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Queen's PR to Discuss Dilemmas of Royalty

Queen's PR, Simon Walker, to Discuss Dilemmas of Royalty

PRINZ News Release
Tuesday 8 May 2001

Released by: David Lynch PRINZ National Conference 2001

Simon Walker – PR For The Queen

Queen's PR, Simon Walker, to Discuss Dilemmas of Modern Day Royalty, at Christchurch Conference

Simon Walker, head of public relations at Buckingham Palace and charged with organising the Queen's 2002 jubilee celebrations next year, will be one of the keynote speakers at the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand's, (PRINZ) conference being held 16-18 May in Christchurch. His visit to New Zealand will be exclusively for the conference and members of the public are invited to attend.

Next Thursday and Friday, New Zealanders will have an opportunity to keep abreast of both national and international trends in business, society, communications technology and media at the PRINZ conference in Christchurch entitled "Visualising the Future - Making it Happen" . The conference, which attracts professionals from all over the country, was last held in Christchurch in 1995. This year, the conference has attracted an impressive line up of both international and national speakers, and is expected to be the biggest ever. Speakers include Simon Walker (Communication Secretary to Buckingham Palace), David Michie (author of books of both fact and fiction on ethics in the public relations industry, based on his experiences in the UK) and Jack Felton (CEO of the Institute of Public Relations at the University of Florida and currently heading a US$100,000 study into the evaluation of public relations).

Topics to be discussed include future trends in the media, evaluating the benefit of public relations to business, globalisation as it relates to communication and trends in corporate responsibility. There is also a focus on the ethics of public relations, including a wide-ranging panel discussion on 'what is in the public interest?' Simon Walker will kick-off the conference with his discussion about the challenges facing all Public Relations, but more specifically the Dilemmas of Modern Day Royalty, and the difficulties they face in their dealings with the Media. (Background information about Simon is listed at the end of this release. His photograph is also attached.) Later in the conference David Michie will be sharing his 12 years experience of working for the PR industry in the UK and subsequently produced a fact based book, "The Hidden Persuaders" which detailed unethical practices there. He will also chair a panel discussion on, "What's in the Public Interest" involving a number of leading business and media representatives.

Other topics to be covered at the conference include corporate responsibility, protecting intellectual property, cultural impacts on 21st century communication and the role that communication technologies will play in organisational and public life in the future.

New Zealand speakers include Brian Pauling (founder and former head of the New Zealand Broadcasting School), Derek Fox (broadcaster and politician), Jack Matthews (CEO of Telstra Saturn) and Merepeka Raukawa-Tait (CEO of the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges).

Ms Katherine Trought, president of the local branch of PRINZ and convenor of the organising committee for the conference, commented that one of the prime responsibilities of PR people was to analyse trends and seek to give employers and clients indications of market and social change.

"But while we want to give delegates an opportunity to peer into the future, we also want them to understand the successful role that PR can play in social programmes as well as an opportunity to assess the vital need for an ethical approach in the communication process," she said.

PRINZ is inviting interested members of the public to join them at the conference. Registration fees are $1001.25 for the full conference, or $550 per day. Registrations are available through Kim Gerard at Conference Innovators on Tel. 03 379 0390. Details are posted on the PRINZ website at

Background about Simon Walker

Simon Walker-Communication Secretary to the Queen at Buckingham Palace

Simon was appointed head of public relations at Buckingham Palace in September last year, after being seconded to the Palace as communications secretary from his job as director of communications at British Airways.

His appointment was part of the reshuffle of the Royal press office before the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.

Simons brief is to plot the long-term media strategy for the Royal Household, including developing its internet site and being in charge of the planning for the 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Born in South Africa, Simon studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford, where he was elected president of the Oxford Union.

He has worked as a journalist and public relations consultant in New Zealand, Belgium and Britain. He was a partner at Brunswick, the City public relations firm where his clients included Sibneft, the Siberian oil company, and BA.

He joined British Airways in 1998. Appointed by Robert Ayling, then chief executive, he was given the task of repairing the damage caused by the tailfin fiasco, when the Union Flag decorations were replaced with abstract "multicultural" logos.

Well known in the UK, he also worked as special adviser to John Major when he was Prime Minister, and been Director of European Public Affairs for multi-national PR firm Hill and Knowlton.

However Simon will be most familiar to New Zealand Media & Public Relations practitioners from the time he spent here during the late 1970s and 80s - he worked for TVNZ for five years as a journalist and interviewer, Communications Director the NZ Labour Party and was executive director of the New Zealand Centre for Independent Studies.

Simon will address the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand PRINZ 2001 Conference, "Visualising the Future - Making it Happen" firstly sharing his vision on future challenges facing all Public Relations, but more specifically the dilemmas of Modern Day Royalty, and the difficulties they face in their dealings with the Media.

- ENDS -

For information about the Conference please contact:

David Lynch Momentus Public Relations Ltd Po Box 36321 Christchurch, New Zealand Ph 64-3-355-4422 Ph 64-3-355-4271 Fax 64-3-355-3336 Mobile 025- 226-9409 email For full speaker list please visit

Conference Registration enquiries contact:

Kim Gerard Conference Innovators PO Box 1370 Christchurch, New Zealand Tel: 64-3- 379 0390 Fax:64-3- 379 0460 Email:

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