Singapore’s apex body for PR and Communication celebrates its Golden Jubilee (1970-2020).

On Friday, 12 March 2020, Dr Maliki Osman, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Education and Foreign Affairs, will officiate at the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS)’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, a virtual event to underscore the Institute’s commitment to professionalism in the Public Relations (PR) and Communication profession and to showcase its history and the growth of the profession over the past five decades.

Dr Maliki will deliver a keynote address and participate in a fireside chat with Communication professionals, themed, “PRISM 50: Reset, Rebuild, Reimagine”. IPRS President Marcus Loh (Council 2019-2021), will do the opening remarks.  A heritage video chronicling the Institute’s journey since its foundation in December 1970, as seen through the eyes of 12 of its 16 past presidents, will be unveiled at the event.  The Programme for the evening is attached.

Past and present IPRS Members, including former IPRS Presidents and Council Members; members of Student Chapters that IPRS has with nine local polytechnics and universities; partners; and well-wishers, including heads of PR associations from the region and beyond, will be joining in the celebrations. A list of IPRS’ Presidents since 1970 is also attached.

The Institute was founded by a group of about 40 passionate PR professionals from the corporate and public sectors, including some senior journalists. Among this pioneer batch of men and women, were several who subsequently stepped up to lead the Institute, viz.  Mr Kenneth Seah (IPRS President 1970-1973 and 1975-1976), Mr Lee Chong Kai (1973-1974), Mr Chee Koon Lin (1978-1980), and Mr Low Teo Ping (1980-1982).

One common thread throughout the Institute’s half century was the focus by successive Councils to uphold the standards in PR professionalism. In the 1970s and 1980s, this was achieved primarily through the introduction of PR courses and workshops as these were not available at the local universities and polytechnics back then.  Talks, seminars, and conferences on current PR topics and trends complemented the training sessions.

The Institute also provided recognition to the best in PR efforts by individuals and organizations through special awards. In 1988, IPRS introduced its signature PRISM (PR in the Service of Mankind) Awards, of which 15 editions have been held to date.  The Awards nights were gala events in the PR calendar and were often officiated by government leaders, including the late President S R Nathan (PRISM 2004) and the former Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang (PRISM 2008).

In 2000, the Institute introduced the IPRS Accreditation Scheme in which the IPRS Accreditation Board acknowledged senior practitioners and enabled them to share their experience with the profession. Currently, the Institute has about 41 Accredited Members on its roll.

Finally, the Institute has always been forward-looking and put in much time and effort to reach out to the next generation of PR professionals through the establishment and support for Student Chapters in local polytechnics and universities. Currently, there are Chapters with nine tertiary institutions comprising about 1000 student members.

“For over 50 years, IPRS has called on our members to wield our powers of communication as a force for good in Singapore. Nowhere in our Institute’s history are these powers more needed than this present moment, as the organizations we represent navigate through a generation-defining crisis. This has made our term of service in Council over the last two years a particularly meaningful one,” said Marcus Loh, President of IPRS (2019/2021). “I’m proud that we have collectively adapted, built on the foundations of the Councils before ours, and set our sights on what we can do to gear up our industry for a future where communication is strategy.”

– The End –

For link to Address by Marcus Loh, click here.

For link to Speech by Second Minister of Education, Dr Maliki Osman, click here.

Gallery: to be added

For media enquiries:

Irene Lim
Acting Head, IPRS Secretariat

Annex A

Gallery to be added.

Annex B

7.00 pmEvent begins, welcome remarks from IPRS president, Marcus Loh
7.05 pmMinister to make his keynote speech
7.15 pmQ&A between Minister & IPRS members who will be joined by a panel of 4 communication chiefs from the IPRS PR Leadership program
7.45 pmIPRS Heritage video feature
7.50 pmTokens of Appreciation
7.55 pmVirtual photo-taking with Minister and IPRS President
8.00 pmClosing remarks / Minister takes leave


Annex C

List of IPRS Presidents – 1970 to present

1970 – 1973Kenneth Seah
1973 – 1975Lee Chong Kai
1975 – 1977Kenneth Seah
1977 – 1977Jim Rowe
1977 – 1978Roderick Pestana
1978 – 1980Chee Koon Lin
1980 – 1982Low Teo-Ping
1982 – 1985Albert Tien
1985 – 1993Yap Boh Tiong
1993 – 1994Lena Soh-Ng
1994 – 1995Kenneth David Hickson
1995 – 1999Basskaran Nair
1999 – 2002Gregory Tan
2002 – 2009Krishnasamy Bhavani
2009 – 2013Ng Wei Joo
2013 – 2015Stephen Forshaw
2015 – 2019Robert Conceicao
2019 – 2021Loh Bang Wei Marcus