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Official: Sustainability, accountability, transparency centerpiece of MSC strategies in communications, social responsibilities
The 13th International Public Relations Symposium was held at the Iranian National Library Congress Center in Tehran (October 19-20), bringing together the chairman of the Iranian National Committee on Sustainable Development, secretary general of the International Public Relations Symposium, the president and board member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), a deputy economy minister and head of the privatization organization, secretary general of Iranian National Commission for UNESCO as well as a host of public relations experts and managers from across the country.
The international symposium, whose theme was Public Relations and Sustainable Development, was held to help the software movement and science production in public relations, display the achievements and capabilities of public relations offices, empower those in charge in public relations offices and raise their knowledge, insight and skills, accredit the valuable activities of public relations offices, help promote public relations centers in the country, develop international cooperation when it comes to public relations, and contribute to the role of Iran’s public relations on the world stage.
Mohammad Nazemi Harandi, the MSC Public Relations Manager, addressed the symposium focusing on social responsibility and sustainable development, saying that in defining the social approaches of an organization, close attention should be paid to the organization’s features and the type of contacts it has with society.   
He said organizations and enterprises take heed of their surroundings and stakeholders when it comes to social responsibilities, stressing that sustainability, accountability and transparency are three core components of social responsibilities. “If officials at different organizations take these components into account, they can properly undertake their mission and responsibilities in this regard.”        
As a steelmaker in possession of complete production chain, MSC, which accounts for 50 percent of steel production in the country, plays a central role in national economy, he said, adding, “As the world’s largest sponge iron producer, Mobarakeh Steel Company accounts for one percent of Gross National Product in Iran. In implementing its expansion projects, the company has adopted a motto – ‘Mobarakeh Steel as vast as Iran’ – as one of its strategies.  The MSC managers and staff believe that Mobarakeh Steel belongs to all Iranians, and the manufacturers and companies which offer services to MSC are regarded as MSC’s trading partners.
Nazemi described the body that handles Justice Shares as one of MSC stakeholders and said as many as 40 million Iranians have justice shares. “IF MSC does not fare successfully, millions of people will definitely suffer losses. Moreover, around 350,000 people are directly or indirectly working in the MSC production chain. This further underlines the importance of sustainability, accountability and transparency as three paramount features of the company in its dealings with society.”    
He mapped out MSC’s contacts with and its impact on society and said the public relations offices in such organizations have the responsibility to establish effective contact with stakeholders on this front.
The public relations chief went on to say that organizations should take into consideration the next generations as far as the question of sustainability is concerned. “They should protect the existing resources as a cherished possession. They are also expected to pay attention to their performance and its results so that shareholders and stakeholders can make sustainable profits, as anticipated. As for sustainability, we should bear in mind that the profit we generate for shareholders and or stakeholders should be sustainable and dependable.”   
On accountability and the role of organizations’ contact with stakeholders, in particular, and society, in general, he said, “Accountability makes sense in the presence of responsibility. Whenever organizations put forward the concept of social responsibility, the question of accountability comes to the fore. One of the main missions and responsibilities of public relations offices and those involved in communications focuses on social responsibility and accountability. With regard to transparency, information dissemination and accountability in society should be handled based on correct, sound and precise information.”     
He described the regional development and evolution unit in Mobarakeh Steel Company as one that ensures the materialization of the steelmaker’s social responsibilities and said this unit has defined the process of social responsibilities and communications. He also said the social responsibilities and communications transformation committee is a structure established to make organizational improvement and transformation a reality, in line with the organizational transformation system.  
Dialogue, thought, intrinsic parts of public relations; PR should stimulate affinity
Bagher Saroukhani, the father of the Sociology of Modern Communications in Iran, was another speaker in the international event. He said by definition sustainable development means a comprehensive, all-embracing look. The growth of infrastructure, coupled with the growth of superstructure, can help spur sustainable development.  
Recalling the role of public relations offices in sustainable development, he said that public relations which have organizational affiliation should be able to create thoughts, because PR which has dialogue and thought at its core should be able to create affinity.
Public offices and organizations need PR, he said, adding public relations cannot be overlooked in the modern world. “A decline in social harms, a drop in illiteracy rate, social vitality, social security and success, exposer to lower risk in economic and human relations, a fall in mortality rate, especially among infants, access to healthcare facilities and to clean drinking water are among the main components of sustainable development.”
Saroukhani went on to say sustainable development amounts to human development, adding humans are the ones who can help societies walk down the path of success and progress. Thus, we have to accept the fact that today human development is the key to sustainable development, he added.
The list of speakers at the symposium also included: Houshmand Sefidi, the secretary general of the International Public Relations Symposium; Ali Ashraf Abdollah Pouri-Hosseini, the deputy economy minister and the head of Iranian Privatization Organization; Reza Maknoon, the deputy chairman of the Iranian National Committee for Sustainable Development; Svetlana Stavreva, a board member of the International Public Relations Association; and Masoumeh Ebtekar, vice-president for women’s affairs. It should be noted that two workshops were held on the sidelines of the symposium focusing on public relations for establishing the dialogue of sustainable development.

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