Last year's Agenda

08:30 Registration and refreshments

09:30 Chair’s opening remarks

John Harrington, UK Editor, PRWeek

09:35 Panel discussion: Creating and steering your conversation and communications for effective reputation management

  • Examining ways to constructively create conversation around your brand or organisation, especially within a public affairs setting
  • Knowing what you can’t control: setting up the external circumstances to be well-informed and well-received by any audience rather than dictating your position
  • Pitfalls of a poor conversation and the risks to your reputation

Dominic Laurie, Director of Communications and Campaigns, TalkTalk
Andrew Cregan, Head of Public Affairs, British Gas, Centrica

10:10 Understanding the political landscape: what brands need to know

  • Predicting trends and government focuses through data and polling: the insights you need to know for 2023
  • How should corporations prepare for a possible change in government
  • The importance of working with regulators to have greater influence

Alex Towers, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, BT

10:50 Networking break

11:15 Leading a communications & corporate affairs function: a global view

  • Shaping a global corporate affairs strategy
  • Driving corporate reputation across multiple markets
  • Responding to issues and crises internationally

Paul Matthews, Head of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Unilever

11:45 Multi-speaker presentation: Navigating the administration - how to engage at the heart of government

  • Understanding the role of the current cabinet and what they care about
  • Making your message count: how to package your proposals for maximum response
  • Engaging your audience in the lead up to a local or general election: how to keep your appeals relevant

Tom Davis, Head of Corporate Affairs, EDF Energy
David Bowles, Head of Public Affairs, RSPCA

12:15 Fireside chat: Constructing a corporate affairs function that adds value to your stakeholders and consumers

  • Communicating in a cost of living crisis: managing being mindful of potential consumer struggles and keeping comms relevant
  • What is the optimal structure for a corporate affairs function? Why the strongest senior corporate affairs professionals will be proficient in public affairs
  • Thinking about corporate social responsibility: how to demonstrate you give back to the community in a way that makes sense for your brand
  • Top tips to gain buy-in to the c-suite and engage your stakeholders

Lucy Thomas, Corporate Affairs Director, TalkTalk

13:00 Networking lunch

14:00 What consumer comms can teach you about corporate: becoming a brand people listen to

  • Clarifying the abstract nature of corporate comms to make your brand voice and message relevant, relatable and engaging
  • Having a human voice: why your corporate narrative needs to have synergy with your consumer
  • Finding the sweet spot between the binary of corp/sumer to encourage brand advocacy

Joanna Dring, Head of Media, Heineken

14:20 Fireside chat: Preparing for the forthcoming general election: what do you need to look out for

In the run up to the next general election, hear from a public affairs expert on the top three actions you should take to prepare and how you can effectively plan for every eventuality.

Jon Elliott, Head of Corporate Government Affairs, UK & Ireland, Haleon

14:55 Panel discussion: Coordinating your brand’s internal/external messaging for stronger comms and employee engagement

  • As the line between internal and external comms has become increasingly blurred, what does best practice look like for brands in 2023?
  • Managing risk to your reputation: why you should gain employee support before telling an external story
  • Social media etiquette: where is the line between an employee’s personal brand and your corporate brand? Can you control it?

Anisa Missaghi, Chief Corporate Affairs and Communications Officer, pladis Global
Rupert Gowrley, Group Corporate Affairs Director, Bupa
Shreya Singh, Corporate Communications Manager, Group Corporate Affairs, Lloyds Banking Group

15:25 Short coffee break

15:35 Pushing for a long-term view in public affairs: encouraging a return to value-led government strategy

  • Stepping outside of constant crises: understanding the limitation of all lobbying wins being short-term
  • Moving away from reactivity: what does good long-term policy look like?
  • How you, as a public affairs professional, can make the case for long-term value over short-term success

Joshua Green, Head of Public Affairs, British Beer & Pub Association

15:55 The benefits to building your network: using your personal reputation to propel partnerships

  • Being clever in the way you converse: tips to utilise your existing network and become part of any conversation
  • Reframing partnerships as a means to open new avenues for your brand, not just for co-promotion
  • How a mutual partnership can help you gain authentic buy-in to your comms campaigns

Lesley Woods, Chief Communications Officer (External Campaigns) Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Squadron Leader, Media Operations, RAF Reserves

16:15 Panel discussion: Media relations in your media strategy: a vital component or ‘yesterday’s news’?

  • Is the industry still investing enough in media relations in 2023? Has lockdown damaged PR’s media relations expertise?
  • Why media relations continues to be a valuable tool for new sales, partnerships and key messaging initiatives
  • Focusing on value over measurement: why not being able to pinpoint the results of an article or opportunity does not mean your message wasn’t received

Sam Hodges, Communications Director, formerly worked with BBC, Netflix, Freuds, Twitter
Michael Bodansky, Head of Corporate Communications, Revolut

16:45 Chair’s closing comments & end of conference


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