2016 PRWEEK CONFERENCE

Thursday, October 13 2016 Convene 117 West 46th Street New York NY

About the 2016 PRWeek Conference

Communications now has a firm place in the upper echelons of the business world - enlightened CEOs and their C-suites know the value of PR and what it delivers to a brand or corporation. From senior strategic counsel to crisis management to integration to content marketing to social media to internal communications, PR is a fundamental building block of key business metrics such as reputation, sales, stock performance, customer service, social responsibility, and engaged staff. PRWeek will gather top practitioners in communications and marketing - as well as leaders from across the business landscape - to illustrate these factors in action and highlight the value of PR.

2015 PRWeek Conference Highlights

2016 Speakers

In his role, Dr. Cosgrove presides over a $6.2 billion healthcare system comprised of the Cleveland Clinic, eight community hospitals, 16 family health and ambulatory surgery centers, as well as facilities in Florida, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Abu Dhabi. Under his leadership, the Cleveland Clinic has consistently been named among America’s top four hospitals (U.S. News & World Report) and is one of only two hospitals named among “America’s 99 Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute. One of the medical industry’s most sought-after speakers, he has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos and numerous Senate committees. He has also regularly appeared in Time, The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and myriad other national and global media outlets. Among many accolades, Cosgrove has received the Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Public Service, has been named Castle Connolly’s National Physician of the Year, and has been highly ranked among Modern Healthcare’s “100 most powerful people in healthcare” and “most powerful physician executives.”

Toby Cosgrove

President and CEO, Cleveland Clinic

Scott Borchetta is the founder, president, and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the number-one independent record label in the world and home to superstars such as Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Steven Tyler. For the past two years, Borchetta guided contestants on FOX’s American Idol throughout the competition and signed winners Nick Fradiani and Trent Harmon, along with Season 15 runner-up LaPorsha Renae to record deals. With Borchetta at the helm, Big Machine Label Group has celebrated monumental success since the company’s inception 11 years ago. With the message "Music Has Value" embroidered on the sleeve of his suit jacket, Scott has led the charge on more than 40 million albums sold by Big Machine artists under his watch – including 165 number-one country and pop singles. Borchetta has been honored for his groundbreaking business savvy with inclusion on Billboard’s Power 100 list and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, in addition to being honored in Nashville at the Music Biz 2015 luncheon, where he was awarded the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement. Borchetta joined the ranks of past honorees who have been recognized for their outstanding vision, leadership, and commitment, including Dick Clark and Clive Davis. In 2012, in an unprecedented deal, Borchetta made history by working with Clear Channel, the largest owner of U.S. radio stations, to secure sound-recording performance royalties to Big Machine Label Group and its artists. This became the first time in history that artists would get paid for their recordings on terrestrial radio stations. Using a combination of promotional savvy and an unusual willingness to interact with fans in person and through social media, Borchetta has helped a diverse group of artists achieve important moments in their careers. Under his leadership, BMLG artists have won Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, and more. Borchetta now freely crosses boundaries record labels used to consider inviolate. In fact, don’t think of Big Machine as a “record label.” Borchetta prefers “entertainment and content company,” and has pushed the label group beyond music toward complete cultural saturation. Borchetta served as executive producer on the critically acclaimed documentary Glen CampbellL…I’ll Be Me, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Additionally, the soundtrack for the documentary won four GRAMMY Awards, including Best Soundtrack.

Scott Borchetta

Founder, president, and CEO, Big Machine Label Group

Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, is a longtime advocate for underserved communities and girls’ and women’s causes.  Committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, Sylvia was a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 and an officer of its Executive Committee. Sylvia is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, serves as chair of its Early Learning Subcommittee and is a national advocate for STEM education.  She was the founder, president and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics.  She served on the founding board of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas—the largest all-girl public school in the nation – and has spoken across the country about the importance of helping girls discover their strengths, passions and talents.   Sylvia began her career as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has served in executive and business development roles at Apple Computer, IBM, Dell Computer Corporation, Autodesk Inc., REBA Technologies and Tandem Ungermann-Bass.  Sylvia has been widely recognized for her accomplishments, with honors that include U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top 100 American women in STEM; Businesswoman of the Year, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the Ohtli Award, a national civil rights honor from the federal government of Mexico. As a girl growing up in New Mexico, Sylvia attributes joining Girl Scouts to providing her with tools and experiences not widely available to girls of her background.  She describes being a Girl Scout as life-changing, enabling her to pursue leadership as a goal.  Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University.

Sylvia Acevedo

interim CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

Boff is GE’s Chief Marketing officer leading customer experience, marketing and brand for the company.  In her role, Boff is focused on GE’s transformation to a digital industrial company, leading industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.  Previously, Boff was GE’s global brand marketing leader.  She also served as CMO of iVillage Properties, part of the NBC Universal.  Boff joined GE in early 2004 with 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and communications including senior roles at Citigroup, the American Museum of Natural History and Porter Novelli.

Boff is a 2014 AWNY Changing the Game Award winner, B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year and 2012 Media Maven.  She is on the Board of Partnership with Children, a NYC-based organization which provides social support to 5000 hard-to-reach school children.  Boff is also on the Ad Council’s Executive Committee and is a member of Digital 50. Boff earned a BA in Political Science and Psychology from Union College.   She lives in Irvington, NY with her husband and two children.

Linda Boff

CMO, GE

Berta De Pablos-Barbier is VP of marketing at Mars Chocolate North America, a role she has held since early 2015. It marks her return to the brand at which she spent her early career. Her first stint at Mars included time as a food scientist, Middle East leader, and GM in Spain. In between her stints at Mars, she spent seven years in France working in the fashion industry. She was VP of global marketing and communications at Boucheron and then joined Lacoste, where she served as CMO and EVP of branding. In her current role at Mars, she oversees brand management and integrated marketing strategy for a multibillion-dollar portfolio of iconic global brands that include M&M’s, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and Dove. She holds an engineering degree from Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain and an MBA from Institut Francais de la Mode in France.

