“Every comms professional knows, this is really your time to shine" - exploring communications leadership in the new world at #CIPRConf20


Over 300 public relations and business professionals from around the world gathered online across three days for the CIPR's first virtual National Conference, themed around communications leadership in the new world. 

The conference explored topics on the future media landscape in the face of Covid, supporting professionals and the importance of internal communications, and how the increased value of PR to business witnessed this year can be maintained. 

A common theme was the impact of Covid on the profession and the resulting increased value organisations have placed on communications. As Tom Goddard, Head of Communications at KPMG, put it, “if we are not in the room now, the execs ask why?” 

Effie Kanyua, Director of PR & Communications at Hearst, believes “every comms professional in the industry right now knows, this is really your time to shine."

An increase in value has corresponded with longer hours and more pressure on PR professionals. “We've all been in the same storm, but we’ve not all been in the same boat,” Emma Mamo, Mind’s Head of Workplace Wellbeing, said to describe the impact on our wellbeing and mental health.

As a result, and due to the nature of remote working, many organisations have increased their internal communications functions. Naomi Jones, Communications Director at Suez, used her session to outline the challenge of doing this with 6,000 employees over 200 locations.

Looking ahead Futurist, Graeme Codrington predicts “we may be done with deep disruptive change, but disruption is not done with us" and Uri Baruchin agrees, arguing organisations need to be more resilient - “a term normally associated with survival, but survival isn’t really considered enough for a business to thrive.”

To thrive Joanna Abeyie calls for brands to communicate more authentically; "People are looking for integrity and for people to pull together in this moment.”

CIPR President, Jenni Field Chart.PR, FCIPR
Firstly, a huge thank you to all the sponsors, speakers, and staff who worked so hard to put this together. Most importantly thank you to all the delegates who joined us over the three days. This may not have been how we originally planned this year's conference, but under the circumstances I don't think we could have done any better. The platform looked great, was easy to use, and I doubt you will attend many other conferences this year with an aquarium, wellness garden, or escape room. The content was some of the best I have seen in a long time and I'm so pleased we were able to use member feedback to design the programme. I hope you got what you wanted out of it and enjoyed yourselves.
CIPR President, Jenni Field Chart.PR, FCIPR
  • Delegates who purchased a pass for the whole event can watch all the on-demand content on demand for the next 30 days until December 12.
  • You can still purchase passes for access to all the on-demand content from the conference from here.
  • The CIPR would like to thank all the conference sponsors; Signal AI, Fusion, Cision, Specialist Speakers, Vuelio, 3Gem, Abstract Events, Think Publishing, Reuben Sinclair, and JournoLink.

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world's only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners with nearly 10,000 members.

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).