Why you must attend PRWeek's 2012 conference

PRWeek has long championed the need for communications to be taken seriously at the CEO and C-suite level of businesses and organizations.

STOP PRESS: Even more reasons to attend the most high-profile communications business event of the year - John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, is confirmed as the third keynote speaker, joining Hillshire Brands' Sean Connolly and Lucas van Praag. And Facebook's VP of communications Joe Lockhart is confirmed as a panelist on the PR industry ethics session. You cannot afford to miss this if you want to further your career and network with the industry's finest. Click here today to register before tickets sell out.

PRWeek has long championed the need for communications to be taken seriously at the CEO and C-suite level of businesses and organizations.

It's why when we went to a monthly publishing schedule in print three years ago we introduced regular CEO and CMO Q&As that have featured senior executives including Alan Mulally from Ford, Gary Kelly from Southwest Airlines, Nelson Marchioli from Denny's, Kurt Kane from Pizza Hut, John Greenleaf from Doubletree by Hilton, and Jeff Charney from Progressive Insurance.

It is also a measure of the elevated importance such senior executives place on communications that they see the value in telling their stories via PRWeek – something they may not have deemed necessary five to 10 years ago.

The industry is maturing and evolving as its effectiveness increasingly contributes to business results, bottom line profits, and corporate reputation.

To continue this evolution, every industry needs a high-profile forum and opportunity to take stock and debate the big issues of the day, come together as a profession, and forge the strategy that will take practice forward over the next 12 months and beyond.

This year's PRWeek Conference, subtitled ‘Power to the People – an interactive conference for a transparent age' and taking place at the Sentry Centers in New York City on November 14, provides just such a forum.

Through a combination of C-suite keynotes, blitz talks, debates, practical workshops, interactivity, and networking, PRWeek will lead the conversation about the new age of transparency that communications and business operate within, and how marketing and corporate reputation must evolve to navigate this new reality.

Top of the bill is The Hillshire Brands Company's CEO Sean Connolly, who will trace the corporation formerly known as Sara Lee's journey over the last 12 months as it split from the coffee part of the business and established a new identity.

Next up is Lucas van Praag, one of the most high-profile communicators in the business. As global head of communications at Goldman Sachs, van Praag was right at the heart of an industry facing some of the biggest communications challenges ever seen. Van Praag retired from the embattled investment bank earlier this year, although he still acts as a consultant to it, and he will explain how he thinks the financial industry can rebuild its reputation over the next five years.

These are just two highlights of a line-up that also includes Janet Robinson, former president and CEO of The New York Times Company; Ray Day, VP of communications at Ford; Dustee Tucker Jenkins, VP of comms at Target; Chris Atkins, MD of US PR and internal communications at PwC; Maggie Fitzpatrick, CCO of Cigna; Jolie Hunt, CMO and CCO of AOL; Torrence Boone, MD of agency business development at Google; Sean Garrett, former CCO of Twitter; and Edelman's global chief talent officer Claudia Patton - plus agency CEOs Rob Flaherty of Ketchum, Jack Martin of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, and Dave Senay of Fleishman Hillard.

The event will be rounded off by our 40 Under 40 dinner, where we will honor the rising stars of the communications industry and be entertained with a speech by Mashable CEO and founder Pete Cashmore.

All in all, it's a “don't-miss day” and you should secure your ticket here before they sell out if you want to be part of the highest-profile PR event of the year and play your part in formulating the future of the industry.

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