Berta de Pablos-Barbier

VP of Marketing, Mars Chocolate North America

Rob Lynch serves as the Brand President and Chief Marketing Officer for Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG). As Arby’s Brand President and CMO, Lynch leads all research and development, new product innovation, brand marketing and positioning, advertising creation,media planning and delivery for the Arby’s brand. He also serves as the President of the Arby’sFranchisee Association, where he focuses on building collaborative relationships with franchisees, team members and other key stakeholders to deliver top and bottom line growth. Since joining Arby’s in 2013, Rob has been a key contributor to the Arby’s brand turn around.Rob and his team have repositioned the brand as the Fast CraftedTM option in the restaurant industry by delivering high-quality, innovative food that you would expect to find in a fast casual restaurant, coupled with the value and convenience you would expect at QSR. “We Have the Meats” is how that positioning is brought to life. In 2015, the Arby’s brand experienced it’s best sales year in the brand’s 50 year history and significantly outpaced QSR industry same store sales growth rates. The Brand also received significant recognition by being named to the exclusive “2015 AdAge Marketer A-List,” by earning the title of “Wall Street Journal 2015 Ad of the Year” for it’s Jon Stewart ad, and by receiving the Shorty Award as the “2015 Social Marketer of the Year”. Rob has a long history of building brands and delivering business results. Prior to joining Arby’s, Rob was a senior business leader and at the forefront of some of the top marketed brands and companies in the country, including Procter & Gamble, The HJ Heinz Company, and, most recently, Yum! Brands where he served as the Vice President of Brand Marketing at Taco Bell. As Taco Bell’s Vice President of Brand Marketing, Rob led the development and delivery of Taco Bell’s annual Marketing Calendar and the discovery, design, validation and delivery of all innovation platforms. Rob was part of the Taco Bell Marketing Team that was recognized as “2013 Marketer of the Year” by Ad Age magazine. Before Taco Bell, Rob spent his career building brands at HJ Heinz and Procter & Gamble. At Heinz, Rob had P&L responsibility and led marketing efforts for Heinz’s largest consumer brand, Ore-Ida Potatoes. During his leadership of Ore-Ida, the team received the “Chairman’s Innovation Award”. He also established the multicultural marketing capability for the ketchup maker. Prior to Heinz, Rob led the strategic development and commercialization of some of Procter & Gamble’s largest healthcare innovations, including products like Crest SpinBrush Pro and Crest Pro Health Mouthwash, two of the first product innovations in the Crest Pro Health portfolio. He also spent two years in Bentonville, AR, leading Procter & Gamble’s $3 Billion Personal Healthcare Products business at Walmart.

Rob Lynch

Brand President and CMO, Arby's

Deirdre Latour is the Chief Communications Officer for GE. She is responsible for leading the company’s communications function globally, including financial communications, public relations, public affairs, functional talent development and helping to shape the company’s culture. Prior to being named CCO, Latour served as GE’s Senior Director, External Communications. In that role she was responsible for building and executing a communications strategy to enhance and protect the reputation of GE, including financial communications, issues and crisis management and executive communications for the CEO, CFO and CMO. Before joining GE ten years ago, Deirdre worked for the global public relations firm Edelman, where she was a vice president, responsible for a variety of corporate communications, brand, cause, consumer and entertainment marketing efforts for clients such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, ACUVUE and GM. Deirdre is a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Holy Cross College. She has been recognized by the industry including being named the Corporate PR Person of the Year by PR News and one of the 40 under 40 Influencers by PR Week. Deirdre is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. She lives in New York City with her husband, three sons and pug.

Deirdre Latour

CCO, GE

Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of Edelman, the leading communications marketing firm, with 65 offices and 5,500 employees worldwide. Richard has extensive experience in marketing and reputation management, having led assignments with major corporations, NGOs and family businesses in over 25 industries around the world. He has counseled countries in every region of the world on economic development programs. As the creator of the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, Richard has become one of the foremost authorities on trust in business, government, media and NGOs. Under Richard's leadership, the agency has garnered many of the industry’s top accolades. Richard, himself, also has earned many industry honors. He is regarded as an industry thought leader. Richard topped PRWeek‘s list of most powerful executives in 2013 and was recognized as the third highest rated CEO by Glassdoor in 2014, among others. Richard serves on the Board of Directors of the Ad Council, the Atlantic Council, the Children’s Aid Society, the 9/11 Museum and the National Committee on US China Relations. He is a member of the World Economic Forum and PR Seminar. Richard earned his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1978 and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in 1976. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1972.

Richard Edelman

president and CEO, Edelman

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is the US news editor for the Financial Times and an assistant editor, responsible for coordinating the FT's daily Americas news coverage. He is based in New York. Previously Edgecliffe-Johnson served as the FT’s global media editor, moving the position from London to New York in July 2008. He led and coordinated the FT’s global coverage of sectors ranging from the music and movie businesses to digital media and marketing, writing about technology and media for the FT’s Inside Business column and managing a team of media, telecoms and consumer industries reporters in the US and Europe. In his 16 years at the FT, Edgecliffe-Johnson has also been the FT’s deputy news editor, edited its management features section (now called Business Life), covered M&A and consumer industries in New York from 1999 to 2002, and written for the influential Lex column. He began his career in journalism as a financial reporter for the Daily Telegraph in London. Edgecliffe-Johnson was the winner of the Newsbios “30 under 30” award for young financial journalists in 2000 and 2001. He has served as a judge for the Shorty Awards and Mirror Awards and has co-chaired events including FT Live’s annual Digital Media Conference and Future of Marketing Summit. Edgecliffe-Johnson graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Italian and French. Find him on Twitter at @Edgecliffe.

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson

US News Editor, Financial Times

Shelly Banjo is a columnist covering retail and consumer news for Bloomberg Gadfly, Bloomberg's fast-commentary section that launched in 2015. She joined Bloomberg from Quartz, where she wrote about the future of finance. Prior to that, she was a reporter for eight years at The Wall Street Journal, where she covered Walmart and big-box retailers. She helped launch the Journal’s Greater New York section and Wealth Management website. Banjo holds an MBA in global economics from New York University and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Shelly Banjo

Gadfly columnist (covering retail and consumer goods), Bloomberg

Scott Burton is the executive editor of ESPN The Magazine, a position he assumed in June 2011. His responsibilities are wide-ranging, from directing writers and editors to creating issue story lineups to recruiting writing talent. In 2011, Burton conceived and directed the magazine’s Michael Vick issue, which received an ASME nomination for best Single-Topic Issue. He’s also launched two columns at the magazine—Howard Bryant’s The Truth, and Peter Keating’s The Numbers—both of which he continues to oversee. Before being promoted from senior editor, Burton directed coverage of pro football, college basketball and fantasy sports, while writing a variety of features and essays. Burton was the editor of the best-selling ESPN Fantasy Football preview magazine (2006-2011) and co-editor of the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia (2009). Prior to joining ESPN in the fall of 2000, Burton was an editor at SPORT magazine (1997-2000),Richard Petty’s Stock Car Racing Magazine (1996-97) and College Sports Magazine (1996). Burton was born in Chicago and grew up in Ithaca, N.Y. He received a bachelor’s in 1996 from the University of Michigan.

Scott Burton

Executive editor, ESPN The Magazine

Nathan Bomey is a business reporter at USA TODAY, where he covers breaking news, the automotive industry and energy. He is also the author of Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back, published in April 2016 by W.W. Norton & Co. The book chronicles the saga of Detroit’s crash into insolvency and the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Before joining USA TODAY in the Washington, D.C., area in June 2015, Nathan covered Detroit’s historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy and General Motors as a business reporter for the Detroit Free Press. He also previously reported for community publications in the Ann Arbor area near his hometown of Saline, Mich. Nathan was named Young Journalist of the Year in 2015 by the Society of Professional Journalists Detroit. He is a two-time winner of Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) awards for groundbreaking stories on Detroit’s financial collapse and trip through bankruptcy. He is also a recipient of “Governing” magazine’s Hovey-Harkness Award, honoring the best public service journalism on government issues. He is a former finalist for the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award and has received numerous other journalism honors. A 2006 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Nathan received EMU’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2015. He has also completed a fellowship program in China through the Honolulu-based East-West Center in 2012 and earned a certificate from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business’ Seminars for Business Journalists

Nathan Bomey

Business Reporter, USA Today

John Berard serves as the CEO of Vox Populi Registry, the company that has brought dotSucks domain names to the internet. The position leverages his track record as an internet advocate and public relations executive. Before joining Vox Populi Registry, he forged a career in three "company towns," each the center of its own universe essential to corporate success. First in the financial and corporate communications landscape of New York City, then in the legal and issues-driven Washington, D.C. and again in San Francisco supporting the marketing, primarily, of technology companies. Now in Oregon, he brings his experience to bear on behalf of the Cayman Islands-based Vox Populi Registry. Before joining Vox Populi Registry, he founded a communications consultancy based on the insight that effective marketing -- of products, services, even a company itself -- requires more than commitment, authenticity and transparency. Advocacy and persuasion must be contextually credible. John previously served as an executive in residence for an Ottawa, Ontario, Canada-based internet business focused holding company, Momentous. Prior to joining Momentous, John ran West Coast offices and operations for three public relations agencies. FleishmanHillard, FitzGerald Communications and Zeno Group (a unit of Edelman) each gave him insight into managing the creative process within the context of business success. John practices one essential aspect of corporate social responsibility: It is important to be a participant in the communities you serve. He was an advisor to the San Francisco Food Bank for four years before serving two terms on the board, where he was part of the effort to help develop a “consumer” brand to elevate public awareness and provide a stronger profile for giving. He also served as a member of the board of The Market Street Railway, the private support organization for historic street cars in San Francisco. It is equally important to be a part of the discussion of industry issues, too. He is currently an active participant in ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -- and served on its domain name policy governing body from 2010-to-2014. In 1997, he was a founding member of the board of TRUSTe, the online privacy rights group. He served on the board until the end of 2004. More recently, John was a member of the board of the IAPP, the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He remains a member of the organization for corporate and governmental professionals engaged in privacy.

John Berard

CEO, Vox Populi Registry

Heather Willems, co-founder of ImageThink, has a passion for making connections. Whether she is developing client relationships, leading workshops, or speaking about visual thinking, she loves supporting people’s personal and professional growth. She’s has been graphic facilitating for over a decade, and her lifelong practice of journaling and drawing out ideas was demonstrated in her work on the Today Show. Heather holds an MFA in fine art photography from the Ohio State University, and her fine art work has been featured in the New York Times and in galleries throughout the country. Heather lives with her husband Liam, and their dog Zaso in Brooklyn, NY, where she currently serves as a board member for EO Brooklyn.

Heather Willems

Principal and cofounder, ImageThink

At Weber Shandwick, Ian creates visually stunning stories, unparalleled brand exposure, and relationship-altering results for clients, all with an eye on the future. Overseeing an award-winning team of 125+ creators, producers, directors, and editors worldwide, Ian has helped set a new standard for excellence in the engagement game, amassing a virtual trophy den of Webbys, Tellys, Addys, and SABRE Awards. Ian is a driving force in Weber Shandwick’s transformation from a PR firm to an engagement agency. He has been instrumental in the creation, launch, and execution of both Mediaco and GoLive, Weber Shandwick’s forward-charging brand broadcast platforms. As B. Bonin Bough, says about Ian and Weber Shandwick, “With Weber on the Trending 10 show…It’s not just about how you shoot a video and post it. But actually, how do you publish in real time? How do you deliver in the moment? The ability to do that with live video is transformational.” As a co-founder of GoLive, instead of spending his days in the editing room on stories that fade, Ian brings a brand’s live-streaming, on-location story to the masses instantaneously. With Mediaco and GoLive, the kind of content you would see in major broadcasts is now being brought to brands. At a transformative time in the public relations industry, Ian has focused his energy on helping clients break through the clutter, and in the process has helped the firm develop strategies for clients to better tell their stories on an ever-increasing scale. Ian took GoLive to the Sundance Film Festival for the first-ever, inaugural Live@Sundance event. Their groundbreaking, live-streaming series, covered by The New York Times, showcased the festival’s brightest talents, featured exclusive interviews with stars and creators, and even broke insider news on distribution deals inked literally feet away. With Ian running point, each story unfolded to thousands of viewers around the world as it happened. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in 2011, Ian was a four-time Daytime Emmy Award-nominated television producer, winning twice for Outstanding Daytime Show of the Year for his work on "Rachel Ray." Ian was the show’s field producer, directing shoots with Rachel and other celebrity guests while handling scripting and overseeing the editing of taped pieces. He held a similar role at “Martha,” the daytime talk show hosted by Martha Stewart. Ian is also an AP award-winning, on-camera journalist, having spent time in San Diego as a news reporter and in Yuma, AZ as a sports director for their CBS affiliate. Adding to his list of major accomplishments, Ian was chosen to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 and served as a juror on PRWeek’s inaugural Brand Film Festival

Ian Cohen

Global executive producer and president, content creation and innovation, Weber Shandwick

Ambika Pai is a career-long strategist who marries her experiences in data and analytics, social media, communications planning, and brand planning, to construct comprehensive, immersive, and effective brand stories. She earned her creative stars and stripes at agencies such as BBH and Mother, and got what she called her "Advertising MBA" learning about the global business-to-business landscape at Dentsu's gyro:. Her category experience is diverse, having touched brands like Google, UNICEF, Tiffany, Target, MeUndies, Burger King, HP, Grey Goose, and more. Alongside Ambika's enthusiasm for and expertise in brand strategy, she is intensely passionate about the strategy of people - using learnings about culture, trends, and psychology to help people reach their full potential, inside and outside of the workplace. Outside of the office, you can find Ambika at a Moth story slam, hollering at a TV during a Cleveland Cavaliers game (yes, she's an original, pre-Championship fan), or sipping whiskey while reading tarot cards.

Ambika Pai

Strategy director, Wolf & Wilhelmine

Risa Burgess, SVP, Boston client engagement practice lead, MSLGroup, was selected for PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 list. US CEO Ron Guirguis said, “While Risa has risen to become SVP, North America Health Practice, and was recently named to MSLGROUP’s senior leadership team in Boston as Client Engagement Leader, these are only hints of her extraordinary impact inside and outside our agency. Risa embodies all we value at MSLGROUP: excellence in client services, passion for talent development, discipline in operations and financial stewardship, commitment to raising standards within the PR industry, and to her local community.” Burgess is a trusted advisor for MSLGROUP Boston’s longest-standing client: West Pharmaceutical (16 years), encompassing product communications, corporate re-branding and an award-winning crisis management initiative that helped thwart threats to business continuity and corporate reputation. She has stabilized, led and grown the prestigious Kimberly-Clark Healthcare account since 2009; then orchestrated the company’s spin-out as Halyard Health. She has also re-imagined and re-launched the office’s employee mentorship program. “She is a cherished mentor, superb delegator and peerless developer of talent. Many of the Boston office’s emerging leaders have flourished under her wing,” said Guirguis. As for her efforts outside the office, Burgess was elected by her PR industry peers to serve as President, New England Publicity Club. She has since served as a Board Member for this organization.

