What is #PRFest?

#PRFest, the world’s only festival for public relations, takes place this summer, 15-16 June, in Edinburgh.

Laura SutherlandThe festival was developed out of research about what PR practitioners wanted to learn about as well as recognising the opportunity for public relations to modernise at a faster pace.

The reason it’s in Scotland is because I live and work in Scotland and where better to start something new than home turf?

Last year’s inaugural festival was a sell out and 120 practitioners attended the two-day event hearing from leaders in social media, software, workflow, techniques, integration, platforms, tools and how to future proof your business/organisation.

Gone are the days of boring conferences

It was clear there was momentum at the festival to keep on pushing and learning, with an emphasis on professional development and a keenness for ‘more of the same’. Gone are the days of boring conferences when people speak at you.


Learning, sharing and collaborating is the focus of #PRFest.

Not only will you learn a huge amount over two days and get to network with other practitioners, but you’ll also have the opportunity to meet with some of the industry’s employers. Agencies, businesses and organisations attend and what better time to network with prospective bosses?

It doesn’t end there! Last year deals were done at the event and one in particular went on to be a business acquisition. It’s all going on at #PRFest!

Your personal brand

One thing often overlooked, but shouldn’t be, especially if you work in public relations, is your personal brand. What do you, say about you? Everything from your personal presentation, to your social media accounts, to your confidence and your reputation.

If you’re planning on coming along to #PRFest in June, here are some top tips for preparing, so you’re ready to maximise the opportunity and progress your own PR career.

Career progression isn’t just about time served

Five top preparation tips for #PRFest

  1. Attending #PRFest can earn you up to 20 CPD points, both through PRCA and CIPR CPD platforms. Be sure to think of what you need to learn professionally, before you attend, so you have a clear goal. It’s also important to evaluate your learning. What did you learn and how will you put it into practice? The programme is available here, so you can have a look and plan ahead.
  2. Make sure your LinkedIn profile and social media profiles are up-to-date and slick. If you’re planning on doing any kind of personal selling, you’ll need to have all your ducks in a row!
  3. Look at the attendee list in advance. Plan who will be there and seek them out when you come along. Planning and preparation makes effective networking. You’ll be able to see who is attending via the Eventbrite page once you sign up.
  4. Take business cards. I think business cards are still effective! Make sure you’ve got a nice, clean business card for anyone you meet. It’s a sign you’ve prepared and you want to talk further.
  5. When you make connections at #PRFest, follow up! Don’t just swap cards and not speak again. Prospective bosses will be impressed that you’ve followed up with a nice email, (personal) LinkedIn request and will be more likely to take notice.

Career progression isn’t just about time served, CVs and job applications. In the modern world, prospective employers will be impressed with your personal brand and your initiative.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, where you learn, share, collaborate and meet so many influential PR practitioners.

Guest blog post by Laura Sutherland, Founder of #PRFest and Chief at Aura PR.

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