After two years of cancelled, postponed or downsized conferences, seminars and summits, public relations industry events are (mostly) back in full swing—and it’s time for PR and communications professionals to meet, greet and gather online and in person at conferences across North America and the world to discuss the most important trends and technologies affecting public relations today.
Face-to-face interactions are a vital component of PR, and conferences are the place to see and be seen: Attendees can build robust professional networks as they learn from all-star PR speakers and panelists. Even as many conferences are welcoming in-person attendees in 2022, many are also holding hybrid events, enabling them to reach wider audiences than before—and the second half of the year is stacked with exciting events for brand managers and public relations and communications professionals.
Here are some upcoming PR conferences and events with details on conference dates, locations, and agendas and registration info:
Fierce Pharma PR and Comms Conference 2022
- July 19–20, 2022
- Liberty House, Jersey City, NJ
The Fierce Pharma PR and Comms Conference brings together life sciences communicators and PR professionals for two days of industry updates, networking and opportunities to discuss and learn best practices for effective communications in health care.
The 2022 Pharma PR and Comms Conference will be an in-person event held at the Liberty House in Jersey City, New Jersey. Programming is spread over two days, with 47 speakers announced so far. This year’s chairperson is Wendy Lund, Chief Communications Officer at Organon, while speakers and panelists include a range of communications and health care executives, health media leaders and PR strategists working in the health care industry.
Each day of the conference opens with a keynote address. Jeremy Levin, CEO of Orvin Therapeutics, and Dr. Ron Cohen, CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, will speak on “Corporate Communications and PR Through the Leadership Lens,” and Eloiza T. B. Domingo, Vice President HR and Chief Inclusive Diversity & Equity Officer at Allstate, will deliver an address titled “What Can Pharma Learn from Outside Industries.”
Panels, speeches, workshops and Q&As will cover a range of topics, issues and challenges relevant to health care and biotech public relations, communications, marketing and media. Broader PR-related panel topics include “The Evolution of the Corporate Communications Role,” “Digital First and Data-Driven Communications Best Practices” and “Demystifying the ESG Hype.” Industry leaders such as Susie Bunson Tappouni, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Advocacy Relations at Amgen, and Aditi Vogt, Associate Director of Corporate and Digital Communications at Regeneron, are among the presenters.
Many sessions tackle specific topics in health care communications, such as “The Art and Science of Healthcare Communications” with Amber Coleman-Mortley, Director of FQ Innovation at The Female Quotient, and Jennifer Gottlieb, Global President and Chief Client Officer at Real Chemistry. Other featured panels include “Combating Misinformation and Bias in Healthcare Communications” and “Improving the Patient Experience with Patient Advocacy.”
Breaks and lunches built into the conference agenda provide attendees time to network with other PR and communications professionals in pharma and biotech. Event speakers and registrants include professionals and executives from more than 50 brands and agencies, including AllState, Ocugen, Pfizer, Horizon Therapeutics and Quest Diagnostics.'
2022 National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media
- August 16–18, 2022
- Atlanta, GA and online
The 16th annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media (NCHMM) will be a hybrid event, with in-person panels at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, Georgia, and a virtual broadcast to online attendees over three days.
The NCHMM conference is a forum for education and dialogue: Over three days, academics and government public health researchers will gather with PR and communications professionals to discuss challenges in today’s public health sphere and present evidence-based strategies for effective public health communication.
The topics of this year’s thematic panel presentations and sessions will include managing misinformation, building and rebuilding trust in public health, reducing vaccine hesitancy and improving health equity. While this year’s speakers have yet to be announced, previous years have included talks by Dr. Victor J. Stretcher, Professor at the MSU School of Public Health and Medicine and CEO of Kumanu, Inc.
In addition to the professional programming, attendees can tour the conference’s exhibition hall, where PR organizations and professionals will present their communications strategies and engage in conversations about issues and trends in public health comms. Scheduled coffee and networking events on each of the conference’s three days will also foster collegial discussion and intra-industry connections.
Social Media Conference
- September 21-23, 2022
- Disney World, Orlando, FL
Organized by PR industry mainstays Ragan and PR Daily, the annual Social Media Conference gathers PR and communications pros to share strategies and best practices for helping brands and organizations reach their full potential on social media. The 2022 conference will convene at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, for three days.
With more than 65 speakers and over 50 hours of event programming, the conference promises ample networking opportunities, skills workshops and engaging panel discussions on topics ranging from the contemporary social media landscape to crafting stories for various communications platforms.
Before the opening reception, conference-goers will be offered a series of workshops on topics such as visual storytelling, SEO and social audio. Attendees will hear from experts from a broad range of heavyweight organizations and corporations such as Wells Fargo, Intel, the Home Depot, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Intel and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The keynote speaker is Jano Cabrera, Chief Communications Officer at General Mills, whose address is titled “Emerging from Emergency: Navigating Social Brand Crises.” Panel topics include “Protecting Brand Voice and Reputation in a Changed World,” with senior communications officers from Wells Fargo, Fenton and brandRusso, and “Influencer Marketing,” with managers and strategists from Lobeline Communications and Microsoft. Other panels and sessions offer successful case studies and information on the impact of changing data privacy laws on e-commerce communications strategies, cause marketing, and social listening and measurement strategies.
