Public Relations Leadership Forum – New York

2013 Public Relations Leadership Forum – New York

December 11-12, 2013
Burson-Marsteller, 230 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003-1528

Co-sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society, the Council of Public Relations Firms and the Institute for Public Relations, the Public Relations Leadership Forum is an intense two-day seminar for high-performing, mid-career communications managers at Global 1000 companies and public relations firms.  The Leadership Forum’s major objective is to develop outstanding future leaders of public relations and communications, and to provide networking opportunities where upwardly mobile professionals can learn from national leaders in the field and from each other.

This program for tomorrow’s leaders will focus on the effective use of research in planning and implementing public relations activities and is presented by the Institute for Public Relations in conjunction with the Arthur W. Page Society and the Council of Public Relations Firms. The event begins at 12:15 p.m., Wednesday, December 11 and concludes by 2:45 p.m., Thursday, December 12.  To enhance discussion, networking opportunities and learning exchange, the event will be restricted to 35 registrants.

The all inclusive registration fee of $1,950 includes tuition, an extensive set of seminar materials, a welcome networking reception and dinner Wednesday evening, plus breakfast and lunch on Thursday.  Individual participants are responsible for their travel to New York and for hotel lodging.

The Public Relations Leadership Forum registration cost is $1,950.

All Public Relations Leadership Forum cancellations must be made in writing and are subject to cancellation charges. This policy is necessitated by the limited enrollment restrictions placed upon the size of each Leadership Forum session. Although refunds will not be available for cancellations after August 10, 2012 organizations will be permitted to send a qualified substitute.

Group discounts are available. Please contact Jenn Moyer at or (+1) 352-392-0280.

Who Attends?

Each year the Public Relations Leadership Forum attracts some of the brightest and best developing leaders in public relations and corporate communications. Representatives of the following organizations have attended previous Leadership Forums.

Agencies: 360 Public Relations LLC, Airfoil PR, APCO Worldwide, Behan Communications, Biosector 2 – CCC, BlissPR, Burson-Marsteller, Capstrat, Chandler Chico, CJP Communications, Cohn & Wolfe, Cooper Katz, CRT/Tanaka, Davies Public Affairs, Dix & Eaton, dna13, Eastwick Communications, Edelman, Edward Howard & Company, Environics Communications, Fleishman-Hillard, Gagen MacDonald, Gibbs & Soell, GolinHarris, Hill & Knowlton, Ketchum, Linhart McClain Finlon, Manning Selvage & Lee, M Booth & Associates, Makovsky & Company, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Padilla Speer Beardsley, Peppercom, Porter Novelli, The Powell Group, rbb Public Relations, Revive Public Relations, RF|Binder, Toni Torres PR, Spectrum Science Communications, SunStar, Text 100, Trone Public Relations, Tunheim Partners, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Weber Shandwick and Weisscomm Partners.

Corporations: Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Insurance Company, Alticor, ArvinMeritor, AT&T, AXA Equitable, Bank of New York Mellon, Baxter International, Best Buy, BP America, Capital One, Charles Schwab, ConAgra Foods, Cordis Corporation, Corning Incorporated, Covidien, Delta Air Lines, Digital Platform, Discover Financial Services, Discovery Networks Central Europe, Duke Energy, Edward Jones, Entergy, Ernst & Young, FedEx, Frito-Lay, General Motors, Genomic Health, GM Healthcare, Hess Corporation, Honeywell, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, Irvine Company, ITT Industries, Johnson Controls, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Kraft Foods, Mars, Inc., McKesson Corporation, MetLife, Nationwide, Nextel, Northwestern Mutual, PepsiCo, PG&E, Praxair, Prudential Financial, Quaker Oats, Siemens, SAS, Shell Oil Company, State Farm, St. Paul Travelers, Sunoco, Symantec, Tellabs, Tennessee Valley Authority Unisys Corporation, UPS, USAA, USG Corporation, Waste Management, WCG and Wyeth.

Registration Includes

The all inclusive registration fee of $1,950 includes tuition, an extensive set of seminar materials, a welcome networking reception and dinner Wednesday evening, plus breakfast and lunch on Thursday. Individual participants are responsible for their travel to New York and for hotel lodging.

Group discounts are available. Please contact Jenn Moyer at or (+1) 352-392-0280

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, May 8

12 Noon – 12:30: Networking Lunch

12:30 – 12:45 p.m.:   Welcome and Introductions

12:45 – 2 p.m.:   New Challenges Within Organizational Communication
Keith Burton, Partner, Brunswick Group; Gary Grates, Principal, W20 Group

2:15 – 3:15:        Building Belief: A New Model for Activating Corporate Character
and  Authentic Advocacy                    

Roger Bolton, President, Arthur W. Page Society

3:30 – 4:45:      The Increasing Importance of Corporate Reputation and What the Corporate
                            Communications Function Can Do About It

Greg Sendi, Global Strategist Community Leader, GolinHarris

4:45 – 5:30:      Ten Ideas From Research That You Can Use Immediately
Frank Ovaitt, President & CEO, Institute for Public Relations; Don Wright, Harold Burson
Professor & Chair, Boston University

6 p.m.:                Reception and Dinner at Mike Ditka’s of Chicago, 100 East Chestnut Street


Thursday, May 9

8:15 – 9 am:      Networking Breakfast

9 am – 10:15:    Turning Business Strategy into Action
Christine Jensen, Employee Communications Manager, DuPont Pioneer; David Grossman,
President & CEO, The Grossman Group

10:30 – 11:45:   Effective New Trends in Digital Communications
David Wescott, Director of Digital Strategy, APCO Worldwide

11:45 a.m.:         Networking Lunch

12:15 – 1:30:    Effective Use of Research, Measurement & Evaluation in Corporate Public

Greg Gordon, Senior Vice President Research/Strategy, L.C. Williams & Associates

1:30 p.m.:         Stretch Break

1:30 – 2:30:      A Moderated Discussion With Al Golin
Al Golin, Founder & Chairman, GolinHarris; Don Wright, Harold Burson Professor & Chair,
Boston University

2:30 p.m.:        Summary and Wrap-Up Discussions

Adjourn            No later than 2:45 p.m.

Instructional Team

The instructional team for the December 11-12, 2013 Public Relations Leadership Forum in New York includes a unique blend of leading practitioners and academics including:

  • Bill Anderson is Vice Chairman and Senior Partner of FleishmanHillard where he works closely in communications that support corporate brands and profiles, regularly providing counsel for clients in changing or challenging situations. His current assignment also requires him to focus strongly on the firm’s worldwide operations. Since joining FleishmanHillard, Anderson has served as President of the U.S. Midwest region and General Manager of of the St. Louis Headquarters Office, providing extensive crisis communication support to a diverse set of clients. Before joining the agency, Anderson was a reporter and editor with the St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
  • Roger Bolton is the President of the Arthur W. Page Society, the premier professional association for senior corporate communications executives. Members include the chief communications officers of the world’s major corporations and NGOs, the CEOs of the most influential public relations agencies and leading academics from select business and communications schools. Previously,  he served as Senior Vice President of Communications at Aetna, a $35 billion provider of health care benefits, where he was responsible for all internal and external communications, advertising, brand management and corporate public involvement. Before Aetna, he was IBM’s Director of Corporate Media Relations and Director of Communications for the IBM server and software groups.
  • Harold Burson, founder of the international public relations firm Burson-Marsteller, was named by PRWeek as “the century’s most influential PR figure.” This recognition is a culmination of more than fifty years serving as counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, governmental leaders and heads of public sector institutions. Harold has contributed to the public relations industry and worldwide community as a member and leader of several organizations. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including the Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame Award (1991), the Alexander Hamilton Medal from the Institute for Public Relations (1999) and the Gold Anvil Award from PRSA (1980). He was Chairman of the Public Relations Seminar in 1984.
  • Keith Burton recently joined Brunswick Group as a Partner following 14 years at Insidedge, a fast-growing, global employee communications group. He has counseled Fortune 500 corporations on employee communications and many other areas. Well known throughout the nation as an expert on employee communications, Keith is a past recipient of Inside PR magazine’s All-Star award in the employee communications category. Formerly an award-winning business journalist and a correspondent for Time magazine, Keith also has worked with Ketchum, Hill & Knowlton and Boxenbaum Grates/GCI. He serves on the IPR Board of Trustees.
  • Kathy Cripps is President of the Council of Public Relations Firms, the first trade association to represent the interests of the US public relations industry. Prior to accepting the Council’s staff leadership position in 2002, Kathy worked on both the agency and client sides of the business. She served as President/COO of SCIENS for ten years and was a Vice President at Burson-Marsteller. Her client side experience includes positions with The Nestle Company and Faberware. Kathy earned a BA degree in Food/Nutrition from Queens College and has an MBA in Marketing from Fordham University. She is on the board of The Lagrant Foundation and is a member of the PR Seminar.
  • Peter Debreceny has more than 35 years experience in all aspects of public relations and integrated communications, performing those functions across both the United States and throughout the world. A consultant with Gagen MacDonald since 2007, Peter has counseled numerous clients including The Hartford, United Airlines, Credit Suisse, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson. He also leads the firms social media and sustainability teams. Before joining Gagen MacDonald, Peter was Vice President of Corporate Relations at Allstate Insurance Company, where he was responsible for internal and external communications for the Allstate Corporation and its subsidiaries. Peter served many years on the Board of Trustees of the Arthur W. Page Society and is a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Public Relations.
  • Gary Grates is one of the nation’s leading experts on employee engagement, change management and internal communications. A Partner and a member of the senior leadership team with WCG, he previously was President and Global Managing Director of Edelman Change. Before that, Gary served as North American Vice President of Corporate Communications at General Motors. His experience also includes being President of GCI BoxenbaumGrates, a consultancy specializing in change management and internal communications. He is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and has served on the IPR Board of Trustees.
  • Lynn Oppelt, Senior Vice President and Senior Partner with FleishmanHillard Talent Development, is responsible for human resources policies, employee relations issues, benefits and compensation, succession planning and professional development. She joined the firm in 1996 and has helped the agency win wide recognition as  an outstanding workplace with a strong culture of teamwork, employee development and personal commitment. These accolades include Holmes Report recognition as Best Agency to Work For and as the Best Multinational Agency to Work For. As well as Advertising Age’s honor as Best Places to Work. Four the past four years the National Association for Female Executives has included FH on its list of Top 50 Companies for Executive Women.
  • Frank Ovaitt is President & CEO of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), an independent research and education foundation dedicated to “the science beneath the art of public relations.”™ Previously, he was Executive Vice President, Makovsky + Company and Managing Director of Crossover International, Inc.  On the corporate side, Frank was Vice President-Corporate affairs for MCI and prior to that held a variety of executive positions with AT&T. He has taught applied public relations research at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management and has guest lectured at a number of universities. Frank holds a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MBA from NYU.
  • Mark Weiner is CEO for North America of the global communications measurement consulting firm PRIME Research where he works with a global public relations research team of 600 analysts, developers and consultants worldwide. The author of “Unleashing the Power of PR” (John Wiley & Sons), Weiner is a past chair of the Institute for Public Relations  Measurement Commission, a former CEO of Delahaye and a former Senior Vice President and Global Research Director for Ketchum. Mark is a frequent contributor to international, national and local media and a noted speaker about research, measurement and evaluation throughout the nation and around the world. Earlier this year he was inducted into the PRNews Measurement Hall of Fame.
  • David Wescott is a director of digital strategy at APCO Worldwide. He joined APCO in 2002 and helped establish its social media practice and its flagship blog, Virtual Vantage Points, in 2007.  He is the author of “It’s Not a Lecture,” a blog that examines technology and communications issues.  He is a contributor at “Global Voices Online,” “Earth and Industry,” “Science Cheerleader” and “The Broad Side.”  Prior to joining APCO, He was a legislative assistant and economic policy advisor to US Senator Edward M. Kennedy.  He has also served as administrator for the Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine.
  • Donald K. Wright is the Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations at Boston University’s College of Communication, the world’s first degree-granting institution in public relations. He is one of the world’s most published public relations scholars, serves on the IPR Board of Trustees, spent 24 years as a Trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society, and is an IPR Research Fellow. Don also is a founding member and past chair of the IPR’s Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation. Prior to entering the academic world, he held a variety of corporate and agency positions in public relations and has been an active consultant for several decades. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota.

