Co-sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations, the Public Relations Leadership Forum is an intense two-day seminar for high-performing, mid-career communications managers at Global 1000 companies and public relations firms.  The Leadership Forum’s major objective is to develop outstanding future leaders of public relations and communications, and to provide networking opportunities where upwardly mobile professionals can learn from national leaders in the field and from each other.

This program for tomorrow’s leaders will focus on the research agenda of the Institute for Public Relations and the Arthur W. Page Society’s New Model and is presented by the IPR in conjunction with the Page Society. The event begins at noon on Wednesday, May 4 and concludes by 2:45 p.m., Thursday, May 5. To enhance discussion, networking opportunities and learning exchange, the event will be restricted to 30 registrants.

The all inclusive registration fee of $1,950 includes tuition, an extensive set of seminar materials, a welcome networking reception and dinner Wednesday evening, plus lunch on Wednesday and breakfast and lunch on Thursday.  Individual participants are responsible for their travel to Chicago and for hotel lodging.

All Public Relations Leadership Forum cancellations must be made in writing and are subject to cancellation charges. This policy is necessitated by the limited enrollment restrictions placed upon the size of each Leadership Forum session. Although refunds will not be available for cancellations after April 29, 2016 organizations will be permitted to send a qualified substitute.

For two or more attendees, please contact Jenn Moyer for a discounted rate at (+1) 352-392-0280 or

Who Attends?

Each year the Public Relations Leadership Forum attracts some of the brightest and best developing leaders in public relations and corporate communications. Representatives of the following organizations have attended previous Leadership Forums.

Public Relations Firms: 360 Public Relations LLC, Airfoil PR, APCO Worldwide, Behan Communications, Biosector 2 – CCC, BlissPR, Brunswick Group, Burson-Marsteller, Capstrat, Chandler Chico, CJP Communications, Cohn & Wolfe, Cooper Katz, CRT/Tanaka, Davies Public Affairs, Dix & Eaton, dna13, Eastwick Communications, Edelman, Edward Howard & Company, Environics Communications, FleishmanHillard, Gagen MacDonald, Gibbs & Soell, Golin, Hill & Knowlton, Ketchum, Linhart McClain Finlon, Manning Selvage & Lee, M Booth & Associates, Makovsky & Company, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Padilla Speer Beardsley, Peppercom, Porter Novelli, The Powell Group, Prosek Partners, Purple Strategies, rbb Public Relations, Revive Public Relations, RF|Binder, Toni Torres PR, Spectrum Science Communications, SunStar, Text 100, Trone Public Relations, Tunheim Partners, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Weber Shandwick and Weisscomm Partners.

Corporations & Other Organizations: Abbott Laboratories, Allstate Insurance Company, Alticor, American Red Cross, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Arco Brands, ArvinMeritor, AT&T, Avery Dennison, AXA Equitable, Bank of New York Mellon, Baxter International, Best Buy, BP America, Capital One, Cargill, Charles Schwab, ConAgra Foods, Cordis Corporation, Corning Incorporated, Covidien, Delta Air Lines, Digital Platform, Discover Financial Services, Discovery Networks Central Europe, Duke Energy, Edward Jones, Entergy, Ernst & Young, Exelis Geospatial Systems, Exelon, Fannie Mae, FedEx, Fidelity Investments, Frito-Lay, The Gap, General Electric, General Motors, Genomic Health, GM Healthcare, Harley-Davidson, Hartford, Hess Corporation, Heineken, Honeywell, Humana, IBM, Ingersoll Rand, Irvine Company, ITT Industries, Johnson Controls, Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Permanente, Kraft Foods, Lockheed Martin, Lundbeck, Mars, Inc., McKesson Corporation, MetLife, Mosaic, Nationwide, Navistar, Nextel, Northwestern Mutual, Oneok, Otterbox, Pearson, PepsiCo, PG&E, Phillips 66, Praxair, Prudential Financial, Public Service Electric & Gas Company, Quaker Oats, SAIC, Siemens, SAS, Shell Oil Company, State Farm, St. Paul Travelers, Texas Instruments, Sunoco, Symantec, Tellabs, Tennessee Valley Authority Unisys Corporation, United Nations Foundations, United Technologies, UPS, USAA, USG Corporation, Waste Management, WCG, Weick Media and Wyeth.

Registration Includes

The all inclusive registration fee of $1,950 includes tuition, an extensive set of seminar materials, a welcome networking reception and dinner Wednesday evening, plus breakfast and lunch on Thursday. Individual participants are responsible for their travel to Chicago and for hotel lodging.

