Public Relations Leadership Forum – New York

Look out for the next Leadership Forum in 2018!
Burson-Marsteller, 230 Park Ave South, New York, NY 10003

Institute for Public RelationsArthur W. Page SocietyPRCOUNCIL LOGO HI RES





Co-sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society, the PR Council 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 PR Council. The event begins at 12:15 p.m., Tuesday, and concludes by 2:45 p.m., Wednesday.  To enhance discussion, networking opportunities and learning exchange, the event will be restricted to 30 registrants.

The all inclusive registration fee of $1,950 includes tuition, an extensive set of seminar materials, a welcome networking reception and dinner Tuesday evening, plus breakfast and lunch on Wednesday.  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 a cancellation charge of $100. This policy is necessitated by the limited enrollment restrictions placed upon the size of each Leadership Forum session. Cancellations will not be accepted after October 20.

For two or more attendees, please contact Jenn Moyer for a discounted rate at (+1) 352-392-0280 or

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 Tuesday evening, plus breakfast and lunch on Wednesday. Individual participants are responsible for their travel to New York and for hotel lodging.

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


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

11:45 a.m. Registration and Networking Lunch

12:15 p.m. Welcome and Introductions

12:30 p.m. An Overview of Leadership and its Importance in Corporate Communications — Don Wright, Harold Burson Professor of Public Relations, Boston University

1 p.m. Case Study Presentation — Mike Fernandez, US CEO, Burson-Marsteller
Kyle Farnham, Vice President, Consumer Brand & Marketing, Burson-Marsteller

2 p.m. Networking Break

2:15 p.m.  Case Study Presentation — Eliot Hoff, Senior Director and Head of Crisis Communication Practice, APCO Worldwide

3:15 p.m. Networking Break

3:30 p.m. The Public Relations Ethics Workshop — Dick Martin, a nationally-recognized ethics expert and former Chief Communications Officer, AT&T

5:15 p.m. Adjourn for the Day

5:45 p.m. Reception & Dinner
The Irvington Restaurant on the Ground Floor of the W New York – Union Square Hotel at 201 Park Avenue South

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

9 a.m. An Assessment of Where Public Relations Is and Where It’s Going — Steve Barrett, Editor-in-Chief PR Week US

10:15 a.m. Networking Break

10:30 a.m. Behavioral Science: Understanding the Applications, Challenges, and Possible Solutions — Sarab Kochhar, Director of Research, IPR & Associate Director of Measurement and Analysis, APCO Worldwide.”

11:45 a.m. Buffet Lunch

12 p.m. The Increasing Importance of Diversity in Public Relations and Corporate Communications.
A Panel Discussion Moderated By Renee Wilson, President, PR Council. Panelists TBD.

1:15 p.m. Brief Stretch Break

1:25 p.m. A Conversation With Harold Burson, Founder and Chairman of Burson-Marsteller

2:30 p.m. Closing Comments and Adjournment

Instructional Team

Steve Barrett is Editor-in-Chief of the US edition PR Week and Editorial Director of PR Week Global. He joined PR Week’s parent company Haymarket Media Group in1999 and since then has edited numerous brands across the marketing, communications, and public sector divisions of the company. He assumed his current position with PR Week in 2010. Before entering journalism, Barrett was sales and marketing director of UK-based digital media agency Brand New Media, whose clients included HJ Heinz and Barr Soft Drinks. A native of the UK and a graduate of the University of Sheffield, Barrett holds an international reputation as an expert in public relations and marketing communications.

Harold Burson is the Founder and Chairman of Burson-Marsteller and has been described by PRWeek as being “the century’s most influential PR figure.” Harold has spent more than sixty years serving as counselor to and confidante of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions. As winner of numerous industry honors; a generous supporter of organizations and charities; a mentor to many; and of course, co-founder of one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, Burson-Marsteller, Harold is a truly singular figure in the world of public relations.

