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Second PRFest in Edinburgh

PR sector to debate latest challenges

Laura SutherlandPublic relations leaders will gather at Whitespace in Edinburgh today to discuss the latest developments in the sector.

The second annual PR Festival will bring 120 practitioners together from across the UK to share best practice 

PR consultant, Laura Sutherland (pictured), who runs Aura in Glasgow, has organised the two-day event with the PRCA and said: “We’ve been missing an event like this for some time. Gone are the days of boring conferences, we now look to develop more innovative events where practitioners can learn and implement immediately, as well as discuss big industry topics collectively.”

The festival welcomes two new initiatives: Women in PR and the Scottish PR Collective.

The Scottish PR Collective (SPRC), also developed by Ms Sutherland, is taking the agency model and turning it on its head.

She said: “This group of independent practitioners have their own PR businesses, working with their own clients, but SPRC was developed to promote independent practitioners in Scotland.”

She said it allows businesses and organisations to find them more easily and take advantage of the huge growth in brands looking for extensions of their teams, providing one point of contact and without the large overheads.

“We have a wealth of independent practitioners in Scotland, mostly of a senior level, with amazing experience and skills to tap into.

“In addition, we will collectively work together on bigger projects, cover holidays, offer advice and support and we each offer something a bit different.

“With the rise in the desire to have a better work-life balance and the requests to work with skilled and experienced independent practitioners, this collective offers flexibility and we’ve got each other for wider network support.” 

A website has been developed to make searching for and finding relevant, skilled practitioners, more easy and in the hope more independent practitioners can grow their own businesses and client base. The SPRC launches with nine founding members from across Scotland. 

PRCA director general, Francis Ingham will lead discussions on industry trends, challenges and opportunities, on Friday.

He said: “We’re very proud to be supporting PRFest, which this year promises to cover some of the really big issues in PR and communications.

“I’m looking forward to discussing the global trends, challenges and opportunities within the industry when I speak at the event on Friday,  and that promises to be a lively discussion.” 


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