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The Magic of Leadership Conference Day Two

The Magic of Leadership Conference Day Two
Friday, February 20, 2015 - 09:00 to 12:30
The Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, Co. Down

On Friday morning, we will talk about communicating better

Friday morning will feature three strong speakers with extensive communications skills. They will discuss a variety of topics that will provide food for communications thoughts to our delegates.

The morning session will kick off with communications guru Gavin Megaw, Director at Hanover, who started his career at the Conservative Party where he headed up the Party's rapid rebuttal operation. Gavin is a member of the PRCA's PR Council and chair of its Crisis Communications Group. Gavin will focus delegates’ attention on the dangers of ignoring ‘reputation gaps’ in an age when no one can control the news nor prevent damaging coverage, and discuss how to reduce the ‘gaps’, for instance by conducting reputation audits.  Gavin said: “Every leader should seize the opportunity to take a lead on reputation, conducting a comprehensive 'gap analysis' audit that will protect their organisation and gain the respect of their industry.”

Mark Goldring, CEO of Oxfam GB will follow and share some of his learning and experience as chief executive of three major charities (Oxfam GB, VSO, Mencap), including what he learnt from the pain and pleasure of filming and living Undercover Boss. Mark said: “The role of the voluntary sector continues to change in respect of our relations with governments, companies and the public. We constantly have to reinvent ourselves and re-earn trust, and income, all in a world where we are certainly no longer put on the pedestal we may or may not ever have deserved. But the potential of new alliances, national and international relations and types of communication is huge, and we should reshape ourselves and rethink roles to take advantage of these.”

Heather Thomson, the Director of the National Trust in Northern Ireland, has worked within the environmental and heritage sector for over 14 years. She will be the last (but certainly not least!) speaker at the conference.  A previous Chief Executive of Ulster Wildlife, one of 47 independent Wildlife Trusts working across the British Isles, Heather combines over 22 years' experience in the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland with extensive experience as a consultant for global such brands Adidas, Le Coq Sportif and Fox’s Biscuits in the areas of sales, operations and marketing. When we met a few weeks ago I had noted down some points we had talked about under the theme Public Relations and Communications. 

The 2014 media reporting on charity Chief Executives’ pay has been a wake up call to all: as Third Sector leaders, we all too often dismiss communication as a non-priority and the results of miscommunications as unfortunate incidents. We cannot be complacent any more and need to take control of communications. Heather will give the audience the tools to change and manage perceptions of the wider public to bust myths related to the Third Sector. Reconnecting with the larger public by engaging strategically through the right channels, be they the media, governmental representatives or other stakeholders in the public and private sector, is key to break down misconceptions. If we think smart communications, positive brand awareness will follow!