Changed role for in-house PRs to be explored at CommsCon

CommsCon logoThe role of in-house communications professionals and how they work alongside marketing teams is to be examined at next week’s CommsCon conference.

The event, organised by Mumbrella’s parent company Focal Attractions, takes place next Thursday March 20 in Sydney.

The session will examine the role of communications professionals who work in-house and how it has changed as the boundaries between marketing and PR have blurred thanks to social media.



Rugge Price

Rugge Price

Among the speakers will be Emma Rugge Price, VP of communications at industrial giant GE. Rugge Price has worked in communications roles for the company since 2008.

Joanna McCarthy, until recently corporate communications manager for Kimberly-Clark ANZ, will also be on the panel. Unusually for a corporate affairs boss, McCarthy also has marketing experience, including working at FCB, Saatchi & Saatchi, George Patterson and OMD.

Andy Lark


Also on the panel is Andy Lark, who had a major impact on the marketing community in Australia during his two year stint at chief marketing and online officer at CommBank.

Unusually for a marketer, Lark’s experience includes a stint working at a PR agency, Fleishman-Hillard in the US. Lark was also chairman of the first year of judging for the CommsCon Awards.



And Sean Walsh, head of digital and trade communications at Nine Entertainment Co, which includes the Nine Network, ninemsn and MailOnline will also be a panellist. Walsh has also worked in corporate communications for Wesfarmers and GE Capital, and spent more than five years as a producer for Nine’s A Current Affair.

As well as discussing whether communications and marketing responsibility can be realistically placed in a single role, the panel will discuss how communications and marketing teams work with external partners including agencies.

The panel will be moderated by Peter O’Sullivan, national director of content for public relations agency PPR.

Case study sessions at CommsCon cover PR, technology and social media; celebrity endorsement; working with multiple stake holders; and crisis communications. Also on the agenda is a keynote appearance from Joe Jareck, director of public relations for The LA Dodgers, insights into lobbying under a Liberal government and a presentation on the world’s best PR thinking.


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