Time: 14:30 - 15:30
Post Truth, Post Trust, Post PR... and why the crisis of trust is a crisis of leadership
Robert has spent the past thirty years at the top of the global communications industry and is well known for his radical, challenging and future-facing views. He set up his first company while still at university and then co-founded
Jackie Cooper PR, the agency behind some of the most iconic brand PR campaigns of the late twentieth century. Having sold JCPR, Robert subsequently became CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest Public Relations firm, in the UK and then
across Europe, the Middle East & Africa.
While at Edelman, Robert had an epiphany: PR was dead and the consultancy business model was broken. He quit his job, published Trust Me, PR is Dead and co-founded Jericho Chambers, a progressive strategy consultancy described as "a much-needed antidote to McKinsey and WPP".
With Jericho – part consultancy, part Think Tank and part campaigners for the Common Good – Robert is exploring new models of communications, leadership and trust in the post truth, post trust, post PR age – advising business leaders and organisations on how to engage and deliver change for good in fragile and uncertain times. Robert leads Jericho Chambers’ work on the Future of Work is Human for CIPD and Responsible Tax for KPMG.
Robert is a Visiting Professor at Cass Business School, University of London, and is a regular public speaker, media commentator and columnist.
The world is coming to terms with Donald Trump as President of the United States and Britain exiting the European Union. Populism is fashionable; extremism is on the rise. Meanwhile, business and multinational corporations are less
trusted than ever before.
Experts and facts are ridiculed and rejected; "elites" are to blame for (almost) everything; whistleblowers abound; and "truth" has been distorted and displaced by deceit and lies. The Post Truth, Post Trust, Post PR age is reality.
How did we get into this mess – and what do we do to get out of it?
Robert examines the relationships between truth and trust and profit and purpose. He argues that the crisis of trust is a crisis of leadership and for radical new models of engagement, communications and leadership. These embrace activism and co-production and encourage vulnerability and dissent among colleagues and stakeholders. Trusted leaders of tomorrow will be accountable to the many, not the few.
Those willing to cede control, be open, collaborative, human and "stand naked", he says, are those more likely to adapt and thrive. Robert offers an alternative future vision – where hope and optimism, rooted in a commitment to human potential and the common good, replace cynicism and despair.