PRFest ’17 – a note from Laura

PRFest ’17 – done!

PRFest ’17 was amazing. Despite missing part of the talks as I flitted about the venue preparing lunches, tidying, checking the toilets and manning the registration desk, I left hugely inspired by the PR community who came together for the two days.

Kicking off with the Women in PR launch in Scotland on the Wednesday night, PRFest ’17 was everything I hoped it would be. The speakers were outstanding, the attendees were engaged in all conversations and the initial feedback and smiles were hugely encouraging.

I was also excited to share with the people who attended the launch of the Scottish PR Collective – an opportunity for businesses and organisations to take advantage of the ever-growing and highly skilled and experienced independent PR practitioners we have in Scotland. A website designed to pick the perfect PR partner.

The influencer dinner on the first night was fun and relaxing. Although we talked a little ‘shop’ we unwound and enjoyed some different company.

Thank you

I’d like to thank all the speakers for creating bold, non-BS presentations and discussions, for making the content relevant to the attendees and today’s PR landscape and for giving up their time so generously to take part.

I’d like to thank the main sponsor of PRFest ’17, PRCA, for supporting the festival in many ways, from promoting it to its members, to sending a crack team up to participate, to attending the influencer dinner and believing PRFest ’17 was an essential event to the wider industry.

Thanks also to the four students, Hannah, Sophie, Karen and Jasmine for helping at the event. From tweets, photography and documenting the conversations, right the way through to helping tidy up, get admin sorted and making me feel at ease that you were there.

Finally, thanks to everyone who attended. Thank you for your time, your business and importantly for caring about your own professional development.

What’s next?

My to do list, doesn’t stop now!

I’ll be posting some blogs over the next few weeks, as round-ups from the discussions.

I’ll be emailing out the survey for speakers and attendees to complete, which will help inform and shape 2018.

The images will be ready shortly and I’ll post them to the social channels and the website.

Later in the summer I’ll be putting a call out for pitches for 2018. I’ll be redefining the brief for speakers in advance.

What’s the ask?

Well, it’s all very well having speakers, presentations and discussions, but it’s what comes from them that counts. My call to action is this:

  1. If you’ve not got your professional learning plan in place, with objectives, get one drafted now!
  2. Write down the top takeaways from each of the sessions you attended and write down how you’re going to implement them in your practice
  3. Think about how you’re going to reinforce the value of PR through your work
  4. Think about where you are at with clients/the organisation and how you’re going to ensure PR is in the boardroom at every moment
  5. Review your HR and recruitment policies to include diversity, gender, learning and development and integrate this within the business
  6. Share your learnings with your colleagues
  7. Complete the PRFest ’17 survey questionnaire (pretty please!)

As John Brown clearly identified in his recent blog post about PRFest ’17, we’ve managed to design an event where we talk honestly, cut out the BS, have difficult industry conversations, lay our cards on the table and work together to help modernise and progress the industry as a whole.

Although PRFest is held in Edinburgh, attendees came from as south as Wales and as north as Aberdeen. It’s for ALL the PR community. Think about how you can get involved in 2018.