MIAMI—Challenges ranging from attracting and retaining top people to winning new business to preparing for radical changes in the competitive environment will be on the agenda at the first Independent PR Firms Forum, which will take place over a half day before the Global Public Relations Summit in Miami this October.

The Forum, presented by The Holmes Report and thenetworkone—which selects and manages independent marketing networks for its clients—will take place on the afternoon of October 29, and is designed to provide compelling, actionable content for entrepreneurs and managers of small and midsize PR firms from around the world.

“One of the things our global research has shown consistently is that the challenges facing independent PR firms are the same the world over,” says Paul Holmes, editor of The Holmes Report and co-chair of the Independent PR Firms Forum. “The need to attract and develop top talent, to deal with procurement and other new business challenges, and to adjust to a changing competitive environment are seen as the biggest obstacles to future success, and this Forum will address all of those topics.”

The Independent PR Firms Forum will include three panel discussions:
• Attracting and Retaining Top Talent: Paul Holmes will lead a conversation during which top firms from The Holmes Report’s Best Agencies to Work For research will discuss how they created “destination” work places and strong agency cultures.
• New Challenges in New Business: thenetworkone’s Julian Boulding will provide an in-depth look at what clients—and their procurement people—are looking for from their PR firms. The panel will feature representatives of the agency business and the client side to provide a well-rounded view of the new business process.
• The Changing Competitive Landscape: Tom Beckman (pictured) of leading Swedish independent PrimePR will lead a discussion focusing on increased competition between marketing service providers—including advertising agencies and digital specialists—for the lead role in brand-building, and the potential for management consulting firms and others to compete for corporate PR work.

Attendance at the Independent PR Firms Forum will be free to any PR agency principals registered for the Global Public Relations Summit. If you have not yet registered, you can do so here. It will also be open for standalone bookings. If you would like to attend the Independent PR Forums but not the entire Summit, email [email protected] for a registration form.