Day One of PRFest 2020 summary

Today was the first day of PRFest 2020 and we’ve covered a lot of ground.

From diversity and inclusion with Rax, Kuldeep and myself, work on the start of an industry-wide manifesto, to discussing ethics and how we must make a commitment to making a stand and calling out bad practice, day one of PRFest kicked off on the right note and there was clear signs of people wanting to take more action, than just discuss and write reports.

The theme of Purpose Over Profit is meant to stimulate conversation and in many ways, there was a want for rebooting our industry. We talked about reframing the conversation around ethics and how it can make businesses more sustainable and have change the short-term view to longer term. It was agreed that Mary Beth, a senior strategist and member of the PRCA, will take the ethics conversation back to the newly formed global ethics panel at the PRCA and start the ball rolling.

Similar to the ethics conversation, we identified that perhaps the public relations industry needs outside help for the diversity and inclusion agenda and plan. Think of a someone from the Institute of Business Ethics or a diversity expert with experience across sectors. Clearly we’ve stalled. But no-one has been able to answer why, which is how we would perhaps understand why we’ve not been able to successfully achieve greater diversity and inclusion in public relations.

A number of ideas were collated as part of the brainstorming exercise, responding to the DRIVEN framework. These will be collated shortly and it is proposed we have a further online collaborative event to explore further, before a final draft of a manifesto is produced.

Sessions which were engaging in chat and conversation were personal to individuals, including worklife balance and wellbeing with Sarah Lloyd, mastering mindset and being achieving more with Gayle Mann and then finally sustainability in creative industries, with Will Saunders. We had great conversations around how we can each take individual actions to help ourselves, which was also linked back to taking individual actions to help others, part of the discussion we had in the diversity and inclusion session.

One thing was clear. Whether you talk about your footprint in digital terms or carbon, or the path you lay for others or help others along, everything related back to purpose. By your behaviour and actions, leading to relationships and building trust, then being able to make positive change which in turn has a positive impact.

I’m very much looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions which go further into social impact, measurement and evaluation, emerging tech to support our work, personal finance and then looking at industry business models. Of course, we’ll finish with drinks on the terrace ๐Ÿ˜‰

As always, these discussions aren’t representative of my thoughts, but they represent collective conversations and exploring different situations from a different angle. It’s healthy to look at things differently, include different voices and debate from your own experience.

Blog round-up by PRFest Founder, Laura Sutherland