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The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) is one of the partner universities of the second ASEAN University Conference on Public Relations and Communication (APRC2016). The conference, hosted by the Institute of Public Relations Malaysia Student Association in collaboration with Students Development and Alumni (SDA) Office, Universiti Utara Malaysia, provided a platform for students, academics, and practitioners to discuss issues and share experiences related to the practice and application of public relations and to foster networking.

“One Vision, One Identity, One Community: Fostering Public Relations Network for ASEAN Communities” served as the theme of the conference that was held at the EDC Hotels and Resorts, Universiti Utara Malaysia on 18-20 November 2016. Participants were lecturers, students, and Public Relations (PR) practitioners from Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Nigeria, Sudan, Thailand, Australia, and the Philippines.

Dr. Elizabeth Goenawan Ananto, a PR Practitioner and Lecturer at the Trisakti University, Indonesia served as keynote speaker. She said that the more complicated an organization is, the more it is necessary to have an established communication and public relations unit. She added that internal communication is more important, this is to develop trust within the institution. “Eighty percent of the crisis comes from within the organization.Internal affairs should be given attention to avoid internal conflict.” Dr. Ananto also encouraged the participants to develop global mindset and tolerance for differences, while at the same time keep ones own identity. “Do not imitate, be who you are. Don't try to be white than the whitest. Be proud of your identity.”

As partner university, UPOU sent nine participants to the conference to present eight research papers, listed as the following:

  • Communicating with Prospective Students: Public Relations Media and Strategies of a University Information Office by Ms. Anna Ma. Elizabeth F. Cañas-Llamas
  • Exploring the Potentials of QR code as Mechanism to Validate Student’s Enrollment by Ms. Percia V. Secreto & Ms. Jennifer Belen
  • New Media in Education: A Communication Practitioner’s Role in Media-assisted Learning by Ms. Luisa A. Gelisan
  • Potentials of Social Media in Increasing Social Presence in Online Courses by Asst. Prof. Myra C. Almodiel
  • Promoting Community Development through Partnership: The Experience of a Communication Academic Unit by Ms. Emely M. Amoloza
  • Supporting Online Education: The Experience of a Communication Practitioner at the ASEAN Studies Graduate Program by Ms. Dona Lyn M. Piamonte
  • The Online Application System and Its Contributions to Operational Efficiency in an ODeL Institution by Ms. Percia V. Secreto & Ms. Marie Karen Enrile
  • The Use of Blogs and Comics as Student Support Communication Tools for Incoming Online Students by Ms. Jeniffer F. De Pasion, Assoc. Prof. Joane V. Serrano, Ms. Paula Grace M. Muyco & Mr. Christian C. Guevarra

Ms. Cañas-Llamas and Ms. De Passion were awarded the Best Presenters. (Luisa Gelisan, UPOU Multimedia Center)

21st Century Education in an Open World