Attendees will also find ample networking opportunities in between panels and talks. Scheduled events range from morning walks, networking breakfasts and even a morning “Yoga with Mickey Mouse” session.
PRSA IPA 6th Annual VirtuCon: The Business of the Business
- September 28, 2022
This half-day, virtual event is hosted by the Independent Practitioners Alliance (IPA) section of the Public Relations Society of America. The conference was created in 2017 as a “no-travel” way for independent public relations professionals to develop their skillsets and network with more than 50 other independent PR professionals.
VirtuCon 2022 will focus on the “Business of Business,” and sessions will address the skills and practices needed to run an independent PR company. Sessions run between 20 and 45 minutes, with scheduled 10-minute breaks. Attendees will have opportunities to speak with industry experts who can answer questions and provide tips for indie PR professionals.
- October 11–12, 2022
- Chicago, IL
Each year, leading industry magazine PR Week organizes awards, functions and gatherings for PR pros, from the Global Awards and 40Under40 to regular industry-focused webinars. PRWeek’s flagship event is PRDecoded, a two-day conference that covers contemporary trends and challenges across the public relations industry. This year’s conference will convene in person this October in Chicago, Illinois, for expert-led talks and events—and plenty of opportunities to network with professionals from across the PR field.
Last year’s theme was “Purpose Transformed.” Panels and presentations covered important and timely topics including “Pride in PR: How to Be an Inclusive Brand All Year Round,” “How to Harness the Domino Effect of Gen-Z,” and “The Racial Pay Gap Among Influencers Is Real—and Vast—by Any Measure.” Previous iterations of the conference have featured c-suite speakers such as Frank Cooper of BlackRock and comms pros like GM’s Craig Buchholz and Aflac’s Catherine Hernandez-Blades.
The 2022 theme is “Purpose Evolved.” For the third consecutive year, the conference will center on corporate purpose: what it is, why it matters, and how PR professionals can help corporations bring their mission statements alive, align their purpose with their actions, and show that purpose and profit can coexist. The conference agenda is set, in part, by members of the 2022 Purpose Council, a group of industry experts, including Deisha Barnett, President of Global Communications and Content at UPS, and Natasha Gregoire, Managing Director of Communications and Culture at Amazon.
In addition to the workshops, master classes and roundtables at this year’s PRDecoded, the winners of the 2022 PRWeek Purpose Awards will be unveiled at a gala ceremony on October 11. With a selection jury headed by Katie Boylan, Target’s EVP and Chief Communications Officer, the Purpose Awards seek to elevate the campaigns and agencies that have successfully furthered corporate purpose through their initiatives.
And with hundreds of attendees, PRDecoded offers plenty of opportunities to network with other PR and comms pros while learning new ways to improve their PR practices and participating in the most vital conversations happening in PR today.
Public Relations Leadership Forum
- October 12–13, 2022
- SUNY Global Center, New York City
Organized by the Institute for Public Relations, the Public Relations Leadership Forum is a two-day seminar-style conference that gathers a small group of mid- to senior-level managers and executives working in-house or at public relations agencies to discuss leadership strategies and strengthen leadership skills. Attendance is limited to 25 participants with at least 10 years of experience in PR and communications.
The 2022 Forum speaker lineup includes Charlene Wheeless of APCO Worldwide, Soon Mee Kim of Omnicom Group and Paul Gennaro of Voya Financial. The first day of the conference comprises a series of talks on challenges and topics specific to PR leaders and managers today, such as “Harnessing the Power of Sustainability & Responsibility Communications” and “Ensuring Disability Inclusion in the Workplace.” The second day’s events center on leadership skills and practice, with sessions titled “Leading with Purpose: Impactful Recruitment and Retention Strategies,” “Leading with Authenticity” and “Leading with Empathy.” Scheduled meals provide the small group of attendees with more chances to converse and connect.
The Future of Communications Conference
- November 1–2, 2022
- Edison Ballroom, New York City, NY
The Future of Communications Conference is the New York event at the center of industry leader Ragan Communication’s worldwide Communications Week. Open to professionals working in public relations and communications, the 2022 conference will convene for two days at the Edison Ballroom in Manhattan, with a networking cocktail party scheduled for the night of November 1st on the Rooftop at the Edison Ballroom.
Conference programming will address a variety of topics and themes of general interest to PR and communications professionals. Speakers and presenters will share real-world tips and tactics on key PR topics, including: how to measure and report effectively in order to meet the needs of audiences; how to build media relationships; and how best to use tools to engage on social media.
Further panels and presentations will be aimed at helping attendees build skills for setting benchmark goals for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts, storytelling strategies for external communications, strategies for coverage reports that include KPIs, and giving productive feedback to agency partners.
