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PRCA Leadership Academy - Oxford

When: 21st-22nd March, 2019
Where: Eynsham Hall, A4095, North Leigh, Witney OX29 6PN

Taking place from 21st-22nd March, 2018, 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, negotiation skills, new business development, 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.


In the live crisis simulation interactive training session, you will experience what it’s like to manage a live crisis as it unfolds on social and digital media. Using Polpeo, an interactive crisis simulation platform, you will work in teams to manage your company’s reputation as a crisis hits in real-time. The session is designed to test and improve your crisis handling skills, discuss approaches with your 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.

The trainers will include:

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 you 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 – you will leave with a set of tools to implement immediately. The 12-month programme of follow up support ensures that your new behaviours are reinforced, extended, and embedded.

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.

Jane Fordham MPRCA: The future of work – what employees want and how to keep them

The communications landscape is changing beyond belief, there is widespread uncertainty in our professional and personal lives, a razor-focus on margins and revenues and our mental health is being challenged more than ever before. Yet, unemployment is at a record low and the talent war we’ve been talking about for years is digging in. I suggest a radical rethink about how to attract, develop, and retain the very best talent and, how to fundamentally overhaul approaches to agency/in-house team structures. This session will look at over-arching structural models, provide a suite of practical tools for situational people management and, plenty of opportunity for open discussion. 

Adrian Wheeler FPRCA: New business from networking to shortlist

This module is for agency leaders who are responsible for bringing in new business prospects. The average win-rate in UK PR is 25%. But some agencies consistently score over 60%. How? We will cover: the new business pipeline: numbers and process (PQQ, ITT, RFI, RFP); how clients populate long-lists and how they reduce them to short-lists; chemistry meetings and briefing meetings: using them to start selling; networking - how to mobilise the networking potential of everyone in the company; cold-calling – some surprising statistics and proven techniques; their shoes: the client’s experience in selecting a new agency; credentials: only 50 per cent make the cut. How to be one of them; dealing with procurement; making a favourable impression; do you know why you win or lose? (You were a close second); and suggestions for a new business strategy.

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 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 has spoken and run workshops on the impact of social media on crisis management at international events, most recently at SXSW, The Global PR Summit, PR Week’s Crisis Comms, 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 in the PR industry. 


Tamara Littleton, co-founder, Polpeo; and CEO, The Social Element:  Crisis Simulation Session


Tamara Littleton co-founded Polpeo in 2013 to help brands navigate the pitfalls of social media successfully and safeguard their reputations online. She is the founder and CEO of social media management company, The Social Element, a global social media agency that delivers social media strategy, content, engagement and insights to some of the world’s biggest brands. Tamara founded The Social Element in 2002, before the explosion in social media. It is now the largest independent agency in its space, with a team of 300 people working across the world in more than 50 languages. It has seen average business growth of 43% over five years, and has offices in London, New York and Los Angeles. The Social Element has been named as an International Growth Business of the Year at the National Business Awards, A Rising Star of the Year at the UK’s Private Business Awards, a City AM Leap 100 company, and listed on the Sunday Times Tech Track and Export Track 100.


The Academy will take place at Eynsham Hall, a stunning country house hotel and conference centre in the heart of Oxfordshire, located one hour from London. In 3,000 acres of beautiful parkland, this impressive Jacobean-style mansion will offer practitioners the opportunity to develop their skills while away from the hubbub and distractions of the office. The Health and Fitness Club offers a state-of-the-art fitness studio and indoor swimming pool.

The price is £1095.00 + VAT, which includes all training sessions, meetings, and presentations, one night's stay at Eynsham Hall, 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

 This event has been sponsored by Polpeo.