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

Program Schedule

Schedule for the Public Relations Leadership Forum
Golin, 875 North Michigan Avenue, 26th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611
May 4-5, 2016

Wednesday, May 4

11:45 a.m. – Registration and Networking Lunch

12:15 p.m. – Welcome and Introductions

12:45 – 2 p.m. – Examining Game Changing Developments, Best Practices and Measures in Employee Engagement
Gary F. Grates, Principal, W20 Group & Keith Burton, Principal, Grayson Emmett Partners

2 p.m. – Networking Break

2:15 – 3:30 p.m. – Creating a Best-in-Class Corporate Communications Function
Karen C. Tripp, Formerly Phillips 66, The Hartford, General Electric

3:30 p.m. – Networking Break and Visit to the Golin Bridge (a connected network of newsrooms in more than a dozen languages across five continents)

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 – The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing World – An Arthur W. Page Society Report
Donald K. Wright, Harold Burson Professor of Public Relations, Boston University

5:15 p.m. – Offsite Reception and Dinner
Ditka’s Chicago Restaurant, 100 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611

Thursday, May 5

8:30 a.m. – Networking Breakfast

9 a.m. – 10:15 – Analyzing What the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer Really Tells Us
Kathryn Beiser, Global Chair, Corporate Practice, Edelman

10:15 a.m. – Networking Break

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Unconventional Career Advice From a PR Agency CEO
Fred Cook, CEO, Golin and Head, Annenberg’s Strategic Communication and
Public Relations Center, University of Southern California

12 Noon – 1:15 – Working Lunch A Look at Some of the Brightest and Best Developments in Public Relations Research
Donald K. Wright, Harold Burson Professor of Public Relations, Boston University &
Sarah Jackson, Public Relations Associate, Institute for Public Relations

1:15 p.m. – Stretch Break

1:25 – 2:30 p.m. – A Conversation With Al Golin
Al Golin, Chairman, Golin & Don Wright, Boston University

2:30 p.m. – Closing Comments and Adjournment

Note: The Public Relations Leadership Forum will conclude no later than 2:45pm, Thursday, May 5

Instructional Team

Kathryn Beiser is Global Chair of Corporate Practice at Edelman. As both a chief communication officer and agency executive, Beiser has worked across a broad range of global industries during her nearly 30-year career. Her experience has included developing campaigns to shape organizational culture and drive performance, leading corporate reputation and executive positioning programs, facilitating complex financial transactions, managing issues/crises and optimizing communication functions. Most recently, she served as executive vice president of corporate communications for Hilton Worldwide where she was responsible for global corporate and brand communications, executive positioning and corporate responsibility. Prior to Hilton, she was vice president of corporate communications at Discover Financial Services. She also spent 20 years with some of the world’s leading public relations firms. Beiser is a Trustee of The Arthur W. Page Society, as well as a former trustee of the Institute for Public Relations.

For more than two decades, Keith Burton has been recognized as one of the world’s leading global practitioners in employee engagement and internal communication. He formed Grayson Emmett Partners in 2014. Prior to creating his own consultancy, he was a Partner with Brunswick Group, New York and London, and led a global group of practitioners focused exclusively on improving organizational performance by building employee trust, advancing internal communication as a strategic discipline, and helping drive change at many of the world’s leading corporations. Keith founded and served as President of Insidedge, a leading employee communication consultancy supporting major agencies in the Interpublic Group (IPG) of Companies, from 1991 until 2012. He also served as a senior executive leader with GolinHarris, Hill & Knowlton and Ketchum earlier in his career. During his professional career, Keith has worked with companies in virtually every major industry sector and served such clients as Amazon, American Airlines, Covidien, Facebook, FedEx, GlaxoSmithKline, Georgia-Pacific Corp., IBM Corp., Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, NASA, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), NATO, Tenneco, Tyson Foods and Visa International.

Fred Cook is CEO of Golin and is responsible for key client relationships, strategic planning and managing the firm. Fred has been with the agency since 1986 and served as managing director of the western region and chief client officer. Fred architected the agency’s new model, g4, which integrates strategy, creativity and engagement into one seamless package that is delivered to clients. He is also committed to ensuring that GH provides a rewarding, challenging career for the best PR professionals in the business. During his tenure at Golin, Fred has managed strategic planning and brand marketing campaigns for companies such as Nintendo of America, Visa, Southwest Airlines and He has orchestrated public affairs and handled crisis management programs for BAX Global, The Walt Disney Company and Toyota. He has also developed research-based brand positioning campaigns for Yamaha, Walt Disney Imagineering and Weyerhaeuser. In addition, Fred has developed numerous international public relations programs for clients such as the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, Air New Zealand and Canon. Fred is a trustee of the Institute of Public Relations, and a former board member of The Council of Public Relations Firms. He is also a member of The Economic Club of Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Public Relations Seminar and The Arthur W. Page Society.

Al Golin, the Founder and Chairman of Golin is a veteran of almost half a century in the public relations industry. In addition to handling the McDonald’s account for over 45 years, Golin represents such companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coors Brewing Co., Florida Department of Citrus, Levi Strauss & Co., Lowe’s Companies, National Peanut Board, Nestlé, Nintendo of America, Owens Corning, Sprint, Texas Instruments, Toyota Motor Sales of America, and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. As a consultant to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Al’s work centered on a major public relations awareness program for U.S. companies on the benefits of exporting to help our economy, increase employment, and reduce the balance of trade deficit. Al is a member of the board of trustees of The Goodman Theatre of Chicago and Roosevelt University, a founding board member of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and is public relations advisor to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the Public Relations Seminar and the Public Relations Society of America. He has lectured at Princeton University, Dartmouth College, Yale University, Northwestern University, New York University, and the Annenberg Communication School at USC. Al has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Arthur W. Page Society, the Institute for Public Relations, the Public Relations Society of America, the Publicity Club of Chicago and Inside PR magazine.