Risa Burgess

SVP, Boston client engagement practice lead, MSLGroup, PRWeek 40 Under 40 honoree

Gabby Etrog Cohen, SVP, PR and brand strategy, SoulCycle, was selected for PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 list. At her present company, she has helped to grow the brand from five to 36 studios over the last four years, secured thousands of strategic media placements from Today to Vanity Fair, developed key brand partnerships, managed all influencer marketing and celebrity/VIP relations. Her hotel and destination experience includes Westin Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, St. Pete Clearwater, Florida, The Bowery Hotel in NYC, Element Hotels, The Dylan Hotel, The Jane Hotel, and The Elysian Hotel. She has secured placements for clients in The New York Times, CNN, Ace of Cakes, Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Today, and MSN.com. She previously held a senior post at NJFPR. Prior to that, she was a marketing and PR consultant with Bonnie Reuben Communications and Heart of Brooklyn. She was also a sales manager for Global Events Partners, marketing more than 70 destinations and destination-management companies worldwide. She started her career in tourism at a number of Club Med resorts in Florida, Mexico, and Colorado. She earned a Masters in Tourism Marketing and Development from New York University, where she now serves as an adjunct professor, and a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Syracuse University. A passionate athlete and traveler, she also volunteers for Girls on the Run, an organization that encourages self-respect in pre-teens through running. Some of her favorite travel memories include camping through Maine; hiking, snorkeling, and whitewater rafting in Australia; and biking through the Canadian Rockies.

Gabby Etrog Cohen

SVP, PR and brand strategy, SoulCycle, PRWeek 40 Under 40 honoree

Pablo Rodriguez, director of global consumer initiatives, PayPal, was selected for PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 list. Rodriguez has been with PayPal for four years. He has lead communications around all initial marketing forays since it split from eBay and began trading on Nasdaq as an independent entity for the first time. Of note, he led on the New Money global brand campaign, which included the company’s first Super Bowl ad. The pressure — from investors, a new CEO, employees, and customers — was on and Rodriguez delivered, driving positive coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Today, and Super Bowl roundups, including Rolling Stone, Fortune, and more. The integrated campaign resulted in 1,000 placements and a billion impressions. That’s just one example of how Rodriguez has made himself an indispensable asset to the multibillion-dollar company. Day to day, he oversees a team responsible for strategic planning and execution of PayPal’s global consumer product communications and driving the consumer brand narrative externally for the PayPal, Venmo, and Xoom brands, as well as its Powering Giving program, which emphasizes the payment company’s role in charitable giving. As the lead on PayPal’s all-important annual holiday campaign, he executed a complex project across several teams and external audiences. The effort helped position PayPal not only as a leader in e-commerce, but also in charitable giving. “Pablo has played a critical role in shaping our narrative at PayPal, rising to every challenge during this defining year for our company and our team,” says Franz Paasche, VP, corporate affairs. “He is a natural leader and a consummate professional.” Prior to PayPal, he rose through the ranks of Edelman’s corporate and financial services practice. The Texas A&M University graduate served as a guest lecturer at his alma mater and mentors students at his hometown high school in San Antonio and staff through Pride@PayPal. He is also an avid runner and tennis player and a member of New York City’s Drama League.

Pablo Rodriguez

Director of global consumer initiatives, PayPal, PRWeek 40 Under 40 honoree

2016 Agenda

*Agenda subject to change

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast

9:00 AM - 9:05 AM

Opening Remarks

9:05 AM - 9:45 AM

Opening Session

  • Cleveland Clinic: Letting the world in

Cleveland Clinic has long been known as one of the US' most innovative and cutting-edge hospitals, with patients the world over coming stateside for life-saving procedures few facilities are capable of performing. The recent opening in Abu Dhabi and confirmed plans to open in London continue to expand this world-class facility’s global footprint and availability to international audiences. In this Q&A session, CEO Toby Cosgrove details how the Cleveland Clinic's communications team has helped not only seamlessly enter new markets, but also continue to effectively tell one of the healthcare industry's most complex, yet crucial stories. Introduction by Rob Flaherty, partner, chairman, CEO of Ketchum.

Speaker(s)

  • In his role, Dr. Cosgrove presides over a $6.2 billion healthcare system comprised of the Cleveland Clinic, eight community hospitals, 16 family health and ambulatory surgery centers, as well as facilities in Florida, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Abu Dhabi. Under his leadership, the Cleveland Clinic has consistently been named among America’s top four hospitals (U.S. News & World Report) and is one of only two hospitals named among “America’s 99 Most Ethical Companies” by the Ethisphere Institute. One of the medical industry’s most sought-after speakers, he has addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos and numerous Senate committees. He has also regularly appeared in Time, The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and myriad other national and global media outlets. Among many accolades, Cosgrove has received the Woodrow Wilson Center Award for Public Service, has been named Castle Connolly’s National Physician of the Year, and has been highly ranked among Modern Healthcare’s “100 most powerful people in healthcare” and “most powerful physician executives.”

9:50 AM - 10:20 AM

REINVIGORATING A CLASSIC BRAND: MAGIC IN MEATCRAFT

  • Editorial Session

Every brand strives to stand out. For Arby’s, the points of difference revolve around a legacy of products and philosophy. In this session, CMO Rob Lynch discusses Arby's success story of the past couple of years, fueled by a heritage of premium offerings and a future being paved by social listening and a healthy portion of humor.

Speaker(s)

