Day 1

Thursday, 14 June 2018


10-10.10am Welcome – Laura Sutherland, PRFest Founder

10.10 – 10.30am Ethics – is it black and white? Discussion led by PRCA Deputy Director General, Matt Cartmell

The PRCA’s major focus for 2018 and beyond is #ethicalprofessionalism. In the post-Bell Pottinger PR and communication world, ethics must guide and shape the work we do and our relationships with the public, media, colleagues, and clients. We need to vigorously apply ethics to our everyday activities and tackle the grey areas that occur along the way. In this interactive session, we will discuss practical examples of ethical issues and how such matters should be handled.

10.30-10.50am Internationalising your public relations business – Ella Minty

What does it take to make your employer’s business international? What are the first steps you take to ensure you have what it takes to meet that new market’s demands? Who do you speak with and what research can you do on your own?

Can you grow your PR agency and secure reliable international partners? Do you go for “house names” or for a less known entity? What are the threats and opportunities you are faced with? What and who do you trust?

The session will cover two parallel streams – what you can do and advise your employer as an in-house PR, and what you can do if you are the owner of a PR agency/consultancy to explore your geographical offering.

10.50am Break

11.10 – 12.00 The importance of link building workshop– Andy Barr, 10 Yetis

You get great coverage in an amazing media title and you stride proudly over to the boss or client to show it off only for them to deflate you with one little sentence “but did it get a link though?”. Fear not, 12 years of link building orientated public relations campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the UK means that Andy knows what he is on about.

Listen to him speak with gusto about the very latest authority link building techniques, why it is important, and how to go into every campaign feeling confident. If that is not enough there will even be a workshop element where we go through the process of creating, rolling out and securing link grabbing campaigns.

12-12.30pm Research into state of the sector, including corporate and internal comms  – Jenni Field, Redefining Comms

This year we have seen some worrying trends in the internal communications specialism. Reports from Gatehouse and VMA Group show trends that we, as communications professionals should have on our agenda for 2018. Jenni Field will discuss some of the big ticket items and how the communications and PR function needs to consider the importance of content, data and culture.

12.30-1.30pm BBQ lunch

1.30-1.50pm Re-imagining the practice of Public Relations to embrace its opportunity for influence in a digitally enabled environment – Padraig McKeon

In summer 2017 research conducted in Ireland (in an academic context) found senior communications practitioners don’t feel equipped to address expectations of their role created by the advance of digital communication. The research found that the perceived need for new skills and competencies was underpinning concerns that the platform for communications as a strategic function is being eroded.

Padraig will explore the findings of the research and outline the case for a shift in how senior practitioners approach their work that can extend the influence of PR in the organisation and position it as a critical strategic function.

1.50 – 2.10pm The road to recovery – Amanda Coleman, Head of Comms Greater Manchester Police and Jen Green, Head of Comms, Manchester City Council

On 22 May 2017 Manchester faced its darkest day with the loss of 22 lives and many more people being injured in a terror attack. Dealing with the first few days was a challenge but not as much as trying to help people and the city to recover. Following on from the 2017 PRFest, this presentation would look at how the recovery is planned and implemented, how to take control, structures and processes, and ensuring the future.

2.10pm Break

2.30- 3.30pm How human-led design can empower public relations – Laura Richards and Anne-Marie Lacey

Anne-Marie and Laura turned to Human-Led Design after both facing challenges in their own careers. By ‘thinking like designers’ they both worked out paths that have led them to happier, more fulfilling careers.

In this practical workshop, they will lead participants through the process of Human-Led Design to​ ​help​ ​each​ ​person develop​ ​a​ ​solution​ ​to​ ​the​ ​challenges​ ​they​ ​face. Learn​ ​about:

● Identifying​ ​the​ ​​right​ ​problem

● Having​ ​a​ ​bias​ ​to​ ​action

● Prototyping​ ​solutions

● Seeking​ ​feedback​ ​and​ ​iterating

3.30-4.15pm Discussion – led by attendee vote of subject

4.15pm Finish

Evening: Influencer dinner for those who wish to attend (delegates only)