The Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Student Association (IPRMSA) — UTAR Chapter was officially launched at Kampar Campus on 9 August 2016.
Invited to officiate the opening of the IPRMSA — UTAR Chapter was Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato’ Seri Ong Ka Chuan. On hand to receive him were UTAR President Ir Prof Academician Dato’ Dr Chuah Hean Teik, Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FAS) Dean Dr Alia Azalea, and IPRMSA — UTAR Chapter Director Chew Luck. Other invited guests included IPRM Education Committee Chairperson Prof Dr Kiranjit Kaur representing IPRM President Dato’ Haji Ibrahim Abdul Rahman, UTAR PR programme external examiner Assoc Prof Dr Amiso M. George from Texas Christian University, UTAR Planning and Development Committee Advisor Tan Sri Hew See Tong, Industry Advisor-cum-CEO of Intelectasia Consultancy Manminder Kaur Dhillon, former Industry Advisor-cum-Executive Director of JLPW Communications Jackie Leong Lai Yin, and Yeo Hiap Seng (Malaysia) Bhd Corporate Communications Senior Manager Joe Wong.
Also present were PR alumni Eric Moo Hong Yuen, Chia Yi Jing, Bey Bun Kiat and Wong Jia Min, who were earlier invited to share with their juniors on their past involvement as PR students in the annual PR campaigns as well as current working experiences in the field of PR and Strategic Communication.
Introducing IPRMSA — UTAR Chapter’s raison d’être and significance, Chew said that it aims to enhance PR students’ practical skills, while building rapport with professionals from the PR industry. “Furthermore, we aim to train and keep PR students updated with current industry practices through various programmes, as well as to strengthen the relationships among the IPRMSA members and students from other universities. Another objective is also to create opportunities for networking, exchanging of views, and sharing of knowledge, experiences and ideas for improvement between the students and professional PR practitioners, further heightening our competency in our jobs,” the second year PR student explained.
Heartened by the PR students initiative in actively collaborating with professional institutions like IPRM, Prof Chuah said, “The PR students have been very supportive of the university’s efforts in giving back to the community by organising campaigns benefitting the local community. Last year, the campaign managed to win the Malaysia Public Relations Award under the Public Sector Category, enabling our students’ work to be widely recognised by the industry. With this IPRSMA — UTAR Chapter, there’ll be an even more solid platform for students to enrich themselves.” Citing the student chapter as a gateway between academia and the industry, Prof Chuah also encouraged the students to make full use of the opportunity to network with industry experts and also to continue learning even after graduating.
Congratulating UTAR on being the seventh local institution of higher learning to have a student chapter after Universiti Teknologi MARA, International Islamic University Malaysia, HELP University, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia, and SEGi University, Prof Kiranjit also welcomed the members to keep in close contact with IPRM. “IPRM was established in 1962 to promote and enhance the professionalism among PR practitioners in Malaysia through trainings, as well as provide a conducive environment for professional and ethical practice. The institute’s Education Chapter looks into the accreditation of PR courses, professionals and academics. Collaboration is key to greater success, so I hope that IPRMSA — UTAR Chapter will collaborate with the other six student chapters to jointly look into more programmes, CSR activities and other areas.”
Thanking UTAR for the invitation, Dato’ Seri Ong expressed his confidence that the careers of UTAR PR graduates are bright as they are sought after by various industries to enhance brand visibility and engagement. Speaking from his experience, Dato’ Seri Ong also highlighted the importance of PR and also the skills in multilateral and bilateral trading to generate interests, as well as the ability to network strategically with trade partners on the international stage. “What you have learnt from UTAR and from the activities by the student chapter will be very relevant and useful in your future careers. PR practitioners need to embrace technology and must be equipped with the right skills,” he mentioned.
In line with the university’s commitment in providing a supportive and enriching environment for students to realise their full potential and develop industry-relevant skills, the event was also followed by a keynote address titled “Crisis Communication and Media Roles” by Dr George, as well as a panel discussion consisting industry experts Manminder, Leong and Wong. Attended by over 100 students, the panel discussion saw the trio speaking candidly about their professional experiences, sharing insights about the country’s current PR and Communication landscape, as well as advice for budding PR practitioners.
With the motto “Talk with action, perform beyond expectation”, IPRMSA — UTAR Chapter strives to provide a strategic platform for UTAR PR to upgrade their skills through a multitude of activities which primarily connect them with the industry and broaden their horizons. Upcoming activities for 2016 include Industry Field Trip, Industry Experts Talk and PR Workshop.
拉曼大学 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman