Leaders in Communications

5 November 2015, London

Leaders in Communications

Registration, networking and light buffet lunch


Chair’s opening remarks

James Helm, Director of Communications , The Department of International Development (DFID)


Keynote address: what are the opportunities and challenges for communicators? 


Chris will share his views on what lies ahead for the UK and how your organisation- private, public or charity- can best adapt to the new political and economic landscape. Are there other challenges ahead, such as the potential Brexit, budget reductions, privatisation and asset sales, and how should you prepare for it? This powerful keynote reviews the current landscape and its impact on PR.

Chris McLaughlin, Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Marketing,  Inmarsat


Campaign analysis:  what worked, what didn’t? 

These two perspectives will highlight how PR  and communications have been using the general election to influence consumers and the political agenda. 

1. Driving voter registration: The challenge of getting a million people to sign up
Every five years the general election comes around, dominating conversations and news headlines across the UK for weeks leading up to it. How do you cut through the noise to deliver the crucial but arguably not-so-glamorous message of, “you can’t vote unless you’re registered”? Alex Robertson at The Electoral Commission talks about what it took to get more than a million people registered before the election. He’ll discuss the importance of using data and behavioural science to inform and continuously refine your strategy and what can be achieved by rallying support from media companies like Channel 4, Facebook and Twitter as well as forming partnerships with more than 80 other voluntary and private sector organisations, to create a community engaged in promoting voter registration.

Alex Robertson, Director of Communication, The Electoral Commission

2. Getting housing top of the agenda: lessons from the long campaign

When an issue bursts onto the public stage, its presence can seem inevitable. But that often belies the hard work, innovation, false starts and lessons learned the hard way to get it there. Roger Harding at Shelter will share his top lessons from the long campaign to put the high cost of housing on the centre stage in the recent election. Discover what this and the election more generally tells us about communications strategy, finding creativity in repetition and getting a team to truly understand how a new audience thinks.

Roger Harding, Director of Communications, Policy, and Campaigns, Shelter

Make 'Reputation' Matter... Even More


How do shareholders value the reputation of your company?

For the first time we’re able to shine some light on a question that has confounded many business leaders: how is the management of reputation factored into the way companies are valued? Through in-depth interviews with the City’s most influential money men and women, Schillings analysis will set out best practice principles to help businesses mitigate the risk posed to net value by reputational damage. Join the session to hear Chris Scott’s insight and thought leadership to Schillings’ second Reputation Resilience Report where you will discover first-hand how the people who value companies value reputation .

Chris Scott, Partner, Schillings


Reputation Management: The big debate: Corporate versus public/government affairs perspectives

  • Who manages the reputation in your organisation: corporate comms, public affairs, legal team or even the CEO?
  • How can close collaboration between corporate comms and public affairs teams promote more effective communications and reputation management?
  •  Could and should private-sector companies and public sector organisations be more aligned in their approach to engaging their respective audiences - should they try to stand in each others' shoes?

Hugh Davies, Corporate Affairs Director, Three UK – responsible for corporate affairs with experience of managing public affairs and working in situations where the bias is loaded in both directions

Stephen Hardwick, Director of Corporate Communications, HMRC - responsible for both public affairs (stakeholder relations) and corporate affairs (media, marketing, and customer comms)

Emma Reynolds, Director of Corporate Affairs, AB InBev Corporate Affairs Director -  responsible for corporate affairs include corporate and brand communications, government affairs and corporate responsibility


Afternoon Refreshments

The New Media: Consumer Lifestyle, Content And Storytelling


Quick-fire case studies: content and engagement

Each speaker will have 10 minutes to present their views and insights on their topic, followed by some time for discussions and Q&A:

1. Using the news agenda to build brands, gain coverage and win consumers’ hearts

Brands are built through communicating an emotive message to the consumer.  For companies such as Travelzoo, the biggest opportunity to gain a place in the hearts and minds of consumers is to extend media coverage beyond the travel pages and into the main news and lifestyle sections of the press and broadcast media.  The challenge is how to do this.  By giving examples of recent coverage on Travelzoo linked to the General Election, International Women’s Day and the Beach Body Ready campaign, this talk will focus on how to be smart when using the news agenda to gain positive coverage for your brand. 

Louise Hodges, Head of Communications, Europe and Global Coordinator, Travelzoo


2. Selling the unsexy: using a sexy film to promote DIY

The nation’s best-selling book, Fifty Shades of Grey, premiered as the UK’s highest profile film of the year in February 2015. Primarily a sexy film, it included a famous scene in a hardware store. B&Q is the UK’s largest hardware retailer. The challenge was to make an indelible topical connection between the film and B&Q and generate low cost awareness. This case study looks behind the headlines at the inside story of how the objective was achieved.

William Ostrom, Director of Corporate Communications and Brand, B&Q


20 min joint Q&A and panel discussion

Shape The Future Of Communications


Strategic roundtable discussions/breakout sessions 

Topics for Leaders In Communications Roundtables and Breakouts have been determined through in-depth industry research and reflect the most current issues impacting senior communications professionals today. Join one or two of the following sessions:


  • In-house team of the future: what does it look like? Are PR and marketing teams going to be fully integrated? What skills are needed when everyone has to become more generalist as opposed to specialist?
  • Brand: Inside out, outside in: how can you engage your staff with your brand (and ultimately your vision and values?) How do you make IC and external communications collaborate more and use employees’ feedback in innovative ways?
  • Professional development – what does it mean to be a “Leader”? What can you do to drive your leadership further? What are the next steps to move your career forward –accessing the board or other managerial positions?
  • The new media / new platforms: as multi-platforms develop, how can you get your stories on the world’s biggest platforms and other emerging ones?
  • Content, storytelling and brand narrative: are your stories compelling enough to have the desired impact and effect a change? How can you translate new messages and ideas into powerful stories, and make the right connections between messages, channels, audience and the larger story of your brand?
  • Creativity and brand: how can you develop an environment for your team to share ideas and be innovative? How can you and your team be innovative when under constant pressure and tight deadlines?
  • International communications: how are communications team collaborating and working across the world: resourcing, team building, overseas division, etc...?

A View From The Top: Mastering Board Games


Panel discussion: Be recognised as the leader that you are and drive strategies from the board room

Each year this very exclusive panel session explores how senior communications and PR professionals can forge better relationships with their executives and ensure comms activities are positioned as a vital asset for the organisation. This year we’ll bring you some of the UK’s top communications professionals who have made it to the board table . They will reveal how they achieved it and their role in driving the wider business agenda:

  • What are the key skills needed to get you into that board room? How do you go about convincing senior leaders that communications should be part of broader strategic discussions?
  • How can you be seen as a valuable asset to the organisation, and not only for your PR skills: expand your language, get recognised and seen as the leader that you are
  • How should you liaise with other senior people in the organisation such as Legal, HR, Finance and thus increase your influence? 

    Richard Scott, Executive Director, Corporate Affairs, Virgin Trains

    Stacey Elise Torman, Head of Communications, Salesforce Europe, Middle East & Africa   

    Martin Fewell, Director of Media and Communications, Metropolitan Police

    Abhinav Kumar, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer (Europe), Tata Consultancy Services


Chair's Closing Remarks


Leaders Networking Opportunity


Close of event

Promo Image

Speaker interview

Watch the video with Travelzoo and Virgin Trains now! 

Download Brochure

Contact Us

Email : events@haymarket.com

Phone : +44 (0)20 8267 4011


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