PRFest, a practical learning-based conference, is back in Edinburgh, from 15 to 16 June 2017. Local public service PR practitioners will be among the line-up of speakers .

Senior practitioners Sarah Pinch and Bridget Aherne will be demonstrating why they believe the skill of influencing is so vital for doing your job in the board room.

PRFestThe two communications experts, both speaking at the 2017 PRFest, will help delegates explore real life examples from the board room and give tips for making sure communications staff are routinely involved when organisations are making major decisions rather than only being engaged during a crisis.

LPS_res_report-BAherne-358x218Bridget Aherne MCIPR (pictured right) is the Head of Communications & Engagement at Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and was previously Head of Communications and Administration at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service. Her previous local public service roles were at Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. 

Three attendees at the launch of the CIPR LPS Research Report 2016

Sarah Pinch FCIPR (pictured centre right) is the Managing Director of Pinch Point Communications. She is a former CIPR President,  a previous Head of Communications at the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and has worked extensively in the private sector.

Both Bridget and Sarah are past winners of the CIPR and IoD Public Relations Director of the Year Award. Bridget has written a blog about what the CIPR and IoD Public Relations Director of the Year Award meant for her and the challenges of being a sole PR practitioner in an organisation.

PR practitioners reading the 'Influence for Impact' CIPR Local Public Services research report, Oct 2015The CIPR LPS (Local Public Services) group produced a research report in 2016, titled ‘Influence for Impact’, which included insights from Bridget and Sarah’s public sector communications experiences. Read ‘Influence for Impact’ and find out more about its findings (= 5 points on the CIPR CPD scheme).

Sarah and Bridget were among practitioners from across the UK who were interviewed regarding the professional development and skills needed by public service practitioners in the future. They also outlined the findings of the ‘Influence for Impact’ report. Watch the video produced by the LPS.

Other topics at PRFest 2017

The two day PRFest conference will also include sessions on:

  • why diversity and inclusion are so important in PR
  • workflow for planning, managing and measuring an influencer campaign led by PR Stack editor and a previous CIPR President, Stephen Waddington
  • cyber security
  • using data and analytics to inform strategy, led by Andrew Smith, Escherman. He will look at practical tips and techniques to help practitioners use data to gain better analytical insight and deliver communication programmes with more impact and effectiveness
  • mental health in PR
  • educating the wider business community and employers about PR as a management discipline and its strategic value, led by Sarah Hall. There will be takeaways from the #FuturePRoof body of work.#FuturePRoof 2 was launched at the end of summer 2016.

Book tickets for PRFest 2017

LSutherland 162x165PRFest was set up by Laura Sutherland MCIPR and her firm Aura PR in 2016. She said: “The festival has always set out to help people learn, share and collaborate.

“There was a lot of learning, sharing and collaborating at PRFest 2016.  The festival is not biased and is independent of organisations and politics. PRFest 2016 was curated in such a way to stimulate discussion and debate, not necessarily to give you ‘the answer’ on a plate.”

We look forward to this year’s event!

Article by Abha Thakor

Thanks to Tim Borrett and Abha Thakor for producing the video featured. 


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