Session Speakers
Welcome and event introduction
PR professionalism and the value of applied academic research
Philip Young (BCU)
Jason MacKenzie (CIPR President)
Research agenda
Developing a more focused academic-practitioner PR research agenda.
Keynote: Professor W. Timothy Coombs (Texas A&M University) – award winning researcher and world expert in crisis communications.

Donald Steel – reputation, crisis management specialist.

Update on Global Capabilities in Public Relations and Communication Management Dr. Johanna Fawkes (University of Huddersfield) – principal investigator for The Global Capability Framework for Public Relations and Communications Management.
Employability and Sustainable Careers
Discussion challenges and opportunities presented by the ongoing transformation of the modern work environment for individual practitioners, employers and educators.
Chair: Dr Derek Hodge (University of Stirling) plus Heather Yaxley (PhD researcher) and Chas Hallett, Jaguar Land Rover.
Talking points and action plans
Break-out sessions on a range of talking points – with action plans
Chair: Paula Keaveney (Edge Hill University)
Wrap up and ways forward Dr Kevin Ruck


Philip Young

Senior Lecturer, Birmingham School of Media

Philip is a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University. Before moving into academia he was an award-winning journalist and owner of a successful PR agency. Philip has been investigating the impact of social media on PR theory and practice since 2005, as a lead researcher on the pioneering EuroBlog project then as project leader for NEMO: New Media, Modern Democracy at Lund. He is co-author of Online Public Relations and a contributor to The Public Relations Handbook.

Jason MacKenzie

President, Chartered Institute of Public Relations

Jason MacKenzie is the president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), the largest membership organisation for PR professionals in Europe. He is a communications strategist and marketing consultant. Between 2011 and the end of 2016, he was managing director of an award-winning PR Week UK ‘Top 150’ agency. He’s a Chartered Marketer, a Founding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner, and a Freeman of the City of London Guild (Company) of Public Relations Practitioners.

Dr W. Timothy Coombs

Professor, Department of Communication at Texas A&M University

Dr Coombs specialises in crisis communications research and is a regular contributor to ‘Management Communication Quarterly’ and other periodicals, he has authored ‘Ongoing Crisis Communication’ and ‘Code Red in the Boardroom’. He has also worked with governments, corporations, and consulting firms in the U.S., Asia and Europe on ways to improve their and their clients’ crisis communications.

Donald Steel FCIPR FRSA

Reputation, crisis management specialist and former BBC chief media spokesman. Associate director at Johnston Associates and Kenyon International.

Dr Johanna Fawkes

Principal Research Fellow, University of Huddersfield Business School

Johanna Fawkes joined the University of Huddersfield Business School in March 2016 as Principal Research Fellow, to develop a capability framework for public relations world-wide. This 2 year project is for the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management of which colleague Professor Anne Gregory is immediate past Chair. Johanna was Senior Lecturer in Public Relations at Charles Sturt University, Australia from 2011 to 2016, where she was Course Director for the Doctor of Communications.

Dr Derek Hodge

Teaching Fellow, Programme Director of MSc Strategic Public Relations

Derek originally trained as a biologist and gained a D.Phil from the Department of Microbial Genetics at the University of Sussex. He was employed in the retail sector for several years, working in a variety of management roles, before moving into public relations. He was a partner in a public relations consultancy in Scotland for nine years working mainly on corporate communications campaigns for clients in the public and private sectors. He has a longstanding interest in the use of the Internet and digital media in public relations and fondly remembers creating his first website in 1995.

Heather Yaxley

Hybrid Academic-Educator-Consultant-Practitioner

After more than a decade at the sharp-end of PR practice in the motor industry, in 2000, Heather established Applause Consultancy to provide strategic consultancy and educational initiatives. Her clients have included large multinationals, trade bodies, not-for-profits and a number of very interesting small-medium enterprises (SMEs). She is General Secretary of the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Reactions and an Accredited Practitioner. She has recently successfully defended her PhD in career strategies in public relations, completed under the supervision of Professor Tom Watson and Professor Candida Yates at Bournemouth University.

Chas Hallet

Head of Corporate Reputation Management, Jaguar Land Rover

Prior to joining Jaguar Land Rover Chas was at Haymarket Media Group, where he edited and grew a number of brands, including Autocar, What Car? and Pistonheads. A motoring journalist for 20 years, he is best known for transforming Autocar into an internationally renowned automotive title.

Paula Keaveney

Lecturer at Edge Hill University

Paula is a former journalist and PR professional. Her research interests include political communications, public affairs and PR and marketing in the charity sector. She is the co-author of a text book on charity marketing and guest editor of Behind the Spin, an on-line publication for PR students and young practitioners.

Dr Kevin Ruck

Co-founder, PR Academy

Kevin is the co-founder of PR Academy, the largest provider of Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) qualifications. He is the editor and co-author of Exploring Internal Communication published by Gower. His research interests include Enterprise Social Networks (ESNs), responsible communication leadership and employee voice.

Contact Us