In a few weeks from now, the Virtual Public Relations Summit will take place. The Summit is a five-day event to be held online from Monday 25 May till Friday 29 May 2020. It is organised by long-standing EACD member and founder of the PR Training Company Philippe Borremans.

Communication Director editor Dee O’Sullivan asked Philippe what motivated him to organise a virtual conference – long before Covid-19 emerged in Europe.


Philippe: As an EACD member and board member of IPRA I know how important it is to connect regularly with my peers. That’s why the networking opportunities – both during the association’s summit and during regional events – are so important. It is becoming more and more challenging to find time and resources to network face to face and totally impossible today during the current pandemic.

Last year, while on a months-long mission around pandemic preparedness in West Africa, I had to cancel my participation in several public relations conferences and events. It was frustrating as I was really looking forward to meeting up again with many of you and hearing from thought leaders in the industry.

Part of the work I was doing in Sierra Leone and Liberia was to adapt Emergency Risk Communication workshops to an e-learning environment. That’s when I had the idea of a virtual global summit. I saw the advantages of an online platform where professionals with the same background could learn from trainers but also from each other and create connections that would last longer than the face-to-face training sessions. Other benefits quickly became clear: no need for travel budgets, clearances by management, visa requests and time away from family. And it was one of the speakers of the Virtual Public Relations Summit who pointed out the CO2 reduction impact of a virtual versus real-life summit like this.


Dee: Your work has clearly prepared you better than most for adapting to living and working during a pandemic and witnessing its global impact.


Philippe: Working as an Emergency Risk Communication Consultant in this specific field brought home to me – more than 10 months before Covid-19 emerged – the need for a virtual summit. It is in these times of stress, confinement and long-term challenges that we need to connect, share and continue to learn from each other. That is why the Virtual Public Relations Summit is global, with speakers from almost every continent and covers the most diverse but relevant topics about our profession.

I wanted this summit to be as accessible as possible for all professionals. That is why the standard registration is free, although limited in time. The All-Access Pass however will give you a full year’s on-demand access to all keynotes and a whole series of exclusive benefits valued at more than €2000. As an EACD member and colleague I am offering a 20% discount on the purchase of the All- Access Pass with the code below.

The Virtual PR Summit will feature over 30 thought leaders across the industry, giving public relations professionals a unique opportunity to learn from the industry’s best from home. The Summit is its first ever completely online global event.

The summit is backed by a number of professional public relations and communication associations including the International PR Association (IPRA), the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD), the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) and the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).


Among the topics and speakers:


  • Nkiru Olumide-Ojo – Regional Executive Head, Marketing & Corporate Communication, Standard Bank Group

Reputation Management in the African Banking Sector


  • Nicolas Georges Trad – President of Global Growth and Co-Founder, The RepTrak Company

Communicating in the Time of Coronavirus


  • Franco Giacomozzi – National Board Delegate at Italy4Blockchain

The Impact of Blockchain on Communications & Public Relations


  • Inge Wallage – Advisory Director of the European Association of Communication Directors (EACD) and founder of The Butterfly Effect

Role & Responsibility of Communicators in the context of Sustainability & the Climate Crisis


  • Jo Detavernier – Principal, Detavernier Strategic Communication

Corporate Activism: are you asking the right questions first?


  • Bill Mew – Digital Ethics Specialist & CEO of The Crisis Team

Why traditional Crisis Management Techniques don’t work with Cyber Incidents


  • Rana Nejem – Founding Director YARNU, The Art of Social Intelligence

The Culturally Intelligent Communicator


  • Gaya Gamhewage – Head, Learning and Capacity Development at World Health Organization

Preparedness, Learning & Emergency Risk Communication – how to develop the capacity to face COVID-19.


To access the 20% discount on the All-Access Pass, paid-up EACD members can use the discount code: EACDVPRS and follow the link


The EACD discount code is valid until 22 May inclusive.


Full programme and details at


About Philippe


Philippe Borremans is a multilingual independent consultant specialised in Crisis and Emergency Risk

Communication with more than 25 years’ experience. He works for clients such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the EU on Emergency Risk Communication capacity-building missions across the world. (


He is a founding member of the International Association of Online Communicators (IAOC), a full member of the European Association of Communications Directors (EACD) and Member of the Board of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA).