The 3-day conference is a high-level forum designed for senior practitioners to address the critical issues facing the profession

6 November, 2023 (ET)


13:20 - 13:30
Welcome & Introduction
13:30 - 14:15
How can PR prove its worth, in terms of ROI?
14:15 - 15:00
Leading Your Agency with Purpose

Agency leadership is more than ensuring the company is financially successful. It requires setting the organizational tone with a clear vision, purpose and authenticity. Employees, clients and even prospects are seeking to work for and partner with agencies where work has an impact well beyond their own walls. A purpose-driven approach to agency leadership can be a significant driver toward making positive, and lasting, change and impact.

In the PRovoke Global Summit panel, agency leaders from PROI Worldwide will discuss how and why they consider values and company purpose front and center for everything they do, including recruiting and career pathing; informing employee educational initiatives; choosing which clients/industries to support; engaging with their local communities; and more. They will share their experiences on how they use their corporate values as a competitive advantage and how employees are embracing these values.

PROI Worldwide represents 90 entrepreneurial communications firms in more than 65 countries, with a combined headcount exceeding 8,800 people and over US$1.128 billion in revenue. The non-profit organization helps these leading agencies share best practices, leverage resources, and efficiently serve their clients around the world. 

PROI Worldwide
15:00 - 15:20
Networking Coffee Break
15:20 - 16:20
Best Practices to Attract and Retain Today’s Top Talent

This session will bring together a panel of prominent PR firm CEOs to discuss the two considerations at the bedrock of every successful firm: securing excellent talent and utilizing competitive retention strategies. Drawing from industry experience, the panelists will cover a host of considerations and issues, such as how to properly incent key employees (including those who are “remote” or “partially remote”), incentive compensation arrangements (cash, equity and phantom equity) and how to properly design compensation arrangements to drive growth and profitability. The panel will highlight incentives that are most attractive in today’s ever changing work environment. Rounding out the discussion, industry-wide findings will be presented from Davis+Gilbert’s 11th Annual PR Survey Highlights and Trends Report.

16:20 - 17:05
Fuelling Your Ascent: Harnessing debt and other non-dilutive capital strategies for explosive growth
17:05 - 17:10
Closing Remarks

7 November, 2023 (ET)


08:50 - 09:00
Welcome & Introduction
09:00 - 09:30
Pink is the new black: How Barbie re-ignited the issue of gender equality and upended “she-conomics” Keynote

You probably thought Barbie was a doll. With a few careers and a penchant for high heels. But that was before the Summer of 2023, when the tiny, 64-year-old fashion icon who launched a gazillion playdates, launched a mega-watt, big screen-to-every-screen gender equality movement – awash in pink – Pantone Barbie Pink (219C) that is. 

Oh and Barbie – the movie – broke box-office records to become the first woman-directed film to gross more than a billion dollars. If you missed the movie, you would have had to be way off-the-grid to also miss Taylor Swift’s colossal, culture-quaking, money-making Eras tour – friendship bracelets anyone? – or Beyonce’s most recent The Renaissance ‘tour de force’.  And if, unlike Harry and Meghan, you didn’t snag the VIP box to catch Queen Bey – maybe you checked out The Women’s World Cup? It broke ticket sales and TV viewership records.

Beyonce herself asked and answered the question 12 years ago, “Who run the world? Girls.”

The Summer of 2023 proved that Bey knows all and a doll with very small shoes can make a giant leap for womankind. We’ll start our discussion there. 

Candace Bushnell, journalist and author of Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries and more, is no stranger to giant leaps. In Manolos, with a cosmo in hand, perhaps. She dared to celebrate the power of women’s relationships with each other – and lots of others – and built an enduring multi-platform franchise that shape-shifted the lives of twenty-something women everywhere. And Ashley Etienne, Senior Advisor at Powell Tate, CBS News Senior Political Contributor, former Deputy Assistant to President Joe Biden, Communications Director to Vice President Kamala Harris and, prior to that, Communications Director and Senior Advisor for Nancy Pelosi, who knows that shape-shifting women’s lives takes policymakers willing and able to push the boundaries to obliterate them.

Gail Heimann, CEO of Weber Shandwick, will moderate a candid and likely spirited conversation with Candace and Ashley that will celebrate Barbie, Taylor, Beyoncé, Carrie, women athletes and policymakers; pushing us to consider what the world of marketing/communications can and must do to propel the she-conomy and keep the wave of Barbie Pink — and gender equality, above all — going.

Weber Shandwick
09:30 - 10:15
Disinformation & The Destruction of Truth: Combatting Harmful Narratives at Scale

Since the term “infodemic” was first coined in 2003, the speed, scale and sophistication of disinformation has exponentially increased. Generative AI has shifted the communications paradigm once again, making the threat of harmful narratives much easier to scale and fundamentally harder to detect. Business leaders know that the spread of disinformation casts a long shadow on society and enterprise, permeating relations between stakeholders, communities, and countries. At a moment in which geopolitical tensions are at a fever pitch – from Ukraine to the Middle East to US/China relations – and looking ahead to a blockbuster US Presidential Election, brands and businesses are already on high alert.

Join Global Chairman and CEO, Hill & Knowlton, AnnaMaria DeSalva, in conversation with CEO, Pendulum, Mark Listes, as they discuss the vital role communicators can and should play in combatting disinformation, and how new technology solutions can help clients analyze for risk in a more proactive and predictive way.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies
10:15 - 10:45
A New Mandate For Brands: Tackling Social Connection

Never before have citizens faced a larger crisis of connection. The conversation of being less socially connected amidst an epidemic of loneliness, surge of polarization and rising reliance on technology permeated discussions across our social fabric long before the arrival of a global pandemic.

Communication leaders have the platform, power and responsibility to tackle today's crisis of social connection. Following the first annual release of The Citizen Connections Report 2023, join global communications agency Citizen Relations alongside corporate responsibility expert and author of "The Lost Art of Connecting", Susan McPherson, as they unpack the drivers of today's "connection deficit" - and the new opportunity brands have to bridge it.

Citizen Relations
10:45 - 11:05
Networking Coffee Break
11:05 - 11:50
2023 Young Changemakers: How deconstructing perceptions of BIPOC could be the key to meaningful retention
This year’s Young Changemaker Award recipients join a panel discussing what keeps them in the industry. They’ll share perspectives on what leadership development needs in order to be effective and how they hope today’s organizations will invest in developing the next generation of talent. Topics covered include: How to foster connection and community, mentorship and coaching programs, and what it really means to have representation at the pitch table.
WE Communications
11:50 - 12:35
The Disruptors Playbook: Audacious Solutions to the Urgent Climate Crisis

Flooding. Fires. Famine. Droughts. Greenhouse gasses are unleashing unprecedented weather events and natural disasters, posing grave danger to people and the planet. According to the UN, the scientific evidence of climate change is unequivocal, and “any further delay in concerted global action will miss a brief and rapidly closing window to secure a livable future.” Time is running out…and for many, so is hope. Today’s climate issues are dire, urgent and complex – incrementalism is not enough to turn the tide of devastation if we don’t act now. Enter these bold disruptors seeking not to simply improve the status quo but to transform it through courageous vision and game-changing innovations, including the world’s first solar-powered community and the first ever marine biodegradable straws.

Finn Partners
12:35 - 13:35
Lunch Break
13:35 - 14:35
The Future of AI in Communications: BCW’s Corey duBrowa In Conversation with Nicholas Thompson Keynote

As the world rapidly adopts artificial intelligence tools for all manner of use, the communications industry stands on the frontlines. However, AI for communications offers great opportunity and great risk. Corey duBrowa, Global CEO of BCW, with Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic, will discuss the impact of advancements in AI on the world of communications, and what the future might look like.

The session will cover:

  • The threats that AI could pose to our new media environment and how we control for misinformation and bias
  • How AI can pave the way for better, more effective and accessible communications
  • How we can realize the benefits of AI while also controlling the risks
  • How we can leverage AI to create the best possible future for the communications industry

As a frequent commentator about the impact of tech on society – especially via a very lively LinkedIn feed – Nick will also give examples of how he is seeing early adoption of AI across a variety of sectors and how he thinks these trends might impact communications.

14:35 - 15:05
Geopolitics: The CCO’s Newest Remit Keynote

The rising expectation for companies to advance social issues has sparked corporate action around racial injustice, human rights, climate change and other critical areas. Now, given heightened attention to geopolitical tension, international conflicts and the rise of mis/disinformation campaigns, multinational companies are also being charged with the expectation of corporate diplomacy. Which makes a deeper understanding of global geopolitics, history, current events, and culture part of every CCO’s remit.

How can communications leaders better anticipate and prepare for the impact that geopolitical events will have on their organizations? This session will explore business and communications considerations for navigating an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape across a range of internal and external stakeholders.

Weber Shandwick
15:05 - 15:25
Networking Coffee Break
15:25 - 16:10
ESG: from policies and regulatory approach to authentic narrative. How to use communications to engage communities

Should corporates take actions about the ESG actions they take? How interested are people in ESG issues? Does the challenge of communicating ESG vary across global markets and generations?

According to SEC Newgate ESG Monitor 2023, community expectations for actions by corporates on ESG globally appear to have reached a tipping point, suggesting genuine action is no longer up for debate. Issues related to the environment, social responsibility, and corporate governance are no longer confined to niche discussions, but have become mainstream concerns across generations. However, some companies are seeking to understand where they ‘have permission to play’ in terms of making a positive difference, others are wondering whether their communications are getting cut-through.

