Senior and emerging corporate and brand communicators are invited to attend this strategic research conference co-sponsored by PRIME Research and the Institute for Public Relations. Attendees will learn how to improve their return on PR investment using strategic research at this May 11 event held at IESE in New York City.

Speakers include global corporate and brand communicators; senior public relations researchers from top companies; and leading scholars in the field. They will share best practice case-studies that inform the public relations community and will share their own experiences proving PR’s value. This will be a great opportunity to contribute to and learn from illuminating discussions about communication research and its applications.

After May 1st, the all-inclusive registration fee will increase to $995, and will include tuition, an extensive set of seminar materials, plus breakfast and lunch on Thursday. Individual participants are responsible for their travel to New York and for hotel lodging.

Group discounts are available. Please contact Jenn Moyer at or (+1) 352-392-0280.

Cancellation Policy: Refund of the registration cost, less an administrative fee of $200, will be made if written notice of cancellation is sent no later than April 25, 2017. Cancellation requests made after the April 25 deadline will NOT be entitled to a refund. Cancellation of registration for this event must be made in writing and emailed to Substitute attendees will be permitted (with appropriate documentation and fee adjustment). All registration forms must be complete in order to be processed. Speakers, sessions and other conference events are subject to change without notice.


8 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

8: 45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions
Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., Institute for Public Relations
Mark Weiner, PRIME Research

9:00 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. Marketing Does It, Why Not Us?: Using Customer Pipeline As A New Metric
Atle Erlingsson, SAP

9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Big Data/Little Data: Putting Communications Metrics to Work for the Business
Cindy Villafranca, Southwest Airlines

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Networking Break

10:45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Leadership in an Era of Disruption:  Communications in the Digital Age
David McCulloch, GE Power Digital

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Organizational Clarity: The Art and Science of Employee Alignment and Trust
Sarab Kochhar, Ph.D., Institute for Public Relations

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.   Lunch

1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Asymmetric Engagement:  When One Tweet Can Rock Your World
Clay McConnell, Airbus Americas

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Molly McKenna, McDonald’s Corporation

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Networking Break

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Packing for the road ahead: A journey toward smarter data and insights
Christine Curtin, KPMG

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. A Fireside Chat with Dan Race: The Story of a Communications Transformation at GoDaddy

4:30 p.m. Conclusion

Speaker Bios:

Cindy Villafranca began her career in television news as a producer in Tulsa, OK. After eight years in live television news, she transitioned to the public relations field, where she quickly applied her news experience to internal and external communications, crisis situations, social media, and measurement/analytics. Cindy has worked for several large organizations and companies, including Tulsa Community College, the American Heart Association’s national headquarters, Balfour Beatty Construction, and currently, Southwest Airlines. Recognized as an outstanding employee with a Time, Feeling, Focus Award by the American Heart Association; received half a dozen Above and Beyond Awards at Balfour Beatty Construction; and was a member of the President’s Leadership team at Tulsa Community College.

Christine Curtin has more 18 years of diverse experience in creating and executing strategic communications programs for corporate, broadcast and public affairs and print journalism. Joining KPMG in November 2012, Christine is Chief of Staff for the Corporate Communications team, managing the daily operations of a 72 person team and working in concert with the team’s leadership to develop, drive and execute communications strategy to deliver the firm’s strategic priorities. She spends much of her time focused on implementing systems and organizational improvements to increase efficiency team work and collaboration, while problem solving and leveraging resources for effective communications programs. She is also dedicated to developing and executing comprehensive and strategic corporate communications initiatives and providing high-level counsel to senior staff on communications issues. Christine has additional experience in crisis communications, event production, and brand visibility.

Atle Erlingsson is head of North America Communications at the global software company SAP, where he develops communications strategies and drives integrated communications across the region. He oversees reputation and crisis management, media relations, internal and executive communications, and CSR. Previously, he successfully drove communications programs for several U.S. and global Fortune 100 companies via his executive level posts with Wells Fargo and Prologis, and ascension through a series of related roles with the Allianz Group. He began his career as a broadcast journalist and earned an Emmy award for his investigative reporting.