Kyle Farnham heads the Consumer Brand & Marketing Practice at Burson-Marsteller and is widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in terms consumer brands. A relative newcomer to Burson-Marsteller, Kyle, spent 17 years with the MSLGroup in Atlanta where he led the full-service office representing a diverse group of consumer clients including Abbott, Comcast, Home Depot, Merial, RaceTrac and VF Corporation. Prior to that he spent 10 years as Account Director and Practice Leader for MSLGroup’s Consumer Marketing Group. Earlier in his career Kyle was Director of Public Relations for Mizuno USA. Teams he has led have won PRWeek Awards, PRSA Silver Anvils, SABRE Awards from The Holmes Report and PRNews Platinum PR Awards. Kyle holds a B.A. degree in politics from The Catholic University of America.

Mike Fernandez is CEO, U.S. with Burson-Marsteller. Prior to joining the firm he served as chief communications officer for five large U.S.-based corporations across diverse industries, including financial, technology, consumer goods and services, and health care. Most recently, he led global corporate affairs at Cargill, the world’s largest privately held company and one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. During his six-year tenure, he was responsible for communications, brand and marketing services, government relations, and corporate social responsibility. Before joining Cargill, Mike was chief communications officer for four Fortune 500 companies, including State Farm Insurance, ConAgra Foods, Cigna and US West. He also held various global marketing and communications roles at Kodak and also served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, where at age 23 he was the youngest U.S. Senate Press Secretary ever and only the second Latino to serve in such a role. Mike has been listed on PRWeek’s Power List of the top 50 PR professionals in the U.S., and the Holmes Report’s Influence 100 list of the top 100 PR professionals in the world. He serves on the boards of trustees of both the Institute for Public Relations and the Arthur W. Page Society. Mike was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Fame in 2015. He also has received the Institute for Public Relations’ Alexander Hamilton Medal, the Hispanic Public Relations Association’s first Pioneer Award, the PRSA Foundation’s Paladin Award and the Plank Center’s Milestones in Mentoring Award. In 2014 his Cargill team won PRWeek’s Global Program of the Year Award and in 2015 Fortune magazine listed Cargill among 50 “Change the World” companies that are making a positive impact on the world. Mike graduated with a B.A. in Government and M.S. in Accounting from Georgetown University.

Eliot Hoff is senior director and a founder of APCO’s New York office. He leads APCO’s crisis communication practice in North America where his duties involve managing crisis communication for one of the world’s largest food and consumer products companies. This assignment has provided him with expertise in product recalls, manufacturing and marketing issues, and other areas critical to the reputation of any business. He also has vast experience in the transportation and financial services industries, where he regularly consults on crisis and issues management. Prior to joining APCO, Mr. Hoff was a vice president in Ruder Finn’s corporate reputation practice, where he worked with a diverse array of clients on global issues and crisis programs. Before Ruder Finn, Mr. Hoff was director of Connors Communications, a boutique technology public relations agency, where he helped to expand the agency’s offerings to include litigation communication, corporate reputation, financial communication and crisis. At Connors, he launched several companies in the telecommunications sector, including Vonage and Schema Ltd. Mr. Hoff came to Connors from Hill and Knowlton, where he was part of the litigation group of the corporate practice. He holds a law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University.

Sarab Kochhar is Director of Research with the Institute for Public Relations and Associate Director of Measurement and Analytics at APCO Worldwide. She has held both positions since 2014. Her background includes not only significant academic achievements (including a Ph.D. degree from the University of Florida) but also significant practical experience working in public relations in her native India and in the US. She held a major communications position with the Indian government, worked with the Oklahoma Department of Architecture and has held affiliations with Ketchum and Burson-Mrsteller. In her current work with APCO Worldwide, Dr. Kochhar provides strategic counsel for clients about measurement and evaluation. She works with clients throughout the world developing measurement techniques and providing insights. Her work has led to assignments in technology, aerospace and several other sectors. At IPR, she is the chief research strategist, advising and leading the Institute on priorities and research programs. She also has authored book chapters and referred conference papers. Her awards include a top paper prize from the Educators Academy of the Public Relations Society of America, the Chester Burger Award for excellence in public relations from PRSA, ad the Ketchum Public Relations Reinssearch Award.

Dick Martin is a noted business writer specializing in marketing, brand management, ethics, and public relations. He spent 32 years working in various public relations positions with AT&T, including being the company’s Chief Communications Officer from 1997 until 2003. He has written five books and numerous articles for leading publications such as the Harvard Business Review. He is a contributing editor of the Conference Board Review for which he writes a regular column. A noted blogger, he is a member of the Board of Advisors of Corporate Communication International and serves on the CCI Forum Faculty.

