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PRCA Americas Conference 2021


02 Jun 2021







1st June: 3pm - 7.10pm BST
2nd June: 1pm - 5.50pm BST

This conference will be held virtually.

Event Type: Conference

Event Overview

Post Pandemic Public Relations: From Crisis to Opportunity

Public relations and strategic communications has never been more relevant to business and society.

The global pandemic and civil unrest that marred 2020 gave organizations a reality check on the importance of building meaningful, two-way relationships with stakeholders.

Communications professionals will play a front-line role in rebuilding the fractured global economy but our ability consolidate our position as strategic advisors over the next 12 months will have seismic implications for the future of practice.

Join us on the 1st and 2nd June 2021 as we gather industry leaders, pioneers and influencers from across North and South America operating at the forefront of modern communications. We’ll explore how brands and organisations can build trust in a post-pandemic world, as well as the role of PR professionals in encouraging businesses to embrace environmental social governance (ESG).

See our speaker book here

DAY ONE – 1st June 2021: Timings 15:00 – 19:00

Moderator: Fred Cook, Chairman Golin and Director of USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations






Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA




Keynote: APCO Action on Climate Change: What New and Proposed Policies Mean for Business


Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman, APCO Worldwide

Heather McGeory, Global lead, Climate and Sustainability, APCO Worldwide



Keynote:  Organizational cultures for PR pros to be wary of, in relation to workplace bullying, ethical misconduct, and retaliation.


Dr Dorothy Suskind, Assistant Professor of Education, Longwood University, Virginia




Panel Discussion with the Museum of Public Relations

"Toward a More Inclusive and International History of Public Relations  (and Why it Matters to the Profession Today)"


As our field becomes more diverse and global, so too should our recognition of the field's history. To this day, textbooks around the world continue to teach an "Americanized" version of our field's founding (one largely made up of white men), and neglect to cover the extraordinary contributions  of women, diverse professionals and practitioners who've practiced outside North America for the past century. We believe that a more inclusive and international telling of our field's history would enhance the way we practice and help attract a greater number of diverse students into the profession.  

A panel of distinguished scholars from Argentina, the UK, and India will offer their own perspectives on how a broadened approach to PR history might be of value to the profession today.


Moderator: Shelley Spector, Founder/Director, the Museum of Public Relations, New York City.



  • Dr Nicky Garsten, Associate Professor of Communications, University of Greenwich
  • Hemant Gaule, Co-Founder, School of Communications & Reputation
  • Dr Federico ReyLennon, Professor and Researcher, La Matanza National University & the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina
  • Adrian Crookes, Associate Dean, School of Media, London College of Communications



Keynote session: Shaping Stories in a Post-Pandemic World.

Paul Cohen, Partner & CEO, Milk & Honey PR North America

The last year and a half fundamentally altered – and enhanced – the role of communications around the world. The heightened expectations and demands of stakeholders for how organisations engage have put the spotlight squarely on communicators. This keynote session will look at how PR leaders can use principles of stakeholder engagement and storytelling to truly make a difference and drive organisational success – and avoid some common pitfalls.



10 minute break



Keynote: American Identities in Crisis: Why Racial Categories in the U.S. Decennial Census Matter to Corporate Public Relations


Bey-Ling Sha, Dean, College of Communications, California State University, Fullerton


Understanding interpersonal and systemic racism requires first an understanding of race, which in the United States has been constructed and labeled by the decennial census mandated in Article I, Section 2 the U.S. Constitution. Historically, census race categories have both defined and been defined by demographic shifts, geo-political considerations, and prevailing social concerns of the day. This keynote reviews the history of racial categories in the census, interrogates what they mean for U.S. national identity, and explains why global corporations should care in this latest moment of racial reckoning and diminished democracy.





Keynote:  Breaking through the metric noise


Johna Burke, Global Managing Director, AMEC

Richard Bagnall, Co-managing partner, CARMA & Chair of global communications effectiveness trade association, AMEC


Now, more than ever professionals are looking to refine and develop the metrics that matter for their organization. During this session we will discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of this process and how to cut through the noise.



