No. 25

'The Impact of Public Relations on Conference Organisation Case study: SEOUL ICM 2014'


MECI managed the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) in Seoul in 2014. From the outset MECI advised the organizing committee to retain a dedicated PR firm. However this was not to be and thus MECI put in place a fully-fledged PR campaign alongside their PCO mandate. As a result of their dedicated PR service, the event attracted over 250 reporters with more than 1,800 articles written and published about the event from January to August in 2014.

In fact, the term ‘International Congress of Mathematicians’ became the most searched keyword online in Korea for some time. The success of MECI’s work resulted in both the event and the PCO winning the Korea Event PR Award of the Year. With 5,200 registered participants and 21,000 from the general public, SEOUL ICM 2014 is recognized as writing a new page in the history of the ICM.

Since the 2014 event, the ICM’s Facebook account has more than doubled its reach with over 8,000 Likes. The event has also encouraged many more students to enjoy mathematics in school with departments of mathematics in universities reporting the highest interest in maths in their history.

It is clear that through a strategic PR campaign, PCOs can have a profound and lasting influence on the success and impact of an international conference. Learning from SEOUL ICM 2014, it is time for PCOs to go beyond the simple concept of arranging and supporting the operation of events. With innovative ideas and carefully planned strategies, PCOs can optimize and maximise the influence and impact of the events that they manage.

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Dohyun Kim

Assistant, MECI.

Dohyun Kim majored in mass communications at Konkuk University and served as a chief editor of the University’s student newspaper. In 2009 she took charge of the Multiple Cultures Division of Korea Migrant Human Rights Center.

Since 2011, she has been working in MECI. Taking the lead in promotion efforts for ICM 2014, she made it to the final three nominees for the Innovation Award at 2014 IAPCO.