The Challenger Sessions

We host regular virtual events, bringing in inspiring speakers from across the PR & marketing industry to share powerful work and explore challenger brand thinking. 

To sign up to one of our events, join our events guestlist or for copies of the recordings contact Kayleigh Paget  

  • Good Broadcast Delivers: Channel 5 News



    • Jess Bulman, Channel 5 News
    • Jack Baine, Good Broadcast

    For the next session in our series of discussions with high profile broadcasters, we’re delighted to welcome Jess Bulman, Deputy Editor of Channel 5 News for a Q&A with our Head of Broadcast and former BBC editor Jack Baine.

    We hope you can join us for a ‘behind the scenes’ discussion to gain an insight into their new hour-long news and features programme, presented by Sian Williams weekdays between 5pm and 6pm, and how PRs can secure coverage.

  • Growth Hacking: Using social media to gain an advantage in B2B comms



    • Fredrik Borestrom, LinkedIn
    • Daisy-Ellen Omissi, Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace
    • Robert Anderson, Good Relations

    Hybrid working and the growth of social media have fundamentally changed the way B2B customers procure products and services.

    In our next Challenger Session event, we’ll be exploring how to deliver maximum impact across B2B social media in 2022.

    We’ll be welcoming guest speakers: Fredrik Borestom from LinkedIn who will be presenting new research on how B2B organisations can use social media to grow. Daisy-Ellen Omissi from Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace who will be sharing her experience running external communications at one of the world’s best known B2B brands.

  • Boom or bust? Predictions on key trends in property for 2022



    • Alex Daniel, London Reporter, Estates Gazette
    • Chris Fair, President, Resonance Consulting
    • James Ralph, Director, Good Relations Property

    With the prospect of a post-pandemic world tantalisingly close, what will be the priorities for real estate communicators for 2022?

    In our next Challenger Session, we’ll explore the current shape of both the residential and commercial property markets and how the industry can build back confidence in 2022.

    We’ll hear insights from Alex Daniel at Estates Gazette and Chris Fair at Resonance Consulting as they give their predictions on the trends to watch out for over the next 12 months as the industry sets out on its road to recovery.

  • Beyond the buzzword: Building your reputation
    and business through Thought Leadership




    • Paul de Lara, Oracle
      William McSheehy, HSBC
      Neil Bayley, Good Relations

    Like many business buzzwords, ‘thought leadership’ is often misused and misunderstood. But done properly, it can extend audience reach, grow brand reputation and strengthen differentiation – all important steps in growing a sales pipeline.

    But what does it take to become a distinctive thought leader? What are practical steps to making campaigns effective? And how do you demonstrate a valuable return on investment?

    Join our next Challenger Session, where we will take a deep dive into the experience of communications leaders from HSBC and Oracle to help you understand how to improve your thought leadership.

  • Instagram Unlocked: Tapping into the cultural agenda for 2022



    • Gord Ray, Brand Development Director at Instagram
    • Robert Anderson, Executive Director, Social Media, Good Relations
    • Aarti Bulsara, Head of Activation, Good Relations

    As we hurtle towards the end of the year, it’s time to look ahead into 2022 and reflect on how brands can tap into the key cultural trends for the year ahead.

    In our next Challenger Session, we’ll be sharing insights on the ways in which customers are engaging with the constantly evolving media landscape and discussing how businesses and brands can shape their campaigns to leverage the agenda-setting platforms of the day.

    We’ll be hearing from guest speaker, Gord Ray, Brand Development Lead for Instagram, who will share insights on the trends dominating the platform, new updates for 2022 and how to use Instagram to build brand equity and advocacy.

  • Finding your sweet spot: How should brands be responding to the HFSS agenda?




    • Paul Gateley, Professor of Exercise and Obesity and Director of MoreLife at Leeds Metropolitan University
    • Sian Porter, Consultant Dietitian & Nutritionist
    • Neil Bayley, Managing Director, Business & Corporate – Good Relations

    High fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) marketing restrictions are the latest in the government’s rounds to tackle obesity. But what impact will this have on brands?

    Join us as we take a deep dive into the expectations and opportunities for brands to protect their business and be seen as acting responsibly amidst upcoming HFSS restrictions.

    Our host, Neil Bayley will be joined by guest speakers Paul Gateley, Professor of Exercise and Obesity and Director of MoreLife and Consultant Dietitian & Nutritionist – Sian Porter, who’ll be sharing their experience of working on different sides of the debate.

  • Communicating D&I: How to cut through and inspire change



    • Jo Scott, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer – Lloyd’s
    • Jo Pursaill, Director of Talent – ManpowerGroup
    • Claire Rudall, Executive Director, Business & Corporate – Good Relations

    Communicating D&I is about more than just showcasing initiatives on offer for minority groups across the business, it’s about celebrating a true sense of belonging for every individual, regardless of their background.

    Join us and our guest speakers and we’ll be exploring ways to engage internal and external audiences through strategic communications and creative executions that bring to life D&I ambitions and practices, and inspire meaningful cultural change.

  • Influencer & Partnership Marketing: The Age of Collaborative Creativity



    • Anton Reyniers, Creative Agency Partnerships Lead – Google
    • Will Humphries, Senior Entertainment Manager – Unilever
    • Tom Sneddon, Social & Content Director, Consumer – Good Relations

    With the rise and rise of Influencer Marketing and Brand Partnerships, collaborative creativity has opened up a new playing field for brands to reach audiences by identifying and integrating with the culturally cool IP that is born from digital channels.

    But what challenges do brand’s face to stand out from the crowd? How should they adapt to keep pace with the rapidly changing digital landscape and what might be the long term impact on how to measure performance?

    Join us as we discuss how brands can find their place in the new creative landscape with a leading digital marketeer and experienced entertainment platform strategist.


  • How to cut through the noise with purpose driven campaigning?



    • Kerry Thorpe, Head of Communications Europe, Ben & Jerry’s
    • Maeve Atkins, External Comms Lead, Budweiser Brewing Group UK & I
    • Aarti Bulsara, Head of Activation at Good Relations

    The events of the past eighteen months have led to an explosion in purpose-driven campaigning in the communications world.

    Consumer expectations for brands to play a role in creating a better world have never been so high and accordingly smart comms professionals have renewed their focus on communicating the role their brand is playing to rally against the big issues of the day.

    But amidst a sea of purpose driven campaigns, what are the creative secrets to ensuring your campaign truly cuts through the noise and delivers meaningful impact?

  • How to create campaigns that truly connect with SME leaders?



    • Fergus Campbell, Head of Corporate communications at eBay Group
    • James Hurley, Enterprise editor at The Times
    • Neil Bayley, MD, Business and Corporate at Good Relations

    SMEs are the backbone of the British economy. In 2020, they employed 16.8 million people and generated an estimated turnover of £2.3 trillion.

    That’s why making a connection with SME leaders is a key part of many B2B marketing and corporate reputation campaigns. But they’ve been hit hard by Covid-19, with research earlier this year predicting more than 250,000 small businesses are at risk of collapse.

    The pressure on leaders to fight their way through to recovery is immense. Their commitment has never been in question, but the nature and scale of their challenges has changed thanks to the pandemic, Brexit, new ways of working and a host of influences shaping their markets.

    The battle for their attention is intense and picking the right channels of influence has never been more difficult. What issues do they really care about right now? What kind of action or insights inspire them? How can you build campaigns that cut through to truly connect SME leaders with your brand?

    Join us to hear one of the UK’s foremost opinion leading journalists, a successful brand campaigner and experienced strategist discuss how to give campaigns the edge to cut through with SME leaders in a recovering economy.



  • Cannes: Creativity Recapped



    • Danny Rogers, Editor-in-Chief, UK & EMEA, PR Week and Brand Republic Group
    • Ben Winter, Executive Creative Director, Good Relations
    • Ollie Edwards, Earned Creative Director, Good Relations

    The superyachts and magnums of rose may have been missing this year, but there was still plenty of creative excellence at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to float your boat.

    Join the Good Relations creative team and guest speaker Danny Rogers, Editor-in-Chief, UK & EMEA, PR Week, as we chart a path through some of the key creative trends from this year’s festival.

    We’ll analyse some of the famous and lesser known campaigns, applying an ‘earned first’ lens, to unpick the secrets of their success for PR and communications professionals.

  • Employee engagement: The Key to Building a More Resilient Workforce 



    • Lydia Howard, Internal Communications & Engagement Lead, Ted Baker
    • Eleanor Tweddell, Author, Podcast host and Founder, Another Door
    • Huw Morgan, Director of Employee Engagement at Good Relations

    The pandemic has sharpened our focus on the need for employee wellbeing and resilience; our ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune, adversity and change.

    Research during the pandemic has shown a strong correlation between resilience and an engaged and motivated workforce.