Keynote: Challenges and opportunities in a diverse economical and political scenario of Latin America


Everton Schultz, President and Partner of Agora Strategic Communications and Public Affairs

Rebeca Gharibian, Quiddity Director & Partner, Brazil

In a diverse region such as Latin America, the impact of Covid-19 has had a great impact on economies and societies. This represents a big shift on the way companies deal with their reputation.

In a survey among Communications and Public Affairs conducted in April, 2021, Agora has learned the expectations and challenges among PR professionals across the region for next years. This panel will discuss how companies and brands should organize their PR and PA operations in various countries in the region. As well as find the right talents to overcome challenges in this complex scenario.


Conference Close


DAY TWO – 2nd June 2021: Timings 13:00 – 17:35

Moderator: Lucia Domville, Managing Director, Grayling NY




Welcome from our PRCA LATAM Chairman Gustavo Averbuj, CEO, Ketchum Argentina & Partner / Regional Director, Ketchum Latin America




Keynote from Michael Moroney, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Corporate Reputation - FleishmanHillard



Keynote: A new information literacy agenda


Maria Laura Garcia, President, FIBEP


In times of profound and accelerated transformations, our way of consuming information has also changed. However, in many cases we continue to think of information as if its ecosystem was still the same. A fundamental question then arises: How can we readapt ourselves to this new reality without confusing, losing or leaving aside valuable sources that could broaden our vision and prevent us from ending up hostage to our own information bubble? In this talk we will discuss the best ways to approach the wide range of information available in the age of infodemic, our unconscious biases, and how this ever-changing information universe poses a major challenge for media intelligence and PR companies that we must face together to be as resilient as possible.




Panel: Feast & Famine: Women 50+ as Coveted Consumer vs. Overlooked Senior Talent.


Moderator:  Kelly Fletcher, CEO Fletcher Marketing PR and co-host of the “Ms. InterPReted” Podcast,


  • Melissa Carter, co-host of “The Friendzy” Podcast and member of Atlanta’s first-ever LGBTQ Advisory Board.
  • Tonjanita L. Johnson, Ph.D, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs, University of Alabama System    




15 minute break




In Conversation with…


Kristy Zach, Marketing Sciences and Technology Analyst, SAS and Alison Williams, Director of Client Services, UK & USA, CARMA                                                                                  SAS’s COVID Communications Strategy: A Measurable Success


When an organization has to pivot in the face of a crisis like Covid-19, that’s where quality measurement really shines – providing vital insights to adjust strategy and reset goals to meet the moment. Kristy and Alison will discuss how the communications team at SAS:

•        Pivoted a major annual event with a date-driven strategy

•        Measured and reported meaningful results back to the business

•        Leveraged their measurement programme around SAS’s Covid response to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders across the business




Keynote: The Future of Our Industry through an Insights-Driven Lens

Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D, APR, President and CEO, Institute for Public Relations

This session will showcase the latest research that predicts what is in store for our public relations and communication industry over the next few years. Outside of the challenges of a rapidly changing and advancing profession, professionals must account for the social, political, and business dynamics that will disrupt organizations. Based on these insights, best in-class practices for both internal and external communication will be explored.





Keynote: Contemporary Crisis Leadership: Social Media Contemplations on Culture, Purpose, Mitigation, & Opportunities

LaShonda Eaddy, Ph.D, APR, Assistant Professor in Public Relations, Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, Penn State University

Organizations are increasingly expected to communicate transparently and live their purpose and culture even as trust levels decline.  Dr. Eaddy will discuss the importance of organizational purpose, culture, and leadership in weathering social media crises and the impact of stakeholders’ changing expectations on organizational responses. She will also explore “sticky” crisis response strategies, for crises that are severe, recurring, complex, and result in simultaneous ripple effects to organizations and industries alike.



Panel: Brazil: Communication and Pandemic in the Largest Economy in Latin America


Moderated by: Pedro Cadina, International Relations of ABRACOM and CEO of VIANEWS Latin America



•   Daniel Bruin, Chairman of the board of ABRACOM and Xcom Agency

•   Carina Almeida, CEO Textual Agency



The Year Ahead: PRCA Ethics Council Outlook

Mary Beth West, MPRCA, PRCA Ethics Council and Fletcher Marketing PR 


Conference Close


Sponsored by:


If you would like to sponsor the PRCA Americas Conference, please email Steve Miller on