A 360 overview of PRWeek’s PR360 

pr 360 stage

At the start of every year, I pencil in “PR360, Brighton” to my diary. Every year, I have to take it out. May is one of busiest months with client campaigns kicking off and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show taking place so it’s never an ideal time. But this year was the conference’s 10-year anniversary and the speakers and topics sounded fascinating so I made it my mission to keep it in the diary and to get on top of everything early to make sure it happened!

Organised by PR Week, PR360 is a two day conference held in Brighton to bring the industry together and discuss key opportunities, challenges and issues with an array of amazing speakers, discussions and debates.

Speakers included representatives from Mattel, Samsung, Plum, Holland and Barrett, Gousto, Specsavers, Ocado, The National Trust, Airwallex, Danone, Admiral Insurance, McClaren Racing, Heineken, EE, easyjet, Experian, Tesco, the NHS and the RSPB. Coming from a specialist industry of being a home and garden PR agency, it was fascinating to hear insight from global brands and to see how everyone is coming up against the same challenges and having to adapt in the same way.

guest speakers at pr360 2

I came away with reams and reams of notes and lots of ideas so condensing these to just four key takeaways is difficult – but here goes…

My top four takeaways from the 2024 PRWeek PR360 Conference

1. The need for creative PR content is greater than ever

With news teams being cut, and the amount of people working in PR increasing, the balance of PR people to journalists is out of kilter, yet there is the same amount of content for media outlets to be producing. This all creates a huge content burden for journalists so they are looking for easy-to-use, ready-to-go material from agencies they can trust.

It also means the competition for our work to stand out is stiffer than ever before so the need for PR campaigns to be creative is huge. The speakers discussed how campaigns and content should be incredibly targeted for each outlet and how the best way to land a feature is to take time to research what content works for each outlet, what keywords are used, and even down to exploring what style the journalist writes in. This raised questions about client expectations though and how focusing on just one outlet at a time to such meticulous a degree would be lovely but isn’t feasible within most client hours, and only having one feature per month would lead to a disappointed client – even if it were a killer article!

2. Trust and longevity of relationships

The Head of Social Media for Specsavers discussed the valuable relationship that she has with her social media agency.  Because of the trust that has built up over time, she knows she can leave them to post on the brand’s behalf and is confident they will hit the mark every time. This was refreshing to hear as often client sign-offs and the approval process for quick turnaround opportunities can often mean the boat is missed, particularly on social media. Delay and you miss the moment! We’ve seen the benefits of this first hand, having worked with some of our clients for many, many years. It means we’ve got loads of knowledge about the brands so can quickly jump on any enquiry to secure coverage. It means our copy is informed and our product recommendations are bang on without having to disturb the client! It also means that everything we do links back to the bigger picture and company aims.

She went on to say though that this isn’t an easy process and of course, certain parameters and robust brand guidelines need to be put in place first, and how this does take time and longevity of the relationship.

A testimonial that reads "We've worked with Honest for many years now, so they really know our company inside out. Honest deeply understands the intricacies of the company and just gets us. Their commitment to immersing themselves in the business inside and out has not only led to incredible results year after year, but also means that we truly trust the Honest team to tell the Hillier story."

3. AI is coming but doesn’t need to be feared!

AI was unsurprisingly a hot topic of the conference, cropping up in every session. A key theme explored was the mistrust of AI, but also how it can grant huge access to insight and should be embraced.

The importance of writing skills in PR people vs. the use of Chat GPT was debated with one speaker suggesting writing skills no longer matter in PR professionals. This brought shivers down my spine and is something I hugely disagree with! AI can write content, but it will always need human input for reviewing, expanding and personalising to be in line with a client’s messaging, goals and tone. Even if we aren’t writing the copy, we will be reviewing it and to review, you need to be an excellent writer yourself.

The consensus was that AI isn’t something to be feared, it’s simply another tool in our PR armoury, enabling us to do more strategic work, and freeing us up to focus on relationship building. Perfect!

Click here to read more about our stance on AI in Public Relations.

4. Demonstrating the value of PR

The age-old problem of ‘how do you put a price on PR’ of course came up!

It was agreed that while this is still difficult it is getting easier, but that PR is having to fight harder to justify itself against other marketing channels that can easily pull data to quantify their impact. The conversation explored how there are key changes in PR measurement occurring with the blurring between traditional, digital, affiliate and influencer, and in particular how digital PR means activity is more trackable, and sales attribution is finally possible to some degree.

Key points were:

    • Always focus on meeting the brand goals, and doing everything possible to show this in reporting

    • Link everything back to the commercials

    • Get all stakeholders client-side on board so they understand what PR is and what everyone is working towards

    • Demonstrate the impact of coverage, not total pieces, otherwise you end up with coverage for the sake of coverage

    • Understand where the client sits in the organisation to understand their pain points and challenges, and what data they need to impress their bosses!


One question raised has stuck with me since and is something we’re working on with every client – if we only got three pieces of coverage, which outlets would we want them to be in?

Perhaps something to think about for your own strategy and PR impact. If you know your top three outlets but have no idea how to get there, then thankfully we can help! Get in touch and let’s chat about how we’ll land features for you in your dream titles (and more!)