MONTREAL, Sept. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - Today marked the launch of Public Relations Without Borders (PRWB), a non-profit organization that provides professional communications counsel and services on a volunteer basis in developing countries. Its first mission - supporting a campaign to fight violence against women in partnership with Oxfam-Quebec - is currently underway in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Bénin.
The brainchild of communications practitioner Stéphane Prud'homme who received the support of Luc Beauregard, executive chairman, RES PUBLICA Consulting Group and founder of NATIONAL Public Relations, PRWB is now supported by a group of Montreal-based public relations professionals dedicated to applying their expertise and experience to humanitarian causes.
"By focusing on timely interventions and local capacity building, Public Relations Without Borders seeks to improve lives in developing countries through public relations," said Luc Beauregard during a presentation at Tremblant Forum 09.
Tremblant Forum is an annual conference that brings together experts in Corporate Responsibility.
During the first of two two-week missions this fall, Deanna Drendel, a Montreal-based public relations professional and PRWB volunteer, is now working onsite with Oxfam and local partners in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Bénin. She is providing strategic communications counsel and training to support the annual Nigerian "Sixteen Days of Activism" campaign fighting violence against women.
The focus of the campaign is on improving a situation which, for young West African women, is dire. Domestic violence is widespread, as is rape, genital mutilation, forced and underage marriages. Illiteracy among women runs as high as 85% in Niger, two times that of men. Oxfam-Quebec and its local partners have modest means and, through training and support, PRWB hopes to help them succeed in their important work.
"We are very pleased to partner with Public Relations Without Borders," said Marie-José Surpris, Director of Oversees Partnerships, Oxfam-Quebec. "Making a difference in the lives of women in West Africa depends so much on changing perceptions and behaviour and we welcome the help of dedicated professional communicators."
By collaborating with well-established organizations, Public Relations Without Borders projects will enable communications professionals to volunteer for placements that draw on their experience in a range of public relations services. They will provide opportunities for participants to make a personal contribution while developing leadership and inter-cultural skills.
About Public Relations Without Borders
Public Relations Without Borders is a private non-profit corporation that seeks to improve living conditions in developing countries or among victims of natural disasters. By providing professional communications counsel and services on a volunteer basis, PRWB aims to help local organizations to achieve their objectives and those of their communities. All communications volunteers - whether active, retired or interns - must be approved by the Board of Directors, welcomed by beneficiaries, meet the highest standards of ethics and respect the principles of sustainable development. PRWB's Board of Directors includes:
- Luc Beauregard, executive chairman, RES PUBLICA Consulting Group
- Stéphane Prud'homme, 180 Degrees Public Relations
- Rick Petersen, partner, NATIONAL Public Relations
- Mélanie Joly, managing partner, Cohn & Wolfe/Montreal
- Hubert Bolduc, consultant, Communications and Public Affairs, Cascades
- Jean-François LeBrun, vice-president, Corporate communications,
NATIONAL Public Relations
- Bernard Motulsky, chair, Chair in Public Relations and Marketing
Communications, University of Quebec in Montreal
- Solange Tremblay, associate professor, Social and Public Communications
Department, University of Quebec in Montreal.
- Cristelle Basmaji, director, Communications, Jacob
- Marc Osborne, director of Public and Governmen tal Affairs, Bristol-
Myers Squibb Canada
- Marieke Tremblay, vice-president, Corporate Affairs, Molson Coors in
SOURCE TREMBLANT FORUM
For further information: For further information: Hubert Bolduc, (514) 282-2600, Cell: (514) 912-3790