Sarab Kochhar, Ph.D., is the Director of Research with the Institute for Public Relations. She is also the Associate Director of APCO Worldwide’s Washington office, where she serves as strategic counsel for clients on measurement and evaluation for communication programs. She primarily works with clients across the globe to develop measurement techniques and provide insights. Dr. Kochhar has worked in both the public and private sectors. She has led project teams in the areas of technology, aerospace and many other sectors in her work with Burson-Marsteller in Bangalore, India. She has worked with the Government of Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana where she managed the tourism function, including sports, medical, health, and cultural tourism. Additionally, she has also worked with Ketchum Research and Analytics Group in New York and has led multiple research and analytics project for global clients.

Molly McKenna Jandrain is the Director, PR & Brand Engagement at the McDonald’s Corporation. As Director of Public Relations and Brand Engagement for McDonald’s, Molly McKenna Jandrain oversees the Public Relations strategy to support McDonald’s business and brand. McKenna Jandrain is responsible for developing and leading a strategic, measureable and integrated communications plan and team to effectively reach and engage defined audiences with McDonald’s story, business and brand actions. Prior to this position, McKenna Jandrain served as External Communications Manager for McDonald’s USA, where she was responsible for developing communications strategies that build and support McDonald’s national marketing efforts and Plan to Win business strategy.

Clay McConnell is Vice President of Communications for Airbus Americas, Inc. at the company’s headquarters in Herndon, Virginia. Clay joined Airbus and its U.S. executive team in May 2001. Clay leads all communications and image-building activities for Airbus’ businesses (commercial aircraft, defense, space, and helicopters) throughout North and South America and the Caribbean. Clay joined Airbus from Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, where he was Director of Corporate Communications. During his 13-year career with the airline, he served in a variety of public relations and communications positions, with increasing responsibility for major market news media relations, internal and labor relations communications, crisis and issues management, and web-based communications.

Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., APR, is the President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations, an independent nonprofit foundation that focuses on research that matters to the public relations profession. Formerly, she was an Associate Professor of Public Relations at Appalachian State University and has taught at several universities, including Cal Poly Pomona, University of Vermont, and Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok, Thailand. She has taught in West Virginia University’s graduate IMC program since 2009. She has received numerous awards and honors for her teaching and research.

David McCulloch is the Head of Global Communications, GE Power Digital. David leads global communications for GE’s largest and fastest growing software business. He is responsible for helping the electricity industry understand how GE’s software can solve some of its biggest challenges, from emissions reduction to energy decentralization. He is also helping GE Power’s 60,000 employees understand their role in advancing the digital transformation of the electricity industry. David was previously head of worldwide public relations at Cisco where he was recognized as the 2014 PRWeek PR Professional of the Year and his team recognized as the 2013 PRWeek In-House PR Team of the Year. Prior to joining Cisco, David was an executive vice president at top 20 global PR agency Text 100. He started his career with Gillette in London and moved to Silicon Valley in 2001. He is a past-President of PRSA Silicon Valley.

Dan Race is the vice president of communications at GoDaddy, responsible for driving the company’s global corporate and product communications programs. Dan helped steward the GoDaddy narrative during its recent transformation, which entailed a sharpened vision, new leadership, a successful IPO, international expansion, and new product strategy. Previously, Dan was the head of corporate communications at Sony Computer Entertainment America and Sony Network Entertainment, where he led communications for the PlayStation brand across North America.

Mark Weiner is the CEO of PRIME Research. Established as an academic research institute in Germany in 1987, PRIME has expanded globally to become one of the world’s largest public relations research consultancies. It has a team of 100 account directors, 600 analysts and a complete portfolio of services. Weiner is the Director of IPR’s Measurement Commission and is known for his expertise in communications research with a special focus on proving and improving the value and return on investment of public relations in driving positive business results. Weiner is a Trustee for the Institute for Public Relations, a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Museum of Public Relations. He is a member of AMEC, PRSA, IABC, and sits on the Editorial Advisory Boards of PRSA Strategist and PR News.

Sarah Jackson
Communications Manager
Institute for Public Relations

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