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Announcing CommsCon – Australia’s new event for those in communications and PR

andy lark

Lark: Chairing jury

Stuart Gregor

Gregor: Advisory board

Mumbrella’s parent company Focal Attractions is to launch a one day conference and awards event for people working in PR and communications.

CommsCon – which is being organised with the support of The PR Council – takes place in Sydney on Thursday March 14.

The event is being curated by Focal Attractions creative director Cathie McGinn.

The awards jury will be chaired by Andy Lark, chief marketing officer of CommBank. Lark is a former PR practitioner including at Fleishman-Hillard in the US where he was senior VP.

CommsCon’s advisory panel includes Stuart Gregor, boss of Liquid Ideas and chairman of The PR Council; Jim Macnamara, professor of public communication and deputy dean at UTS Sydney; Kim McKay, owner of Klick Communications; marketing consultant Toby Ralph; Fleur Brown, founder of Launch Group; Michelle Hutton, CEO of Edelman; Kat Thomas, owner, One Green Bean; Michelle Durham, corporate communications senior manager, Weight Watchers Australasia; and Neil Collins, national social media director of PPR.

The topics covered by the conference will include:

  • Measurement;
  • Social media and content creation;
  • The changing media landscape;
  • Crisis communications in the social media landscape, including a live crisis simulation.

The event is aimed at professionals working in corporate communications, PR, publicity, media relations, internal communications, community management, government relations, change management.

A survey of Mumbrella’s readership carried out late last year suggested that over just 85% of PR and communications practitioners felt their jobs would become more difficult in 2013. Respondents identified several key issues causing concern, among them: ownership of social media; how to ensure PR is better understood and valued; measurement; the upheaval in the media landscape and journalism; and a lack of representation at board or senior levels causing PR and communications to take a non-integrated, less business relevant role.

Award categories and jurors will be announced shortly.

McGinn said: “We’re delighted that Andy Lark has agreed to chair the jury. As one of the highest profile and respected marketers in Australia Andy is ideally placed to see the role of PR and communications within the wider marketing landscape. The fact that he has also worked directly within the PR world himself means he is uniquely placed to lead this process.”

The closing date for entries will be February 15.

CommsCon is open to submissions of content and speakers for the conference program. Contact cathie@focalattractions.com.au | 02 8296 0205.

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