Christine Legrand is the new President of the European Public Relations and Information Officers’ association (EUPRIO).
She is the Director of Communications and Industrial Relations at CPE Lyon in France and took over as EUPRIO President at the end of the association’s annual conference, held this month (September) at the University of Innsbruck, in Austria. She will serve for two years.
EUPRIO has nearly 700 university members in 22 countries and works to professionalise higher education public relations and communications.
Christine graduated from Paris IX DAUPHINE University in Marketing and Law and joined the press group “l’Etudiant” as an advertising coordinator in 1980.
Throughout her career, she has focused on creating communications and public relations services for higher education institutions. She became Director of Communications and Industrial Relations for CPE Lyon (Ecole Supérieure de Chimie Physique Electronique de Lyon) in 1994 and has been the institution’s Director of Communications and Industrial Relations and a member of the CPE Lyon board since 2007.
Christine specialises in international and cross-functional relations and has taken part in various projects in France, Europe, China and North America.
She said: “I am excited to be taking over this challenging role after being a French representative on EUPRIO’s Steering Committee since 2011.
“My predecessor, Denis Ancion, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, built a strong foundation for EUPRIO, and I now plan to work with the members to ensure greater recognition for the valuable and strategic role that public relations and communication professionals play in promoting and defending higher education in Europe.”
She plans to visit members, and non-members working in university communications across the continent and ensure that EUPRIO is recognised as the leading body for European university communication.
In her acceptance speech, Christine said: “We have been working at our Innsbruck conference on the theme of ‘How to communicate in a world dominated by change’ and we all know that navigating in such a world can be disturbing, uncomfortable, and, perhaps also exciting.
“As the new EUPRIO President, I want our members to rise to the challenge. ‘Let’s be the communicators of the new world’ is my message.
“But what does that mean and what are the values we need?
“I deeply believe in excellence, perseverance, open-mindedness, exchange, solidarity and sharing.”
And the qualities which go with that, should include:
- Never give up
- Always be professional
- Listen to others
- Meet others
- Adapt to new situations
- Stir things up
- Take care of news members
- Take care of members in countries unable to come to EUPRIO conferences.
Christine emphasised that she never works alone and believes in networking and teams and is looking forward to working with EUPRIO members in different countries and meeting national associations of higher education communicators. A visit to Spain is high on her list of priorities to help rebuild EUPRIO membership there.
She also wants to develop strong communications with members – not just around conference time but also throughout the years ahead.
After thanking Denis and EUPRIO’s executive board and Steering Committee and EUPRIO members for their support, Christine said her slogan for the next two years will be: ‘Let’s be proud to be part of EUPRIO’.
And, as she half-joked, with French being the new official language, it was only fitting to sign-off with “A bientôt et bon vent!”