PRCA: What will 2019 bring for the communications industry?

 Ellwood Atfield were delighted to host PRCA’s first event of 2019 entitled “2019: The year of…” at our office in Westminster.


This year PRCA is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the morning talks highlighted how far the industry has come in five decades as well as the evolution of communications and “19 tips for successful communications in 2019”.  Jim Donaldson, PRCA Chairman and CEO for the UK & Middle East at FleishmanHillard Fishburn, chaired the event and moderated a panel of professionals.

His opening speech provided 4 keywords that will shape the coming year:


Growth: communications as an industry has been on a path of growth for a long time, and long will it continue; over 100,000 people are currently working in “PR” in the UK. This growth won’t necessarily be in the ‘London Bubble’ however. Large cities around the UK such as Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol and Birmingham have a huge amount of business coming through within content marketing and communications.


Humanity: there is an increasing discussion and understanding around the need for more humanity and ‘the human approach’. Big aspects of this are diversity and inclusion and mental health awareness. The era of, as Jim describes it, “ego leadership” (whereby the senior managers that scream and shout to get there point across) no longer has a place in the industry. It’s a time now to work out how to work with different people and what different approaches can achieve.


Confidence: in a market that is becoming increasingly busy, with competition like Management Consultancies, ad agencies, the ones that seem to have the most success are those that have an innate confidence in everything they do. One of our hurdles intellectually is that sometimes communications professionals do not have the confidence in one’s own industry, and the outcomes that can be created. The future of the industry will be predicated on how confident comms professionals can be in a now wide-pool of competition.


Brexit: Of course, a subject no one can avoid. The media aren’t helping by stirring the debate, but it’s meaning many other areas are struggling to have a voice. This year it will be a case of buckling down and weathering the storm.


Jim was then joined by: Adrian Wheeler FPRCA (PRCA trainer and author), Danny Whatmough CMPRCA (Managing Director, Integrated Media, Weber Shandwick), Tony Langham MPRCA (CEO, Lansons) and Justine Bower MPRCA (Director of Communications – Consumer & Social UKTV), where they discussed their optimism for the upcoming year. The predictions and successful tips can be found here.

prca in the ellwood atfield gallery

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