Gary F. Grates is a globally renowned, recognized, and respected expert in change management communications, employee engagement and corporate strategy execution counseling senior leaders and Boards of Directors from global organizations in the areas of leadership transition, M&A integration, crisis, labor-management relations, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, function optimization, internal communications improvement, strategy implementation, and change management. He is a Principal at W20 Group, the parent company of WCG, Twist Marketing, W20 Ventures, and NextWorks. This network of independent, complementary public relations, marketing, and communications counseling firms focused on integrated business solutions in the areas product supremacy, innovation, change, organizational effectiveness, and growth for the world’s leading organizations. A member of the Executive Team, Grates has more than 25 years of corporate, marketing/brand, labor, and strategic communications experience with a particular expertise in organizational (change) management/employee (internal) communications.

Sarah Jackson is the Public Relations Associate for the Institute for Public Relations. She has worked with the Institute for two years helping to provide research that matters to the practice through our website. She is the editorial director of IPR’s Research Letter, an email that reaches 9,500 and showcases the most relevant research to the field of public relations. She has helped Dr. Don Wright with the leadership forums for the past two years. She has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Florida.

Karen Tripp was formerly Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at Phillps 66. Tripp oversaw corporate reputation and brand management, community and philanthropic investments, public policy, media engagement, and employee and digital communications. Tripp has nearly 25 years of marketing and communications experience and most recently served as executive vice president for the Hartford Financial Services Group. She has prior experience in executive positions at L-3 Communications, General Electric and Rockwell Collins. Tripp earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Dakota. She is a licensed pilot and flight instructor. She has served on the boards of the Fine Arts Fund and the American Red Cross.

Don Wright is the Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations at Boston University’s College of Communication, the world’s first degree-granting institution in public relations. He is one of the most published public relations scholars in the areas of ethics, employee communication and social media, and is an internationally known professor, author, speaker, researcher, advisor, and corporate communications consultant. In addition to teaching, conducting scholarly and applied research, and lecturing in more than 30 countries on five continents, Professor Wright has worked full-time in corporate, agency and university public relations, and has been a communications consultant for more than three decades. PR Week magazine has recognized him both as one of the Top 10 public relations educators in the United States and as one of the “15 Leading Lights” in US public relations. He is a long time member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and from 1989 through 2012 he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Arthur W. Page Society. He is a past president of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and is a past chair of the IPR Commission on Public Relations Measurement and Evaluation. Dr. Wright was the founding Editor of PRSA’s Public Relations Journal, the world’s first quarterly open-access peer-reviewed electronic research journal, and is now editor of the Research Journal of IPR. He is an active consultant in public opinion research, employee communications, organizational ethics, professional development as well as management and structure of the corporate communications function. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the University of Minnesota.

Hotel Accomodations

There are number of hotel options within easy walking distance of the new Golin offices in The Hancock Building at 875 North Michigan Avenue between Chestnut Street and Delaware Place. Listings below includes the room rate (not counting taxes) currently posted for the nights of May 7, 2014. Please note in some cases the room rates are based on rooms purchased via the discount hotel service

One Block From The Hancock Building

The Four Seasons Chicago, 120 East Delaware Place, $555, Tel: 312-280-8800

Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 East Chestnut Street, $325, Tel: 312-324-4000

Westin, 909 N. Michigan Avenue, $365, Tel: 312-943-7200 (Directly across street from The Hancock)

Whitehall Hotel, 105 East Delaware Place, $279, Tel: 312-944-6300

Tremont Hotel, 100 East Chestnut Street, $239, Tel: 312-751-1900

Raffaleo Hotel, 201 East Delaware Place, $220, Tel: 312-943-5000

Two Blocks From The Hancock Building

The Drake Hotel, 140 East Walton Place, $265, Tel: 312-932-4626

Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, 163 East Walton Place, $310, Tel: 800-621-8140

Three Blocks From The Hancock Building

Sutton Place, 21 East Bellevue Place, $260, Tel: 312-266-2100

Four Blocks From The Hancock Building

The Peninsula Chicago, 108 East Superior, $475, Tel: 312-337-2888

Mile North Hotel, 166 East Superior, $235, Tel: 312-787-6000.

Conrad Chicago, 521 North Rush Street, $255, Tel: 312-645-1500


Dr. Don Wright
Harold Burson Professor and Chair in Public Relations
College of Communication, Boston University

Sarah Jackson
Communications Manager
Institute for Public Relations (Tel: +1-352-392-0280)

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