Communication Summit 2013: explosive page turns

From journalism to PR and back. This path, chosen by many media professionals, holds both opportunities and dangers. At the Communication Summit 2013 organized by ZPRG and ZPV, presentations and a discussion centered on the side-changers.

Security, good pay and opportunities for advancement: In uncertain times, this is what media professionals are looking for and finding in the staff departments of companies and offices, at non-profit organizations and associations, as well as in PR and communications agencies, as ZPRG writes in a press release on Their know-how of the mechanisms of the hectic media business is in demand. Hundreds of journalists have followed the lure and switched sides in recent years. A few later went the other way again.

This year's Communications Summit was designed to provide insights into the world of page changers. Around 350 guests attended the event, jointly organized by the Zurich Press Association ZPV and the Zurich Public Relations Society ZPRG, at the ETH Zurich Audimax. Journalists, consultants and communications managers reported on and discussed the hurdles of changing sides, and about craftsmanship, ethics and wages, diverging expectations of companies and editorial offices, and the tension between PR and journalism in times of media change. As in the panel itself, the audience was far more dominated by PR representatives.

The keynote address was given by Peter Hartmeier, a man of many guises. Until last summer, he was Head of Corporate Communications at UBS Switzerland, and before that he was Editor-in-Chief of the Tages-Anzeiger and Director of the Swiss Press Association, among other positions. Hartmeier now works as an independent consultant. He was joined in the discussion by Reto Lipp, presenter of the business program "Eco" on SRF: Elisabeth Meyerhans, former Secretary General of the FDEA and ex-NZZ editor, now an independent communications and business consultant; Susanne Mühlemann, a business journalist of many years' standing, including with Sonntagsblick and Bilanz, now Head of Media Relations at Swiss International Air Lines; and Christof Moser, editor of Der Sonntag and freelance journalist, sharp-tongued columnist on media topics.

The next Communication Summit will take place in early February 2014.

A detailed report including further links can be found at here.


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