Month in the PR events: September

September was a fruitful month!

September was a fruitful month! View from the Grayling offices.

Month in the PR events is the series I initiated on LinkedIn. I decided to write about the industry events I attended. September has been incredibly fruitful. It has started with the PRCA Members Drinks and concluded with the Financial Directors Forum Group event. I’ve also managed to be at the Creativity+Science conference, organised by H+K Strategies.

PRCA Monthly Member Drinks
Wednesday, 7th @PRCA HQ

September started off with two celebrations. On the 7th I was turning 21 and on the same day, during the Monthly Member Drinks at the PRCA, we were celebrating the launch of the #FuturePRoof. We’ve heard from Sarah Hall, the editor of the piece and CIPR President-Elect candidate.

It was also a tremendous opportunity to network and meet some shrewd PR leaders, including contributors to the #FuturePRoof.

PRCA Next Gen London Group — Career Clinic event
Tuesday, 13th @Grayling

Event took place at the imposing Grayling offices, where I had been previously a work experience. The  panel consisted of Mandy Sharp, Founder of Tin Man Communications, Victoria Durman, who is responsible for Corporate Communications at Sainsbury’s and Mitchell KayeCEO of Shine @The AcademyPanel was chaired by Laura Weston, MD of iris Culture. The panelists were talking about their journeys that took them to the industry. There was a huge emphasis put on the confidence. Being confident and having no fears are really crucial, when starting and progressing in the communications career.  Mandy Sharp has pointed out that it is paramount to work for people that inspire you and you respect. Mitchell Kaye said that it’s important not to over-promise and under-deliver. He has also claimed that job interview always works in two way — it’s not always about the job seeker, but it’s quite often about an employer “selling” the job position and the company to the applicant. Laura Weston has stressed that younger practitioners should be seeking support from the senior colleagues.

… it’s important not to over-promise and under-deliver.

Victoria Durman was talking about few important features that people seeking for the entry-level jobs should have. They included will to learn, potential and energy. She has added that skills are not always the most imperative asset that employers are looking for.

I really enjoyed the Career Clinic, as this was a brilliant opportunity to develop my plan for the career and hear inspiring stories about learning curves, mistakes and learning from them.

H+K Creativity+Science
Wednesday, 21st @Royal Collage of Physicians 

The conference organised by Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has been started off by the speech of the H+K’s very own Chief Creative Officer, Simon Shaw. He spoke about democratised technology and made a statement that creativity changes the way we campaign nowadays.

Right after his speech, CEO of WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell and CNBC journalist Steve Sedgwick took the stage. In this fascinating conversation, we found that the boss of WPP believes that the medium has become more important than the message. He was also asked, where does the role of PR fit in the whole WPP. He has stressed that the data is “the backbone” and it has changed the PR industry, just like social did. Sir Sorrell has also made a statement that search is more powerful than social.

Search is more powerful than social.

Next up, we heard from the social media personality, Shaun McBride aka Shonduras. He spoke about how brands should be heroes in social media campaigning. Shaun has also covered how should successful brand’s campaign with the influencer look like and gave us some ideas and examples from his own work.

After ShondurasBeatie Wolfe, Experimental Singer Songwriter has share some of her fascinating projects. She has created the innovative, musical jacket that has NFC in it and her single was translated into the fabric the clothing is made of. She has also collaborated with the print company and created the NFC enabled album.

Right after that, Elaine Tam, an independent curator spoke about her passion to art and about bringing technology back into picture. Elaine has also made few references to McLuhan’s medium is the message theory.

Before we headed for lunch, Matt Battersby, MD of H+K Smarter, spoke about behavioural science and stressed importance of understanding, while creating valuable work for clients. He spoke about reciprocity and how paramount it is, when it comes to being persuasive.

After lunch, when we could test Google Cardboard, Jukedeck and Mbroynic, we’ve witnessed some magic. DMC, Magician and NatGeo star, has shown us how human mind can be easily tricked. He performed a few tricks and has guessed some numbers and words from our heads.


Later on, after DMC has blown our minds, we’ve heard a great panel that included Jen StirrupCharlotte BearnEd Newton-Rex, and Andy Nye. It was chaired by Vikki Chowney. We could hear some valuable insights into AR & VR and how this technology could potentially wrong, but also how it can be beneficial for many industries. The list of those is long — financial services, education and healthcare could all take an advantage of the convergence of science and creativity.

Following the thoughts from the panel, Clare Jones, Global Partnerships Director at what3words, was just getting started with her presentation and we were intrigued again. She has presented her app that deals with addresses and location in the world, replacing them with three words. I loved the idea so much that I wrote about it last Friday.

Then, Keiichi Matsuda, VR/AR filmmaker has show on the stage and presented us his project — film “Hyper-Reality” that shows how technology can impact our lives and potentially have a threat to those. I have also covered his undertaking in the last #6ofMarcel.

After the screening, Lauren Bowker, Founder of See the Unseen has shared some insights with us. She has created some fascinating pieces of clothing, including the headpiece that would change the colour accordingly to our emotions and also a jacket that would turn black, being impacted by air pollution.

Last, but not least, we’ve heard from Dr Caitriona Jackman of the University of Southampton, who is a Planetary Scientist. She has given us some characteristics of the creative people and also some barriers that could restrain us from being creative. She has also said that creativity might be serendipitous. Apart from that, we’ve learnt a lot about planets and her superbly interesting projects.

Creativity might be serendipitous.

All in all, Creativity+Science 2016 conference has been one of the most interesting and one of my favourite events I’ve attended in the last few months. Hats off to the whole H+K team. I am very much looking forward to the 2017’s edition!

PRCA FD Forum Group event — How to attract and retain talent in the PR sector
Thursday, 22nd @Kingston Smith

Even though I’m not a financial director (at least not just yet), I still decided to go to the FD Forum group event organised by the fabulous PRCA, in order to gain some new insights and meet interesting people. I wasn’t disappointed. We’ve heard from knowledgable Esther Carder of Kingston Smith — media accountants and tax advisors. She was giving us insights into how to attract and retain the talent. I’ve learnt that there are different types of talents — nomads are the top talent that are committed to working with exciting clients and are changing the employers quite frequently, whereas superstars are key players that are vital for the future of the company and would want to contribute long-term as potential shareholders.

Superstars are key players that are vital for the future of the company and would want to contribute long-term as potential shareholders.

We also have transfer list employees, who don’t have particular value for the company, and finally core team, who are hardworking and loyal, but as I found out, shouldn’t be offered any of the shares from the company. Esther Carder has shared many strategies of rewarding the talent — with equity incentives, share incentives, performance related bonus plans and more.

Despite the fact that event was not aimed at me, I found the insights really interesting and enjoyed meeting new people and hearing from them.

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Month in the PR events is a monthly series on the blog, where I make a write-up of the industry events I’ve attended in the past weeks. Originally initiated on my LinkedIn.

If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!

Author: Marcel Klebba

Junior account executive at a global PR agency, working across the corporate & B2B accounts. Interested in current affairs, tech, and digital.

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