DIARY: Gremlins plague PRCA as delegates enjoy the advice of expert panel

The PRCA's annual conference last week got off to a shaky start, with falling PRCA-branded signage disrupting the opening speeches.

The first sign slithered from its mounting just as chief executive of economic forecasting firm CEBR Douglas McWilliams said he didn't foresee the economy 'getting better very rapidly'.

Sign number two collapsed with a metaphorical flourish as Next Fifteen chief executive Tim Dyson said that, in terms of client spend, the PR industry was a 'gnat on the backside of the ad industry'.

Speakers at 'People Planning for the Upturn', a panel discussion on 'succession planning and staff motivation', included Firefly Communications director Mark Mellor.

That's right, the agency that last year lost three of its six board directors after a spectacular succession debacle. The agency's replacement, Cathy Pittham, also left within months to join Text 100.

Next to Mellor on that particular panel was hatch-group chief executive Michael Murphy, whose record at succession planning and staff motivation can also be called into question by the untimely departure last month of senior staff Brian MacLaurin and Ian Monk.

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