of entries from across the globe in some thirty categories. The IPRA Golden World Awards offer worldwide recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programs. The 2014 competition, conducted by the International Public Relations Association, is open to local, regional, national, or international public relations programs carried out or completed in 2013/2014. For more information, please visit www.gwa.ipra.org.