Joining Global Conversations with International Public Relations [National Conference Session Recap]

Courtesy of Michael Tompsett

Session: Around the World and Back: International PR

Moderator: John Trybus, APR, The British Embassy

Panelists: Liselle Yorke, Grameen Foundation; Amber Khan, Women for Women International; Laura Rusu, Oxfam America

Recap: According to Amber Khan, the most pressing international issues right now are global groups such as ISIS and the impact they have on women and children. The use of torture, gender-based violence against women and children are pressing issues from her point of view. Laura Rusu stressed the issue of income inequality and mentioned that the 85 richest people in the world have wealth equivalent to 3.5 billion of the poorest people.

When it comes to fundamental international public relations skills, Khan said that you’ll need to become the subject matter expert for the group you serve. It’s your job to become knowledgeable so you can engage and mobilize your teams. Liselle Yorke said in international public relations, you must be able to tell stories in a way that is understandable for different audiences. Rusu said you’ll need to have the skills to break stories down to sound bites that are easily understood. Overall, understanding how an organization brings a product or service to the market is one of the most fundamental skills. Another recommendation is to subscribe to blogs that are specific about topics you cater to.


  • Engage and be empowered to make change.
  • Write clearly. Writing samples should be blog posts, articles or any piece that tries to sell something or tell a story, not school essays.
  • Cultural awareness is needed to translate and interpret what is coming in from the field. The story must then be retold in a way audiences will understand.
  • Travel is a must. Look for opportunities to get out there and experience the world.


Gemrick Curtom is the Chapter president of PRSSA at the University of Houston. He is a public relations senior and hopes to work in the publicity entertainment industry after graduation. Follow him @Gemrick or connect on LinkedIn.

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