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PRCA Leadership Academy

When: 6th - 7th February, 2020
Where: Macdonald Bear Hotel, Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SZ

Taking place from the 6th - 7th February, 2020 the PRCA Leadership Academy is aimed at PR and communications practitioners who are preparing to make their next step into leadership roles. They will learn the essential skills of leadership, budget management, crisis management, and much more. The two day academy will feature motivational speakers, workshops training sessions, a live crisis simulation and one-to-one coaching sessions.

All attendees will receive a PRCA PR and Communications Leadership Diploma upon completing the two-day academy.

The Academy will feature a motivational speech from guest speaker Margaret Alphonsi MBE, England Rugby World Cup Winner. Before announcing her international retirement in 2014, she represented her country an impressive 74 times, scored 28 tries, and helped England win a record breaking seven consecutive Six Nations crowns. She was a crucial member of the team that won the 2014 Rugby World Cup for the first time in 20 years and was part of the team that was crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality Team of the Year. Maggie will give her own personal insights about leadership, transferring skills, the psychology of winning, pressure management, and more.

The trainers will include:

Emma Ewing MPRCA: Leading the way with feedback: Providing confident critical and positive feedback to get better results, improve motivation, and develop your team

 Feedback is one of the cheapest and most powerful management tools we have on tap. Yet it's underused and often poorly handled. Even experienced communicators are in danger of missing a trick, delivering feedback that fails to produce positive change. Effective feedback gets people on track, develops great careers and helps to shape a culture that reinforces and rewards high performers. Feedback can also be highly motivating and energising. It has strong links to employee engagement and productivity. This highly interactive session will build your skills and confidence in giving feedback that gets results and creates the change you want. You'll learn the absolute no-nos of feedback as well as understanding how to shape a culture that actively welcomes feedback at all levels. You'll be able to show others how to deliver great feedback and set the stage for building better management communication at all levels.

Jayne Constantinis MPRCA: How to be an effective leader and spokesman with gravitas

One of the key tools of great leadership is an ability to communicate with confidence and skill.  In this session attendees  will learn the fundamentals of excellent face-to-face communication for a variety of different scenarios: how to exude gravitas and presence through verbal and non-verbal techniques; how to present with clarity and relevance so that you can hold and inspire an audience; how to approach difficult conversations; how to manage meetings; the power of listening; the art of small talk and networking, and how to motivate and empower others. The training is highly practical – everyone  will leave with a set of tools to implement immediately. Delegates will also receive the 12-month programme of follow up support to ensure that their new behaviours are reinforced, extended, and embedded.

Jane Fordham MPRCASelf-Knowledge, Emotional Intelligence, and Resilience

Is your leadership style built upon a foundation of self-awareness and a knowledge of your own emotional intelligence (EQ)? This practical and highly interactive session will super-charge your performance and deliver a personalised blueprint for the long-term resilience and wellbeing of yourself and your team, turning wellness into a strategic enabler.  

 Social science tells us that even the smallest shots of positivity can give someone a competitive edge. Positive mindsets have been proven to transform engagement and business impact. Self-knowledge, EQ and wellbeing in a leader’s toolkit drives impactful communications, an ability to influence, engage and inspire a team, indeed all stakeholders. With this front of mind, workshop attendees will have the chance to complete an online EQ self-assessment in advance and have a 45 minute feedback session with trainer and ‘TEIque’ practitioner, Jane Fordham. 

Steve Dunne FPRCA: Get Commercial - How to become commercially focused 

Few PR professionals enter the profession to work on the commercial side of a business.  Maybe it’s a left brain, right brain issue; maybe it’s getting excited about creativity and event management rather than the numbers. However, as you become more senior in the industry the commercial aspects of the business will become a major part of your role. In this session, delegates learn  the essentials of commercial management in a business undertaking PR - from planning for profit and managing costs, to keeping on top of over servicing and understanding contracts.  Learn how to operate billable time and create healthy margins; when to deploy investment hours and how to avoid unplanned write off.  Examine how to estimate and financially plan a PR proposal or how to negotiate bigger budgets. Session leader Steve Dunne has managed some of the biggest PR departments around, including British Telecom, HSBC and South African Airways as well as leading four major PR consultancies, two of which he sold.  He knows what PR professionals need to know commercially and will share that in this session.

Kate Hartley MPRCA, co-founder, Polpeo: Crisis Simulation Session

Kate Hartley co-founded Polpeo ( in 2013 with global social media agency, The Social Element. Polpeo’s software simulates how a crisis unfolds and spreads over social and digital media, so that communications teams can prepare for and rehearse managing a crisis in a closed, private environment. Kate has 25 years’ agency-side experience in crisis and reputation management and corporate PR. She runs workshops highlighting the impact of social media on crisis management worldwide and speaks regularly at international events, most recently at SXSW, The Global PR Summit, PR Week’s Crisis Communications, and Social Media Today’s Social Shake Up. She is a member of the CIPR and the PRCA, and sits on the PRCA’s Digital Steering Committee which is designed to shape digital best practice across the PR industry. 

In the live crisis simulation interactive training session, attendees will experience what it’s like to manage a live crisis as it unfolds on social and digital media. Using Polpeo’s interactive crisis simulation platform, delegates will work in teams to manage a company’s reputation as a crisis hits in real-time. The session is designed to test and improve  crisis handling skills, discuss approaches with peers and with the Polpeo trainers, and provoke discussion about how to create crisis plans that are robust enough to withhold an attack during a crisis.  Also, every delegate will have a 30 minute one-to-one coaching session to reinforce learning and discuss an action plan for their organisation or client

The price is member: £1095.00+VAT, non-member: £1295+VAT which includes all training sessions, meetings, and presentations, one night's stay at Macdonald Bear Hotel, a two-course lunch on both days, breakfast on day two, and a three-course evening meal on day one. 

To find out more and to book a place, please contact


"I honestly took so much away from the Academy - more than I could have hoped for. I really feel that the skills I learned will develop me to the next stage in my career and were genuinely so useful." - Sophie Baillie MPRCA, PR and Marketing Manager

"Brilliant location which helped create an environment for engaging discussions and enabling me to open my mind to different ideas." - Richard Edney, Management Consultant

"It was a really great training event - loads of practical advice that I can put into place straight away." - Celia Moran MPRCA, Press and Communications Manager

“I was promoted into a senior role last year, which involves working with the chief executives and other senior staff in the eight NHS national health boards in Scotland. As a Communications and Engagement Implementation Lead, I need to be able to think strategically, so that I can work effectively and offer the best possible advice and assistance. Gaining the PRCA PR Leadership Diploma has helped me to understand what other leaders expect from me and how I needed to grow into my new role. I found the sessions at the academy to be both informative and inspirational. The one to one coaching session and follow up support has also been extremely valuable to me.” - Vivienne Wilson, NHS, Communications and Engagement Implementation Lead

This event has been sponsored by Polpeo.