Mind the PR Gap 2021: programme and booking

The 2021 event has now passed. Register for Mind the PR Gap 2022 in July 2022!

About the author

Kevin is a co-founder of PR Academy and editor/co-author of Exploring Internal Communication published by Routledge. Kevin leads the CIPR Internal Communication Diploma course. PhD, MBA, BA Hons, PGCE, FCIPR, CMgr, MCMI.

Registrations for Mind the PR Gap 2022 are now open!


If you’re interested in the value of closer ties between PR research and practice, Mind the PR Gap is for you. Expect realistic and achievable ways forward, with a clear agenda for change. Open to practitioners, academics, researchers and students.

Join us for one or both of these free lunch time online sessions where we bring together familiar and new speakers from the worlds of practice and academia to discuss two contemporary topics:

  • Purpose
  • Diversity seen through the lens of intersectionality.

Each session runs 1300 – 1430 UK time and kicks off with a keynote speaker followed by a series of quick-fire presentations from guest speakers on a related theme with time for Q&A.

Update: thank you to the PRCA and CIPR for awarding CPD points for this event. The whole event is worth 40 points in the PRCA CPD Programme and each day qualifies for 5 CPD points with the CIPR.

Day 1 Wednesday 14 July: Corporate purpose in a post-pandemic world

Join us to explore how organisations may have to revise their purpose and values to reflect stakeholder expectations in a post-pandemic world.

We’ll discuss: How far should purpose statements go? What is the role of B Corp status? How did organisations respond to the pandemic with care for employees and what to do next? Creating a purposeful organisation through internal CSR communication.


Matt Peacock.  Matt is a Partner with the strategic and creative advisory firm Blurred, specialising in environmental, social and governance risk and corporate purpose. He also lectures at international business schools including IESE, the London Business School and Henley Business School, where he is a Visiting Fellow.

Matt will be in conversation with Kevin Ruck of PR Academy covering questions such as what do we mean by ‘purpose’, what’s the relationship between ESG and purpose, what do we (as communicators) need to do to ensure ESG and purpose is fully developed, and what are the next societal issues that we need to be aware of.


John Brown, Founder, Don’t Cry Wolf:  What exactly is B Corp status, how is it being adopted in the UK, and what does it mean for PR and communication management?

Scott McKenzie, Head of Change and Employee Engagement at Montfort Communications: Reflections on how organisations responded to the pandemic with care for employees, what happens next and how are values embedded in a meaningful way in the future.

Ganga Dhanesh, Associate Dean at Zayed University: Creating a purposeful organisation through internal CSR communication.

Scroll down to meet the speakers.

Day 2 Thursday 15 July:  Looking at diversity in PR through the lens of Intersectionality.

Join us to understand what intersectionality means for PR and communication.

We’ll discuss: What neurodiversity is and what do people bring to the creative industries? How do we support mental health? What work is underway through the PRCA Diversity Network?


Jennifer Vardeman, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Interim Director, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, University of Houston

What is intersectionalism? How does it relate to the PR industry? And what are the gaps in PR scholarship about intersectionalism?


Alexander Clelland, Director, Houston PR: Understanding and supporting people with mental health conditions in PR and the communication management sectors.

Sudha Singh, Founder, The Purpose Room; Podcast Host: The Elephant in the Room; Co-Chair PRCA Diversity Network: Overview of the work of the PRCA Diversity Network.

Sarah Duggan, Birmingham-based PR academic who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2017, aged 24

Meet the speakers below.


Meet John Brown

John is a dad to two, a husband to one and the founder of Don’t Cry Wolf, the B Corp certified brand activism agency. He is a relentless advocate of businesses being a tremendous part of solving some of societies biggest problems. John is also an Ambassador for the B Corp movement and advises brands on their ESG approach. He’s worked with brands such as Virgin, Green Chef, Elvie, Flight Club and Meridian on campaigns and strategy.

Meet Scott MacKenzie

Scott leads the Change and Employee Engagement practice at Montfort. He has significant experience dealing with complex corporate crises and change programmes across the public and private sectors, including reorganisations, site closures and relocations, post-merger integrations, cultural change programmes and redundancy programmes. Scott has a strong specialism in employee engagement, helping organisations to define and articulate their purpose and strategy in a way which employees find credible and relevant.

Scott is a former joint-MD of Lansons, and was previously Head of Change and Internal Communications at H+K Strategies across the EMEA region. Previously, he spent ten years in-house at RBS and Lloyds Banking Group.

Meet Jennifer Vardeman, keynote speaker day two

Jennifer Vardman Ph.D. (University of Maryland, 2008), is an associate professor of public relations at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston, USA.

Dr. Vardeman currently serves as the director at the Valenti School, is an affiliate faculty member of UH’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, and is a visiting scientist with Houston Methodist Hospital’s Urogynecology Associates. In examining the nexus of public relations, identity, and public health, Dr. Vardeman takes an intersectional approach to determining solutions for gender and racial inequalities in the composition of the public relations workforce. She’s published more than 25 articles and chapters on topics of public relations, public health communication, and intersectionality.

As a former public relations professional, Dr. Vardeman has worked, taught, and consulted in the public relations field for 22+ years, previously working for firms such as Weber-Shandwick (Houston, TX, USA), Lois Paul & Partners, a Fleishman-Hilliard company (Austin, TX, USA), and ICF International (Rockville, MD, USA).

Meet Alexander Clelland

Alexander has 20 years’ experience in corporate communications, leading global and regional teams at leading financial services companies including RBC Investor & Treasury Services, Macquarie and Fitch Ratings. His consultancy experience covers a broad range of sectors, including technology, media and leisure and hospitality. During his career, he has managed and mentored employees suffering from poor mental health and also worked with mental health charities and The Priory, contributing advice and content. Prior to his career in journalism, he was a qualified social worker, specialising in mental health services in institutional and community settings.

Meet Sudha Singh

Sudha is the Founder of The Purpose Room, a future ready virtual consultancy advising clients at the intersection of organisational purpose, inclusion and business sustainability. She hosts The Elephant in the Room podcast a curated safe space to have uncomfortable conversations about the pervasive inequalities in society/workplaces on issues that are taboo and deserve to be mainstream

Sudha is a certified EDI trainer and advises clients on creating measurable frameworks for organisational change. She is Co-Chair of the PRCA Diversity Network;  Founding member of PRCA Race and Ethnicity Equity Board (REEB) and an advisor to PRADAN.

She has more than 30 years experience advising C-Suite of multinationals, governments, industry associations and NGOs across geographies including UK and India on reputation management. She has advised clients faced with regulatory, political and environmental challenges as well as those facing union and civil society activism.

Meet Matt Peacock

Matt is a Partner with the strategic and creative advisory firm Blurred, specialising in environmental, social and governance risk and corporate purpose. He also lectures at international business schools including IESE, the London Business School and Henley Business School, where he is a Visiting Fellow.

He joined Blurred after a 20-year career in senior leadership roles with some of the world’s largest multinational corporations. He was previously Group Director of Corporate Affairs at Vodafone where he led the Group’s global ESG and communications strategy and established one of the world’s leading corporate human rights and transparency programmes. He’s also a former communications regulator, he’s worked in the oil and gas industry, and prior to entering corporate life he was a correspondent with BBC News.

Meet Sarah Duggan

Sarah is a Birmingham-based PR academic who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in 2017, aged 24. Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in English literature, a master’s in public relations, and is currently pursuing a career in public affairs. Sarah specialised in female entrepreneurship and leadership during her MA and her work on this subject is being published later this year, as part of the book ‘Women and Leadership in the Public Relations Industry: An International Perspective.’