  • Rob Lynch serves as the Brand President and Chief Marketing Officer for Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG). As Arby’s Brand President and CMO, Lynch leads all research and development, new product innovation, brand marketing and positioning, advertising creation,media planning and delivery for the Arby’s brand. He also serves as the President of the Arby’sFranchisee Association, where he focuses on building collaborative relationships with franchisees, team members and other key stakeholders to deliver top and bottom line growth. Since joining Arby’s in 2013, Rob has been a key contributor to the Arby’s brand turn around.Rob and his team have repositioned the brand as the Fast CraftedTM option in the restaurant industry by delivering high-quality, innovative food that you would expect to find in a fast casual restaurant, coupled with the value and convenience you would expect at QSR. “We Have the Meats” is how that positioning is brought to life. In 2015, the Arby’s brand experienced it’s best sales year in the brand’s 50 year history and significantly outpaced QSR industry same store sales growth rates. The Brand also received significant recognition by being named to the exclusive “2015 AdAge Marketer A-List,” by earning the title of “Wall Street Journal 2015 Ad of the Year” for it’s Jon Stewart ad, and by receiving the Shorty Award as the “2015 Social Marketer of the Year”. Rob has a long history of building brands and delivering business results. Prior to joining Arby’s, Rob was a senior business leader and at the forefront of some of the top marketed brands and companies in the country, including Procter & Gamble, The HJ Heinz Company, and, most recently, Yum! Brands where he served as the Vice President of Brand Marketing at Taco Bell. As Taco Bell’s Vice President of Brand Marketing, Rob led the development and delivery of Taco Bell’s annual Marketing Calendar and the discovery, design, validation and delivery of all innovation platforms. Rob was part of the Taco Bell Marketing Team that was recognized as “2013 Marketer of the Year” by Ad Age magazine. Before Taco Bell, Rob spent his career building brands at HJ Heinz and Procter & Gamble. At Heinz, Rob had P&L responsibility and led marketing efforts for Heinz’s largest consumer brand, Ore-Ida Potatoes. During his leadership of Ore-Ida, the team received the “Chairman’s Innovation Award”. He also established the multicultural marketing capability for the ketchup maker. Prior to Heinz, Rob led the strategic development and commercialization of some of Procter & Gamble’s largest healthcare innovations, including products like Crest SpinBrush Pro and Crest Pro Health Mouthwash, two of the first product innovations in the Crest Pro Health portfolio. He also spent two years in Bentonville, AR, leading Procter & Gamble’s $3 Billion Personal Healthcare Products business at Walmart.

10:25 AM - 10:55 AM

Celebrating with creators

  • Editorial Session

It’s hard to believe, but this year M&M’s is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Berta de Pablos-Barbier, VP of marketing at Mars Chocolate North America, shares insights and strategies on how this American icon continues to be relevant, including partnerships with influencers that fuel a year-long, star-studded party.

Speaker(s)

  • Berta De Pablos-Barbier is VP of marketing at Mars Chocolate North America, a role she has held since early 2015. It marks her return to the brand at which she spent her early career. Her first stint at Mars included time as a food scientist, Middle East leader, and GM in Spain. In between her stints at Mars, she spent seven years in France working in the fashion industry. She was VP of global marketing and communications at Boucheron and then joined Lacoste, where she served as CMO and EVP of branding. In her current role at Mars, she oversees brand management and integrated marketing strategy for a multibillion-dollar portfolio of iconic global brands that include M&M’s, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, 3 Musketeers, and Dove. She holds an engineering degree from Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain and an MBA from Institut Francais de la Mode in France.

10:55 AM - 11:10 AM

Coffee Break

  • Grab a coffee or snack and network with fellow attendees
11:10 AM - 11:50 AM

Is the media getting your message?

  • Editorial Session

Missteps by brand leaders and similar prominent figures capture the media's – and public’s – attention as few stories do. In turn, those leaders’ and brands’ efforts to stem the negative tide or control the narrative are similarly subject to intense press scrutiny and commentary. Come learn how the media perceives your efforts as PRWeek assembles a panel of prominent journalists to discuss what they deem to be the most effective communications tactics in these challenging situations. Speakers include Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, US news editor, Financial Times; Shelly Banjo, Gadfly columnist (covering retail and consumer goods), Bloomberg; Scott Burton, executive editor, ESPN The Magazine; and Nathan Bomey, business reporter, USA Today.

Speaker(s)

  • Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is the US news editor for the Financial Times and an assistant editor, responsible for coordinating the FT's daily Americas news coverage. He is based in New York. Previously Edgecliffe-Johnson served as the FT’s global media editor, moving the position from London to New York in July 2008. He led and coordinated the FT’s global coverage of sectors ranging from the music and movie businesses to digital media and marketing, writing about technology and media for the FT’s Inside Business column and managing a team of media, telecoms and consumer industries reporters in the US and Europe. In his 16 years at the FT, Edgecliffe-Johnson has also been the FT’s deputy news editor, edited its management features section (now called Business Life), covered M&A and consumer industries in New York from 1999 to 2002, and written for the influential Lex column. He began his career in journalism as a financial reporter for the Daily Telegraph in London. Edgecliffe-Johnson was the winner of the Newsbios “30 under 30” award for young financial journalists in 2000 and 2001. He has served as a judge for the Shorty Awards and Mirror Awards and has co-chaired events including FT Live’s annual Digital Media Conference and Future of Marketing Summit. Edgecliffe-Johnson graduated from Cambridge University with an MA in Italian and French. Find him on Twitter at @Edgecliffe.

  • Nathan Bomey is a business reporter at USA TODAY, where he covers breaking news, the automotive industry and energy. He is also the author of Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy and Back, published in April 2016 by W.W. Norton & Co. The book chronicles the saga of Detroit’s crash into insolvency and the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Before joining USA TODAY in the Washington, D.C., area in June 2015, Nathan covered Detroit’s historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy and General Motors as a business reporter for the Detroit Free Press. He also previously reported for community publications in the Ann Arbor area near his hometown of Saline, Mich. Nathan was named Young Journalist of the Year in 2015 by the Society of Professional Journalists Detroit. He is a two-time winner of Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) awards for groundbreaking stories on Detroit’s financial collapse and trip through bankruptcy. He is also a recipient of “Governing” magazine’s Hovey-Harkness Award, honoring the best public service journalism on government issues. He is a former finalist for the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award and has received numerous other journalism honors. A 2006 graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Nathan received EMU’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2015. He has also completed a fellowship program in China through the Honolulu-based East-West Center in 2012 and earned a certificate from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business’ Seminars for Business Journalists

  • Scott Burton is the executive editor of ESPN The Magazine, a position he assumed in June 2011. His responsibilities are wide-ranging, from directing writers and editors to creating issue story lineups to recruiting writing talent. In 2011, Burton conceived and directed the magazine’s Michael Vick issue, which received an ASME nomination for best Single-Topic Issue. He’s also launched two columns at the magazine—Howard Bryant’s The Truth, and Peter Keating’s The Numbers—both of which he continues to oversee. Before being promoted from senior editor, Burton directed coverage of pro football, college basketball and fantasy sports, while writing a variety of features and essays. Burton was the editor of the best-selling ESPN Fantasy Football preview magazine (2006-2011) and co-editor of the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia (2009). Prior to joining ESPN in the fall of 2000, Burton was an editor at SPORT magazine (1997-2000),Richard Petty’s Stock Car Racing Magazine (1996-97) and College Sports Magazine (1996). Burton was born in Chicago and grew up in Ithaca, N.Y. He received a bachelor’s in 1996 from the University of Michigan.

  • Shelly Banjo is a columnist covering retail and consumer news for Bloomberg Gadfly, Bloomberg's fast-commentary section that launched in 2015. She joined Bloomberg from Quartz, where she wrote about the future of finance. Prior to that, she was a reporter for eight years at The Wall Street Journal, where she covered Walmart and big-box retailers. She helped launch the Journal’s Greater New York section and Wealth Management website. Banjo holds an MBA in global economics from New York University and is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

11:55 AM - 12:25 PM

MIDDAY KEYNOTE

  • Preparing the leaders of tomorrow - today

Among any C-suite’s greatest responsibilities is ensuring a deep bench of future leaders ready to take the entity forward in the years and decades to come. For more than a century, the Girl Scouts of the USA’s mission has been to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place while developing life and leadership skills for its nearly 2 million Girl Scouts. In this session, through stories and statistics, GSUSA’s interim CEO Sylvia Acevedo discusses what it takes to foster the leaders of tomorrow – particularly women – as well as the importance of cultivating the advocates necessary to help a movement or organization thrive.

