CIPR North East has today announced Director of Communities and Communications at Wiltshire Council, Laurie Bell, as headline speaker at the CIPR Northern Conference, taking place on 13 July 2018 at the Crowne Plaza in Newcastle.

Bell has been leading on communications and community engagement for the recovery of Salisbury following the suspected Russian nerve agent attack on 4 March.

The one-day conference delivered in collaboration with CIPR North East, North West and Yorkshire & Lincolnshire will have a diverse programme exploring the art and science of engagement.

Anne-Marie Lacey, Chair of CIPR North East, said: Working together with our colleagues in the North West and Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, we’re delighted to be bringing back Northern Conference to the North East this summer, after a short hiatus in the regional groups’ programming, and we’re delighted Laurie will be joining us on the day to share her story.

“As well as Laurie, delegates can expect to hear from some of the biggest names in the industry about how data and creativity can work together in all facets of communications to reach strategic objectives. It’s not one to miss and I’d urge people to book their tickets before it’s too late.

During her key note, Bell will unveil how her team managed the crisis and effectively engaged a wide range of stakeholders in the aftermath of the event in order to deliver a successful recovery programme for Salisbury.

Joining Bell in the conference programme is ‘the father of public relations’, Bob Leaf. US-born, he is one of the industry’s most knowledgeable counsellors on international public relations. During his session at CIPR Northern Conference, Bob will be sitting down with CIPR President and Newcastle-native, Sarah Hall, to talk about his experience in an ever-changing industry.

Other sessions at Northern Conference will cover how the brain works and our psychology when it comes to the art of influence, to the other end of the scale, with workshops looking at creativity and how PR practitioners can train their brain to become more imaginative with their campaigns.

In addition to Bell and Leaf, the programme of workshops and talks announced to date include: The Art and Science of…

… Creativity & Engagement – by Scott Dimbleby, Creative Director at W

… Using Research for PR – by James Ealey, Director, & Nathan Shrubb, Partnership and Project Manager at NGI Solutions

… How PR Can Use Trends – by Joanna Feeley, Founder at Trend Bible

… Neuroscience Linked to Internal Communications – by Jenni Field, Director at Redefining Communications Ltd

… Audience Development – by Caroline Greener, Communications Manager at Dance City

… Public Consultation – by Jen Robson, Communications Manager at North East LEP

… AI & PR – by Stephen Waddington, Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum and visiting professor at Newcastle University

The conference is open to both members and non-members of the CIPR. Early bird tickets are available until Friday 18th May at CIPR members who are engaged with the CIPR’s Continuing Professional Development scheme will also gain 10 CPD points from attending the event.

This year’s CIPR Northern Conference is one of many events celebrating the CIPR’s 70th Anniversary and will follow the prestigious Annual General Meeting. Being held a day before at the same venue, former Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, Rt Hon Alan Milburn, will be reflecting on his give years in the Cabinet at the AGM.

For more information on the Northern Conference visit