This just in from our affiliate at the Islamic Republic News Agency....
TEHRAN -- At the opening ceremony of the first national conference on "Communication and Public Relations” here today, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, lauded the "significant role" of PR in government. Ahmadinejad also praised the communications sector for their many achievements in the last few years characterizing it as “a source of national honor.”
Ahmadinejad said, “It is the duty of public relations departments to win trust of people in the construction of the country.” Alternatively he said, “If human beings are deprived of communications, they turn into solid objects.”
In a gesture of unity with the PR practitioners in attendance, Ahmadinejad went on to say that "If the public relations departments were able to accomplish their task, the spreading of fabricated news would be reduced."
As Ahmadinejad concluded his remarks, he then displayed his now renowned smirk and added, “True criticism of the government would lead to improvement of duties and tasks shouldered by state officials.”
Dear me, I thought you were in one of your snarkier moods and simply flexing your satire muscle again. Nope, label me officially gobsmacked -- I just found it over on the IRNA website.
"If human beings are deprived of communications, they turn into solid objects." Yeah, especially reporters if you pitch 'em crap stories and HR recruiters if you tell 'em you want a career in PR because (in your best Barbie voice) "I'm a People Person."
Meanwhile, in the always fun world of Mideast public relations .......
Fleishman touting new Saudi graduate university
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Ted McKenna PR Week USA May 17 2007 10:27
WASHINGTON: Fleishman-Hillard is providing worldwide PR for a new post-graduate, research-focused university in Saudi Arabia now under development and scheduled to open in 2009.
Endowed by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), as the school is called, will be run independently by a board of trustees and a still-to-be-named president, according to a Department of Justice (DoJ) filing.
The contract provided to the DoJ provides no dollar amount for the work, which began February 1, 2007, and runs through January 31, 2010, though it specifies rates for various types of PR and communications specialists that generally range between $300 and $400 an hour in the US.
Efforts by Fleishman will focus globally on attracting both students and faculty and will include market research to determine overseas perceptions of Saudi Arabia as a place to live and conduct research; media relations counsel and training of KAUST officials; development and management of branding, advertising, and promotional events; arranging speaking engagements and writing Op-Eds and other press materials; and Web site development.
The Saudi-owned Aramco Overseas Co., based in The Netherlands, is managing the worldwide promotional effort. Fleishman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.