Sustainability Reporting and Communications USA 2022
- November 1–2, 2022
- New York Marriott Club Pulse, New York City, NY
Rapidly changing standards and regulations continue to impact and shape sustainability reporting and communications, and this two-day conference, organized by Reuters, seeks to gather sustainability, policy and finance leaders to discuss how to navigate the ongoing transformation of reporting. Investor relations (IR) communicators will find ample opportunity to network with both corporate and finance leaders and other IR professionals.
The conference expects to welcome more than 300 attendees and 60 or more speakers, more than half of which are senior-manager level or higher. While the 2022 lineup has yet to be announced, the 2021 iteration of the conference welcomed General Motors’ CSO Kristen Siemen, JP Morgan CSO Marilyn Ceci, and McCormick & Company CSO Michael Okoroafor.
This year’s speakers will present and discuss five main focus areas: data collection, data management and integration, regulations and global standards, financing sustainability, and multi-stakeholder communication.
- November 1–4, 2022
- Lisbon, Portugal
Web Summit is a central global tech event, drawing more than 70,000 attendees and 900 speakers from over 160 countries. It’s “the world’s largest tech conference” according to the Financial Times, and it brings a variety of brands – from tech giants to small, scrappy startups – to Lisbon, Portugal.
The conference is more than a tech gathering, as it attracts pros from a broad range of fields, including journalism, venture capitalism, marketing, branding and, of course, PR. With companies such as Google, ABC, Siemens and the New York Times in attendance, the conference offers a multitude of high-level talks and examples of companies tackling communications and social media branding in innovative ways.
While Web Summit isn’t geared specifically toward public relations and communications pros, the conference’s scope and scale make it an attractive PR networking event.
PRSA ICON 2022
- November 13–15, 2022
- Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX
The Public Relations Society of America’s annual conference has more than 100 sessions, 10 keynote speakers, and more than 300 talks, workshops, breakout sessions and networking opportunities, all tailored to the needs and concerns of today’s PR industry professionals . This year, the conference will convene in person for the first time since 2019 at the Gaylord Texan Resort in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for three days of PR-centric networking, skill-building, professional development and a celebration of PRSA’s 75th anniversary.
ICON 2022’s theme is “The Power of Influence.” With nearly 100 hours of programming, the conference will showcase the impact of public relations and strategic communications over the last 75 years, while building and defining the role of PR pros in the future. Attendees can expect a variety of educational and networking programs. Last year’s agenda included talks on “Public Relations in Pandemic Times” and “Measuring Digital Success: Attribution, MMM’s, and More” alongside speed-networking sessions and meet-and-greets.
ICON 2022 talks and events will address the role of communicators in building narratives that drive change in business and society, sorting misinformation from fact, and shaping the future of corporate social responsibility and DE&I. Keynote speakers will include Katty Kay, a former lead anchor for BBC and current contributor to Morning Joe on MSNBC. PRSA has also confirmed keynote speaker Marlee Matlin, Academy Award–winning actress and activist recognized for her work as a champion for DE&I.
PRSA 2022 Health Academy Conference
- November 12–13, 2022
- Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Dallas-Fort Worth Area, TX
The Health Academy Conference is co-located with ICON 2022 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center near Dallas-Fort Worth. It brings together PR professionals and communicators who serve the health care industry. Typically attracting about 200 PR professionals, the PRSA Health Academy Conference features renowned speakers and includes events that address current trends and issues in health care PR.
In prior years, the conference has invited presenters such as Brandon Lausch, Senior Director, News and Media Relations at Jefferson Health, and Mike Slusarz, President, MBK Marketing Solutions. Programming topics have included “Communications and the Opioid Crisis” and “Accelerating Brand Journalism in a Public Health Crisis.” This year’s attendees can also expect coffee and breaks to network with their peers.
Global PR Summit Canada
- November 18–19, 2022
For six years, Canadian events company P World has held PR summits in more than 23 countries, attracting more than 1,400 professionals from a variety of leading corporations and agencies. The 2022 Global PR Summit Canada will feature interactive virtual presentations by public relations experts and leaders from IBM, Ikea, Facebook and Wattpad, with a particular focus on the important PR issues and trends in the post-pandemic world.
An opening keynote address from Kim Blanchette, SVP and GM of Argyle, will discuss how PR professionals can work with organizations to forge relationships and build or rebuild trust. Several sessions will tackle pandemic-specific topics. Andrew Widger, Senior Director of Global Media Relations at Pfizer, will hold a session on Pfizer’s communication efforts during the pandemic. Donald Steel, former Chief Communications Adviser at the BBC, will lead a session on crisis communications in the post-COVID age.
Other sessions will focus on the realities of PR in a rapidly shifting digital age: Alchemy Communications CEO Kathryn Kolaczek will lead a session on crisis planning titled “Cancel Culture: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.” Other key sessions include “How Data Is Transforming the PR Industry,” “Follow the Data: Communicating Effectively During a Crisis,” and “Reimaging Content PR in the Next Normal.”
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