Hotel Accommodations

There are two very nice hotels located within easy walking distance of the Burson-Marsteller offices at 230 Park Avenue South (corner of 19th Avenue). They are:

  • W Hotel New York – Union Square, 201 Park Avenue South (between 17th & 18th Streets). Tel: 212-253-9119. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $465.
  • Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Avenue (at 21st Street). Tel: 212-920-3300. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $525.

There are many hotels located within in the mid-town area of Manhattan that are about 10-15 minutes away from Burson-Marsteller via taxi or subway. These include:

  •  Hilton New York Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue at 54th Street). Tel: 212-586-7000. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $380.
  • Sheraton Manhattan Hotel, 790 Seventh Avenue (at 51st Street. Tel: 212-581-3300. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $390.
  • Sheraton New York Hotel, 811 Seventh Avenue (at 53rd Street). Tel: 212-581-1000. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $390.
  • Affinia Dumont, 150 E. 34th St. (Between Lexington & Third). Tel: 212-481-7600. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $370.
  • Affinia Shelburne, 303 Lexington Avenue (Between 37th & 38th Streets). Tel: 212-689-5200. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $370.
  • Hotel Roger Williams, 131 Madison Avenue (at 31st St.). Tel: 212-448-7000. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2012 = $315.
  • Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 West 44th Street (Between 6th & 7th Avenues). Tel: 212-768-4400. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $365
  • Sofitel New York Hotel, 45 West 44th Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues). Tel: 212-354-8844. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $565.

Budget-minded travelers might be interested in these hotels:

  • Park South Hotel, 122 East 28th Street (between Park and Lexington). Tel: 800-315-4642. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $265.
  • Flatiron Hotel Tosi, 1141 Broadway (at 23rd St.). Tel: 212-839-8000. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $300.
  • Jolly Hotel Madison Towers, 22 East 38th St. (Between Madison & Park). Tel: 212-802-0600. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $230.
  • Park Central New York Hotel, 870 Seventh Avenue (at 55th Street). Tel: 212-247-8000. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $238.
  • Wyndham Garden Hotel – Chelsey, 37 W. 24th St. Tel: 212-243-0800. Projected cost for Dec. 11, 2013 = $309.


Dr. Don Wright
Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations
College of Communication, Boston University (Tel: +1-617-306-4006)

Jenn Moyer
Foundation Operations Manager
Institute for Public Relations (Tel: +1-352-392-0280)