London,
23
November
2016

National Conference: PR must hone leadership skills

Public relations leaders showcased the increasingly prominent role played by PR professionals within businesses - whilst warning communicators to upskill -  at the CIPR National Conference in London yesterday.

Director of Government Communications, Cabinet Office, Alex Aiken warned that PR practitioners must develop business and leadership skills to deliver strategic value in the boardroom. "The most important skills modern PR practitioners need are leadership skills. That means taking responsibility for initiatives and speaking truth to power".

The Conference began with a fascinating talk from Weber Shandwick UK and EMEA CEO, Colin Byrne, who addressed the role of communications in a post-truth digital-era. Colin told the audience “Facts are now subservient to dollars and fake news is worth lots of money. During the US election, the top 20 fake news stories were worth more than the top 20 real news stories in the current broken advertising world".

Other speakers including John Lewis' Communications Director, Peter Cross and Direct Line's Deputy Head of News, Claire Foster Chart.PR drew on innovative case studies that spotlighted the way public relations delivered value for UK businesses.

Rob Brown FCIPR, CIPR President, Managing Partner of Rule 5
The first CIPR National Conference for almost a decade was a daunting prospect but it proved a resounding success. The speakers were outstanding and gave insight from across a broad spectrum of British institutions. Communications heads from government, the TUC, retail, sport and business combined to provide a high level programme that was amusing, informative and stimulating.
Rob Brown FCIPR, CIPR President, Managing Partner of Rule 5

#CIPRConf16 content:

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is by far the biggest member organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).

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Koray Camgoz
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