    But resilience is not something we’re born with. It’s developed over time and through experience and we all respond to stress and adversity in different ways. There is no one size fits all solution.

    In our latest employee engagement event we’ll be discussing and sharing tips on how we can play a vital role in helping our organisations to build resilient employees and teams by instilling a sense of purpose and reframing failures, challenges and setbacks as a learning opportunity.


  • Building Confidence in the Return to the Office



    • Clare Marland, Workspace
    • Guy Montague-Jones, React News
    • James Ralph, Good Relations

    Whether or not life restarts on the 21st June 2021, smart real-estate communicators are already looking ahead to 2022 and beyond. Covid-19 has undoubtedly disrupted the norms of office working, so as the world begins to return to work, how can those with prime real estate on their books rebuild confidence in the value of purpose-built offices?

    In our next Challenger Session, we’ll be exploring the stories we should be telling to build back confidence amongst key stakeholders; from employees and employers to investors and the wider market.

    We’ll hear insights from Clare Marland at Workspace and Guy Montague-Jones at React News on the role communicators have to play in showing the value of matching businesses with the right workspace.

  • Finding your Reputation Building Strategy in a Recovering World



    • Rupert Gowrley, Bupa Group
    • Nick Jones, Experian Group
    • Neil Bayley, Good Relations

    Work from home. Maintain service. Support the NHS. Keep workers safe. Open safely. Help customers. Care for the vulnerable. Protect jobs. Streamline to survive.

    The business communications agenda during the Covid-19 pandemic has been shaped by unprecedented challenges and needs. We’ve seen many organisations find their feet, adapt and take on new roles shaped by their purpose and values. 

    But what’s the role for businesses as we thankfully move into this new phase of recovery?  The world in which they operate has changed dramatically. Health and wellbeing has taken on a new level of importance. Economic prosperity is returning for some sectors and segments of society, but others have been deeply affected. 

    The global landscape looks drastically different, so how has this impacted the way brands see their future growth and role in enabling progress? And what does this mean for their communications strategies and reputation goals?

    Join us for a panel discussion with senior speakers from Bupa and Experian to hear their thoughts, experiences and ambitions for reputation building in a recovering world.

  • Engaging the Retail Consumer of the Future



    • Liv Walker, Depop
    • Peter Gasston, VCCP
    • Madison Schill, Livescale

    The past twelve months has seen the trend for online shopping accelerate at a startling pace. Deloitte’s global consumer tracker recorded five years of growth in online market share in a matter of weeks and recent statistics indicate that some changes in consumer behaviour are here to stay.

    In our next Challenger Session, we’ll be exploring the latest global trends in marketing that are fuelling this dramatic shift to online retail and how brands can use communications to engage the retail consumer of the future. 


  • Engaging Communities to Inspire Action



    • Lucy Dormandy, Aviva
    • Sabrina Nixon, British Red Cross

    Our next Challenger Session event will look at the role of communications in mobilising communities to provide local support, inspiring individuals to take action, and sparking local initiatives.

    We’ll explore the role of creative storytelling, the content and channels that are most effective in targeting and engaging new communities and the power of corporate/ NGO collaboration in building advocacy and support amongst volunteers, influencers and policymakers.


  • Marketing to women: Connecting authentically in 2021



    • Charlotte Davies, LinkedIn
    • Tanja Grubner, Bodyform, an Essity brand

    This year’s International Women’s Day saw brands championing female empowerment, tackling taboos and, crucially, highlighting the disproportionate impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on women.

    In this session, we’ll explore how brands can authentically connect with women and help forge a gender equal world as they embark on strategic planning for life post Covid.

    We’re delighted to welcome guest speakers from LinkedIn, who will be sharing insights from their first global IWD campaign, and Bodyform, who will go behind the scenes on their award-winning #Wombstories campaign and their latest #Painstories activation.


  • Talking to Gen Alpha: The New Rules of Engagement



    • Helenor Gilmour & Pete Maginn, Beano Brain
    • Saffron Clague, LEGO Group

    Generation Alpha is the demographic cohort succeeding Generation Z, a generation set to exceed two billion people worldwide by 2025, and one with dramatically different behaviours and values to those before it.

    But who really is Gen Alpha? And how can brands meet their expectations; both in terms of matching their activist spirit and providing interactive, responsive digital experiences? 

    David Wiles, Executive Director, Consumer at Good Relations will be chairing this session featuring guest speakers from two leading lights in youth marketing, Beano and LEGO Group.


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