We’ll use data and insights from SEC Newgate’s ESG Monitor Report to inform a panelist-led discussion on contending challenges when communicating a global vision for ESG initiatives and on how understanding public sentiment is fundamental to make smarter and more strategic choices that align with societal expectations

SEC Newgate
16:10 - 16:30
How to Lead the Future with Non-Obvious Thinking Keynote
16:30 - 17:00
Working Together to Build Inclusive Teams for the Modern Era of PR

In order to successfully retain and grow marginalized talent who are imperative to helping us deliver amazing work, agencies and clients alike need to be aligned on how to support and grow inclusive teams. Join Golin and the PR Council to discuss the latest industry guidelines that address organizational structure, financial investment and leadership accountability required to succeed in building teams that are prepared for the modern era of public relations. This session will also focus on the future generation of PR practitioners and what they expect from employers when making their own career choices.

17:00 - 17:05
Closing Remarks

8 November, 2023 (ET)


08:20 - 08:30
Welcome & Introduction
08:30 - 09:30
In Conversation: Richard Edelman & Jonathan Greenblatt
09:30 - 10:15
How Authentic-By-Design Storytelling is Redefining Influencer Marketing

Between the steady rise of user-generated content (UGC), employee-generated content (EGC), and influencer co-creation has both empowered and challenged brands to come out of their content shells and adopt people-led storytelling that give consumers and customers candid, otherwise ‘unseen’ and ‘unfiltered’ perspectives of what the brand is like as a business, employer, community partner—and proponent of societal change. In this session, we will explore how the demand for behind-the-brand authentic, people-led storytelling is reshaping influencer marketing and what it means to creating meaningful connections in 2024.

Havas Red
10:15 - 10:35
Networking Coffee Break
10:35 - 11:20
Addressing the Impact of Ageism in Today’s Culture

The importance of the 50+ population has never been greater. Seniors are big consumers and bring political clout that will become more acute in the 2024 U.S. election cycle. Engaging seniors has also become increasingly tricky for companies and brands to navigate. This fireside chat will tackle the important conversations that are wrapped up within the broader topic of aging and what brands can do to reach seniors.

11:20 - 11:50
A New Playbook: How to Talk About ESG, Minimize Backlash, and Grow Favorability
For years, consumers demanded more from corporations which led to momentum for socially responsible policies and ESG investing. Partisan ESG backlash has caused a reevaluation, with companies left with a difficult choice - do we back away, sit still or move forward? We just finished the most extensive research on ESG perceptions and messaging to find that while the current narrative around ESG is six-feet under, the components behind it are alive and well. This session will review this research and map out the new playbook corporate communicators can use to help frame their responsible business efforts in a way that improves the corporate brand with consumers and minimizes the risks of backlash.   
Bully Pulpit Interactive
11:50 - 12:20
Helping Companies Overcome the Partisan Divide in Washington
12:20 - 13:10
Lunch Break
13:55 - 14:40
Doing Business Better in a Divided Society

Consumers are more polarized than ever before, presenting businesses with a unique challenge: to communicate authentically and purposefully without alienating one (or many) of their audiences in the process. While the task may sound impossible, many skilled communicators have helped companies navigate this complex web of customer expectations all while maintaining—and even growing—a brand’s consumer base. 

Join Porter Novelli Global CEO, Jillian Janaczek, in discussion with Bayer’s Senior Director for Sustainability and Political Affairs, Kasey Gillette, and Panasonic USA’s Jeff Werner, Vice President, Corporate and Government Affairs, to discuss their professional experiences and strategies for managing this difficult, yet increasingly ubiquitous conundrum. Our distinguished panelists will offer practical guidance and expert perspectives to help corporations effectively engage with consumers in a divided world while building a strong and lasting brand presence. 

Porter Novelli
14:40 - 15:00
Networking Coffee Break
15:00 - 15:45
The Road Ahead: Navigating the 2024 Election
  • This election cycle will be one for the record books.  With a triple election (U.S., U.K., E.U.), our industry will be navigating an unprecedented and extended political season that will bring a myriad of internal and external communications challenges and opportunities.

  • In this fireside chat, we’ll address navigating the host of challenges brands will face in the 2024 election year, including guidance on how to navigate a contentious media cycle, culture wars, executive visibility in a politicized world, navigating employee engagement and internal comms in a polarized workforce, and much more.

  • This intimate conversation will take a bipartisan look at how brands can successfully lead through the evolving landscape, with a focus on the opportunities that this season will bring for brands to make a true impact, both inside and outside their organization.

  • Ketchum will also reveal is newest offering - The Election Navigator - which is a critical communicators resource to helping brands understand the risks and opportunities associated with this year’s election cycle.
  • Ketchum
    15:45 - 16:05
    Our Crucial Moment in History: Will we Spend it at the Table, or Under it?
    Natalya Popovych, Ukrainian activist, agency owner and B4Ukraine steering committee member contemplates this volatile period for democracy, business and law, and our role as communicators to serve them. 
    16:05 - 16:10
    Closing Remarks

    8 November, 2023 (ET)


    19:00 - 20:00
    SABRE Awards Cocktail Reception
    20:00 - 22:00
    SABRE Awards Ceremony