Speaker(s)

  • Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, is a longtime advocate for underserved communities and girls’ and women’s causes.  Committed to Girl Scouts’ mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place, Sylvia was a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors from 2009 to 2016 and an officer of its Executive Committee. Sylvia is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, serves as chair of its Early Learning Subcommittee and is a national advocate for STEM education.  She was the founder, president and CEO of CommuniCard LLC, a marketing firm known for its innovative approaches to working with changing community demographics.  She served on the founding board of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders in Austin, Texas—the largest all-girl public school in the nation – and has spoken across the country about the importance of helping girls discover their strengths, passions and talents.   Sylvia began her career as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and has served in executive and business development roles at Apple Computer, IBM, Dell Computer Corporation, Autodesk Inc., REBA Technologies and Tandem Ungermann-Bass.  Sylvia has been widely recognized for her accomplishments, with honors that include U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top 100 American women in STEM; Businesswoman of the Year, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the Ohtli Award, a national civil rights honor from the federal government of Mexico. As a girl growing up in New Mexico, Sylvia attributes joining Girl Scouts to providing her with tools and experiences not widely available to girls of her background.  She describes being a Girl Scout as life-changing, enabling her to pursue leadership as a goal.  Sylvia was one of the first Hispanic students, male or female, to earn a graduate engineering degree from Stanford University—an MS in industrial engineering—and holds a bachelor of science degree with honors in industrial engineering from New Mexico State University.

12:25 PM - 1:25 PM

Lunch

1:25 PM - 1:55 PM

Bridging the gaps of trust

  • Sponsored Session

Whether it’s brands vying for consumer approval or candidates competing in the upcoming election, trust is the most valuable currency any entity can earn and possess. And according to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer, the 16th annual edition of that survey, the chasm of trust between informed publics and the mass population has never been greater. In this fireside chat, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman will discuss the key factors causing this inequality of trust, which is facilitating a global rise in populism, and how the business world – in particular, the communicators who counsel its leaders – can play a key role in narrowing that divide.

Speaker(s)

  • Richard Edelman, president and CEO, Edelman, Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of Edelman, the leading communications marketing firm, with 65 offices and 5,500 employees worldwide. Richard has extensive experience in marketing and reputation management, ...

Sponsored by : Edelman

2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

40 Under 40: The driving force behind PR’s future leaders

  • Sponsored Session

Everyone who has achieved success has a philosophy by which they unwaveringly abide. It’s the North Star that enables them to succeed and grow. In the case of PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 honorees, it has allowed them to reach incredible heights that defy their age. In this session spotlighting a trio of our honorees – MSLGROUP’s Risa Burgess; SoulCycle’s Gabby Etrog Cohen; and PayPal’s Pablo Rodriguez – each leader will creatively highlight their one mantra, in the process offering an inside look on how it allows them to serve clients and brands with excellence while shaping the way in which the communications function continually evolves.

Speaker(s)

  • Gabby Etrog Cohen, SVP, PR and brand strategy, SoulCycle, was selected for PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 list. At her present company, she has helped to grow the brand from five to 36 studios over the last four years, secured thousands of strategic media placements from Today to Vanity Fair, developed key brand partnerships, managed all influencer marketing and celebrity/VIP relations. Her hotel and destination experience includes Westin Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, St. Pete Clearwater, Florida, The Bowery Hotel in NYC, Element Hotels, The Dylan Hotel, The Jane Hotel, and The Elysian Hotel. She has secured placements for clients in The New York Times, CNN, Ace of Cakes, Condé Nast Traveler, USA Today, Travel + Leisure, Today, and MSN.com. She previously held a senior post at NJFPR. Prior to that, she was a marketing and PR consultant with Bonnie Reuben Communications and Heart of Brooklyn. She was also a sales manager for Global Events Partners, marketing more than 70 destinations and destination-management companies worldwide. She started her career in tourism at a number of Club Med resorts in Florida, Mexico, and Colorado. She earned a Masters in Tourism Marketing and Development from New York University, where she now serves as an adjunct professor, and a Bachelors in Fine Arts from Syracuse University. A passionate athlete and traveler, she also volunteers for Girls on the Run, an organization that encourages self-respect in pre-teens through running. Some of her favorite travel memories include camping through Maine; hiking, snorkeling, and whitewater rafting in Australia; and biking through the Canadian Rockies.

  • Pablo Rodriguez, director of global consumer initiatives, PayPal, was selected for PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 list. Rodriguez has been with PayPal for four years. He has lead communications around all initial marketing forays since it split from eBay and began trading on Nasdaq as an independent entity for the first time. Of note, he led on the New Money global brand campaign, which included the company’s first Super Bowl ad. The pressure — from investors, a new CEO, employees, and customers — was on and Rodriguez delivered, driving positive coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Today, and Super Bowl roundups, including Rolling Stone, Fortune, and more. The integrated campaign resulted in 1,000 placements and a billion impressions. That’s just one example of how Rodriguez has made himself an indispensable asset to the multibillion-dollar company. Day to day, he oversees a team responsible for strategic planning and execution of PayPal’s global consumer product communications and driving the consumer brand narrative externally for the PayPal, Venmo, and Xoom brands, as well as its Powering Giving program, which emphasizes the payment company’s role in charitable giving. As the lead on PayPal’s all-important annual holiday campaign, he executed a complex project across several teams and external audiences. The effort helped position PayPal not only as a leader in e-commerce, but also in charitable giving. “Pablo has played a critical role in shaping our narrative at PayPal, rising to every challenge during this defining year for our company and our team,” says Franz Paasche, VP, corporate affairs. “He is a natural leader and a consummate professional.” Prior to PayPal, he rose through the ranks of Edelman’s corporate and financial services practice. The Texas A&M University graduate served as a guest lecturer at his alma mater and mentors students at his hometown high school in San Antonio and staff through Pride@PayPal. He is also an avid runner and tennis player and a member of New York City’s Drama League.