Renee Wilson was named President of the PR Council in 2015. She came to the trade association representing the US public relations agency industry from the MSLGroup where her positions included Chief Client Officer and President of the MSLGroup in North America.She has served twice on the public relations jury for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including as its President in 2014. Prior to joining the MSLGroup she worked for eight years at Hill & Knowlton. She is a regularly featured speaker at various international conferences and most recently presented at the United Nations International Women’s Day Conference and the SxSw Social Good Hub, 2015. She serves on the leadership council for the Young Women’s Leadership Network and is a member of the NY Women in Communications.

Don Wright is the Harold Burson Professor in the College of Communication at Boston University. He is one of the world’s most published public relations scholars and has worked full-time in corporate, agency, and university public relations in addition to being a communications consultant for more than three decades. A long-time board member of the Arthur W. Page Society and a Past President of the International Public Relations Association, he currently serves as an IPR Trustee, as Editor of the Research Journal of the IPR and as an IPR Research Fellow. His Ph.D. degree is from the University of Minnesota.

Hotel Accommodations

There are a number of hotels located within easy walking distance of Burson-Marsteller (230 Park Avenue South at 19th Street). They are listed below with their approximate room rates.

W Hotel New York, Union Square, 201 Park Avenue South (between 17th & 18th Streets). Tel: 212-253-9119. ($465).

Gramercy Park Hotel, 2 Lexington Avenue (at 21st Street). Tel: 212-920-3300. ($525).

Hyatt Union Square, 134 Fourth Avenue (Between 12th and 13th Streets). 212-253-1234 ($355).

The Marcel at Gramercy, 201 East 24th Street (at Third Avenue). 212-696-3800. ($405).

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

Affinia Dumont, 150 E. 34th St. (Between Lexington & Third). Tel: 212-481-7600. ($395).

Affinia Shelburne, 303 Lexington Avenue (Between 37th & 38th Streets). Tel: 212-689-5200. ($370).

Hotel Roger Williams, 131 Madison Avenue (at 31st St.). Tel: 212-448-7000. ($345).

The Court Hotel, 130 East 39th Street (Between Lexington & Park Avenues). 212-685-1100. ($365).

Tuscany Hotel, 120 East 39th Street (Between Lexington & Park Avenues). 212-686-1600. ($435).

The Carlton Hotel, 88 Madison Avenue (Between 28th & 29th Streets). 212-532-4100. ($385).

Hilton New York Hotel, 1335 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue at 54th Street). Tel: 212-586-7000. ($395).

Sheraton Manhattan Hotel, 790 Seventh Avenue (at 51st Street. Tel: 212-581-3300. ($390).

Sheraton New York Hotel, 811 Seventh Avenue (at 53rd Street). Tel: 212-581-1000. ($390).

Millennium Broadway Hotel, 145 West 44th Street (Between 6th & 7th Avenues). Tel: 212-768-4400. ($385).

Sofitel New York Hotel, 45 West 44th Street (Between 5th & 6th Avenues). Tel: 212-354-8844. ($565).

Affinia Manhattan, 371 Seventh Avenue (Between 38th & 39th Streets). 212-563-1800. ($375)

Budget-minded travelers might be interested in these hotels:

Park South Hotel, 122 East 28th Street (between Park and Lexington). Tel: 800-315-4642. ($295).

Flatiron Hotel Tosi, 1141 Broadway (at 23rd St.). Tel: 212-839-8000. ($300).

Jolly Hotel Madison Towers, 22 East 38th St. (Between Madison & Park). Tel: 212-802-0600. ($280).

Park Central New York Hotel, 870 Seventh Avenue (at 55th Street). Tel: 212-247-8000. ($258).

Wyndham Garden Hotel – Chelsey, 37 W. 24th St. Tel: 212-243-0800. ($319).

Dylan Hotel, 52 East 41st Street (Between Madison & Park Avenues). 212-338-0500. ($345).

Martha Washington Hotel, 29 East 29th Street (Between Madison & Park Avenues). 212-689-1900. ($325)


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)

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