Your invitation to Virtual #MindThePRGap2020

About the author

Richard Bailey Hon FCIPR is editor of PR Academy's PR Place Insights. He teaches and assesses undergraduate, postgraduate and professional students.

We’ve learnt a lot in the past two months of lockdown. We’ve learnt how quickly we can pivot to working from home and creating virtual teams and virtual classrooms.

We’ve learnt that some aspects of public relations and comms are more important than ever. Those in advisory roles with experience of crisis comms; those in the public sector supporting frontline workers and anyone working in internal comms has been busier than ever.

We’ve learnt to cope without meetings – whether in boardrooms, classrooms or bars. We miss some of these more than others, but we don’t miss the hours spent commuting or the hotel stays away from home.

So we’re adjusting to an extended period when some things will return slowly to normal, but others will never be the same as before.

Above all, we’re learning that change is not slowing down – but rather accelerating. This forces us to keep learning and to use this time to think ahead and anticipate the future.

Some key questions we need to address urgently relate to the upsides and downsides of technology: will artificial intelligence help inform our insights and make our advice more valuable and evidence-based? Or will AI and automation be a cheaper alternative to the high levels of employment we’ve become used to? And what about fake news, filter bubbles and the power we’ve given to social media companies?

Together with Nicky Garsten at the University of Greenwich, we’d planned a one day conference this summer to be held at the university to hear from some keynote speakers and discuss issues around AI and the future of comms work in a post Covid-19 world. Like other events, this has moved online.

Instead, we’re running a virtual conference over two days: Thursday 9 and Friday 10 July. Registration is now open and you’re invited to join us for either or both sessions. The conference runs for 90 minutes each day and involves keynote addresses and a panel discussion.

Why #MindThePRGap? PR Academy’s Kevin Ruck says:

‘This is our second #MindThePRGap conference. The first brought together educators, academics and practitioners to explore areas of mutual interest and the lessons they can learn from each other.

‘This year we’re moving on. The gap is now about where we are today and where we need to be in future. So we’re looking ahead and asking questions about public relations and communication in the digital public sphere and about the future of careers and learning.

‘These sessions are designed to appeal to those in education, in professional bodies and in practice. We’re all learners now, and we’re hoping that advanced students and candidates for professional qualifications will also welcome this opportunity to listen to and contribute to these discussions.’


AI, creativity and fake news in a post Covid-19 world

Date and time: Thursday 9 July 12noon to 1.30pm

Keynote speakers: Professor Andrew McStay and Professor Vian Bakir (both at Bangor University)

Panellists: Kevin Read (Pembroke and Rye), Stuart Youngs (Texture AI), Vian Bakir and Andrew McStay



The future of work, careers and learning in a post Covid-19 world

Date and time: Friday 10 July 12noon to 1.30pm

Keynote speakers: Satyen Dayal (Edelman), Dr Heather Yaxley (Applause Consultancy and Knowledge Management Consultant at CIPR) and Dr Sarah Roberts-Bowman (Northumbria University)

Panellists: Satyen Dayal, Heather Yaxley, Sarah Roberts-Bowman, Jon Gerlis (CIPR) and Steve Miller (PRCA)



Virtual drinks, networking and PR quiz

Date and time: Friday 10 July 5pm to 6.30pm

registER free