  • Risa Burgess, SVP, Boston client engagement practice lead, MSLGroup, was selected for PRWeek’s 2016 40 Under 40 list. US CEO Ron Guirguis said, “While Risa has risen to become SVP, North America Health Practice, and was recently named to MSLGROUP’s senior leadership team in Boston as Client Engagement Leader, these are only hints of her extraordinary impact inside and outside our agency. Risa embodies all we value at MSLGROUP: excellence in client services, passion for talent development, discipline in operations and financial stewardship, commitment to raising standards within the PR industry, and to her local community.” Burgess is a trusted advisor for MSLGROUP Boston’s longest-standing client: West Pharmaceutical (16 years), encompassing product communications, corporate re-branding and an award-winning crisis management initiative that helped thwart threats to business continuity and corporate reputation. She has stabilized, led and grown the prestigious Kimberly-Clark Healthcare account since 2009; then orchestrated the company’s spin-out as Halyard Health. She has also re-imagined and re-launched the office’s employee mentorship program. “She is a cherished mentor, superb delegator and peerless developer of talent. Many of the Boston office’s emerging leaders have flourished under her wing,” said Guirguis. As for her efforts outside the office, Burgess was elected by her PR industry peers to serve as President, New England Publicity Club. She has since served as a Board Member for this organization.

Sponsored by : MSLGroup

2:35 PM - 3:05 PM

Embrace your critics, build your brand

  • Editorial Session

We all love to hear good things about our companies, but the key to growth – including customer retention and acquisition – is paying attention to and taking action on critical feedback. The path to true innovation – both in terms of new product development as well as powerful messaging – is taking risk. In this session, John Berard, CEO of the company bringing dotSucks domain names to the internet, shares a critical path for embracing criticism and examples of brands that have thrived by doing so. In addition, he will offer tips on adapting your outreach efforts to appeal to an increasingly younger, more inclusive, and more mobile consumer base.

Speaker(s)

  • John Berard serves as the CEO of Vox Populi Registry, the company that has brought dotSucks domain names to the internet. The position leverages his track record as an internet advocate and public relations executive. Before joining Vox Populi Registry, he forged a career in three "company towns," each the center of its own universe essential to corporate success. First in the financial and corporate communications landscape of New York City, then in the legal and issues-driven Washington, D.C. and again in San Francisco supporting the marketing, primarily, of technology companies. Now in Oregon, he brings his experience to bear on behalf of the Cayman Islands-based Vox Populi Registry. Before joining Vox Populi Registry, he founded a communications consultancy based on the insight that effective marketing -- of products, services, even a company itself -- requires more than commitment, authenticity and transparency. Advocacy and persuasion must be contextually credible. John previously served as an executive in residence for an Ottawa, Ontario, Canada-based internet business focused holding company, Momentous. Prior to joining Momentous, John ran West Coast offices and operations for three public relations agencies. FleishmanHillard, FitzGerald Communications and Zeno Group (a unit of Edelman) each gave him insight into managing the creative process within the context of business success. John practices one essential aspect of corporate social responsibility: It is important to be a participant in the communities you serve. He was an advisor to the San Francisco Food Bank for four years before serving two terms on the board, where he was part of the effort to help develop a “consumer” brand to elevate public awareness and provide a stronger profile for giving. He also served as a member of the board of The Market Street Railway, the private support organization for historic street cars in San Francisco. It is equally important to be a part of the discussion of industry issues, too. He is currently an active participant in ICANN -- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers -- and served on its domain name policy governing body from 2010-to-2014. In 1997, he was a founding member of the board of TRUSTe, the online privacy rights group. He served on the board until the end of 2004. More recently, John was a member of the board of the IAPP, the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He remains a member of the organization for corporate and governmental professionals engaged in privacy.

3:10 PM - 3:40 PM

Deep Dive Workshops

  • 1. The best brand video: 5 tips to creating content in today’s news environment

Brands have become publishers and now have the ability to get their content into the news cycle. Whether six seconds or 60 minutes, video now sits firmly at the heart of communications and marketing. As evidenced by the success of PRWeek’s inaugural Brand Film Festival, all brands realize the importance of creating compelling video content, but few have come close to mastering it. In this session, Ian Cohen, global executive producer and president of content creation and innovation at Weber Shandwick, as well as a 2016 Brand Film Festival juror, will highlight the key steps you need to take your brand videos to another level.

Speaker(s)

  • At Weber Shandwick, Ian creates visually stunning stories, unparalleled brand exposure, and relationship-altering results for clients, all with an eye on the future. Overseeing an award-winning team of 125+ creators, producers, directors, and editors worldwide, Ian has helped set a new standard for excellence in the engagement game, amassing a virtual trophy den of Webbys, Tellys, Addys, and SABRE Awards. Ian is a driving force in Weber Shandwick’s transformation from a PR firm to an engagement agency. He has been instrumental in the creation, launch, and execution of both Mediaco and GoLive, Weber Shandwick’s forward-charging brand broadcast platforms. As B. Bonin Bough, says about Ian and Weber Shandwick, “With Weber on the Trending 10 show…It’s not just about how you shoot a video and post it. But actually, how do you publish in real time? How do you deliver in the moment? The ability to do that with live video is transformational.” As a co-founder of GoLive, instead of spending his days in the editing room on stories that fade, Ian brings a brand’s live-streaming, on-location story to the masses instantaneously. With Mediaco and GoLive, the kind of content you would see in major broadcasts is now being brought to brands. At a transformative time in the public relations industry, Ian has focused his energy on helping clients break through the clutter, and in the process has helped the firm develop strategies for clients to better tell their stories on an ever-increasing scale. Ian took GoLive to the Sundance Film Festival for the first-ever, inaugural Live@Sundance event. Their groundbreaking, live-streaming series, covered by The New York Times, showcased the festival’s brightest talents, featured exclusive interviews with stars and creators, and even broke insider news on distribution deals inked literally feet away. With Ian running point, each story unfolded to thousands of viewers around the world as it happened. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick in 2011, Ian was a four-time Daytime Emmy Award-nominated television producer, winning twice for Outstanding Daytime Show of the Year for his work on "Rachel Ray." Ian was the show’s field producer, directing shoots with Rachel and other celebrity guests while handling scripting and overseeing the editing of taped pieces. He held a similar role at “Martha,” the daytime talk show hosted by Martha Stewart. Ian is also an AP award-winning, on-camera journalist, having spent time in San Diego as a news reporter and in Yuma, AZ as a sports director for their CBS affiliate. Adding to his list of major accomplishments, Ian was chosen to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 and served as a juror on PRWeek’s inaugural Brand Film Festival

  • 2. Become the picture of productivity

Can you really draw your way to success? Heather Willems, co-founder of ImageThink and co-author of Draw Your Big Idea, will prove PR pros certainly can in this 30-minute interactive workshop. She will explain the secret power of visuals for achieving your goals in the workplace. Heather will offer techniques to harness your creativity and master success using nothing more than your basic drawing skills. Learn how to clarify complex ideas, spark creativity, solve problems, and propel your productivity to the next level – all from picking up a pen.

Speaker(s)

  • Heather Willems, co-founder of ImageThink, has a passion for making connections. Whether she is developing client relationships, leading workshops, or speaking about visual thinking, she loves supporting people’s personal and professional growth. She’s has been graphic facilitating for over a decade, and her lifelong practice of journaling and drawing out ideas was demonstrated in her work on the Today Show. Heather holds an MFA in fine art photography from the Ohio State University, and her fine art work has been featured in the New York Times and in galleries throughout the country. Heather lives with her husband Liam, and their dog Zaso in Brooklyn, NY, where she currently serves as a board member for EO Brooklyn.

  • 3. Getting deep and going deep: a new approach to audience understanding

As brand-experts and storytellers, it's our responsibility to take a sympathetic, empathetic, insight-driven approach to communications. But our definition of insights is outdated and doesn't always make for the catalyzing work we all love to do. Join Ambika Pai, strategy director from Wolf & Wilhelmine – a New York-based brand shop that excels at architecting meaningful connections between brands and their audiences – to understand how to upgrade your approach and take your audience relationships to new depths and new heights.

Speaker(s)

  • Ambika Pai is a career-long strategist who marries her experiences in data and analytics, social media, communications planning, and brand planning, to construct comprehensive, immersive, and effective brand stories. She earned her creative stars and stripes at agencies such as BBH and Mother, and got what she called her "Advertising MBA" learning about the global business-to-business landscape at Dentsu's gyro:. Her category experience is diverse, having touched brands like Google, UNICEF, Tiffany, Target, MeUndies, Burger King, HP, Grey Goose, and more. Alongside Ambika's enthusiasm for and expertise in brand strategy, she is intensely passionate about the strategy of people - using learnings about culture, trends, and psychology to help people reach their full potential, inside and outside of the workplace. Outside of the office, you can find Ambika at a Moth story slam, hollering at a TV during a Cleveland Cavaliers game (yes, she's an original, pre-Championship fan), or sipping whiskey while reading tarot cards.

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Deep Dive Workshops: Key takeaways

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Coffee Break

  • Grab a coffee or snack and network with fellow attendees
4:15 PM - 4:45 PM

Creating teamwork instead of tension

  • Editorial Session

The integration of marketing and communications. Confident professionals welcome it, understanding that the other’s strengths can help everyone thrive. Timid ones fear it, citing blurred lines and concerns that one discipline will take control and marginalize the other. You want to be the former, don’t you? In this session, GE’s CMO Linda Boff and CCO Deirdre Latour share their playbook on establishing a true working relationship, understanding and respecting what both bring – and, perhaps, don’t bring – to the table, and, ultimately, delivering for the brand and its stakeholders.

Speaker(s)

  • Deirdre Latour is the Chief Communications Officer for GE. She is responsible for leading the company’s communications function globally, including financial communications, public relations, public affairs, functional talent development and helping to shape the company’s culture. Prior to being named CCO, Latour served as GE’s Senior Director, External Communications. In that role she was responsible for building and executing a communications strategy to enhance and protect the reputation of GE, including financial communications, issues and crisis management and executive communications for the CEO, CFO and CMO. Before joining GE ten years ago, Deirdre worked for the global public relations firm Edelman, where she was a vice president, responsible for a variety of corporate communications, brand, cause, consumer and entertainment marketing efforts for clients such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, ACUVUE and GM. Deirdre is a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Holy Cross College. She has been recognized by the industry including being named the Corporate PR Person of the Year by PR News and one of the 40 under 40 Influencers by PR Week. Deirdre is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. She lives in New York City with her husband, three sons and pug.

  • Boff is GE’s Chief Marketing officer leading customer experience, marketing and brand for the company.  In her role, Boff is focused on GE’s transformation to a digital industrial company, leading industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.  Previously, Boff was GE’s global brand marketing leader.  She also served as CMO of iVillage Properties, part of the NBC Universal.  Boff joined GE in early 2004 with 18 years of experience in marketing, advertising and communications including senior roles at Citigroup, the American Museum of Natural History and Porter Novelli.

Boff is a 2014 AWNY Changing the Game Award winner, B2B Magazine’s 2012 Digital Marketer of Year and 2012 Media Maven.  She is on the Board of Partnership with Children, a NYC-based organization which provides social support to 5000 hard-to-reach school children.  Boff is also on the Ad Council’s Executive Committee and is a member of Digital 50. Boff earned a BA in Political Science and Psychology from Union College.   She lives in Irvington, NY with her husband and two children.

4:50 PM - 5:25 PM

Closing Keynote

  • Communications drives the Big Machine

It all started in 2005, when he discovered and signed a 14-year-old unknown singer-songwriter named Taylor Swift. Fast-forward to today and Big Machine Label Group has grown into the largest independent record label in the world, in great part due to its leader’s commitment to being bold and disruptive - qualities validated by his 2013 inclusion on Fast Company's 100 Most Creative People in Business list. In this Q&A session, CEO Scott Borchetta, discusses how the power of communications has enabled the 11-year-old company to take on everything from major labels to digital threats, as well as how his personal brand – buoyed by projects such as serving as the in-house mentor on American Idol’s final season – keeps the Big Machine running powerfully.

Speaker(s)

  • Scott Borchetta is the founder, president, and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the number-one independent record label in the world and home to superstars such as Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw and Steven Tyler. For the past two years, Borchetta guided contestants on FOX’s American Idol throughout the competition and signed winners Nick Fradiani and Trent Harmon, along with Season 15 runner-up LaPorsha Renae to record deals. With Borchetta at the helm, Big Machine Label Group has celebrated monumental success since the company’s inception 11 years ago. With the message "Music Has Value" embroidered on the sleeve of his suit jacket, Scott has led the charge on more than 40 million albums sold by Big Machine artists under his watch – including 165 number-one country and pop singles. Borchetta has been honored for his groundbreaking business savvy with inclusion on Billboard’s Power 100 list and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, in addition to being honored in Nashville at the Music Biz 2015 luncheon, where he was awarded the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement. Borchetta joined the ranks of past honorees who have been recognized for their outstanding vision, leadership, and commitment, including Dick Clark and Clive Davis. In 2012, in an unprecedented deal, Borchetta made history by working with Clear Channel, the largest owner of U.S. radio stations, to secure sound-recording performance royalties to Big Machine Label Group and its artists. This became the first time in history that artists would get paid for their recordings on terrestrial radio stations. Using a combination of promotional savvy and an unusual willingness to interact with fans in person and through social media, Borchetta has helped a diverse group of artists achieve important moments in their careers. Under his leadership, BMLG artists have won Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, and more. Borchetta now freely crosses boundaries record labels used to consider inviolate. In fact, don’t think of Big Machine as a “record label.” Borchetta prefers “entertainment and content company,” and has pushed the label group beyond music toward complete cultural saturation. Borchetta served as executive producer on the critically acclaimed documentary Glen CampbellL…I’ll Be Me, which earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. Additionally, the soundtrack for the documentary won four GRAMMY Awards, including Best Soundtrack.

5:25 PM - 5:30 PM

Closing Remarks

5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Cocktail Hour

Sponsored by : PR Talent

6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

PRWeek 40 Under 40 Awards

  • Not included in conference ticket price.

Thank you for attending the 2016 PRWeek Conference!

We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Sponsored By:

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Silver

Bronze

Cocktail Reception

Contact Us

For questions regarding content, please contact 
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For questions regarding sponsorship, please contact
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