PublicAffairsAsia launches “Advance” Professional Development for Corporate Affairs and Communications Professionals


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PublicAffairsAsia has announced the launch of Advance, a new professional development programme designed for corporate affairs and strategic communications professionals seeking to develop into leadership roles.

The new initiative is launched with the support of four top flight industry figures who will lead a faculty of practitioners to deliver professional development in areas including essential corporate communications, crisis communication, effective government engagement, ethics for PA professionals, stakeholder mapping and coalition building.

Advance will operate courses with a focus on practical knowledge sharing, ensuring skills, techniques and best practice can be taken from the sessions and immediately embedded into the corporate environment. Entrance is open to professionals from in-house and agency environments.

The courses have been developed by Mark Runacres, Public Affairs Specialist, Entrepreneur, International Adviser to the Confederation British Industry and former senior British Diplomat, Whitney Foard Small, Managing Director of The Content Kiln and former communications chief with Ford in Asia Pacific, Caroline Sapriel, founder of CS&A International, the crisis management specialists and Dr Mark Michelson, Senior Counsellor, APCO Worldwide and Adjunct Associate Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and former Deputy-Director General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong.

The launch courses include:

Essential Media & Communications Skills: led by Whitney Foard Small.  Course details available soon.
Essential Crisis and Issues Management: led by Caroline Sapriel. Click for details.
Essential Government Relations, Diplomacy and Ethics: led by Mark Runacres. Click for details
Essential Stakeholder Mapping and Coalition Building: led by Dr Mark Michelson. Click for details

The courses will be offered in an intensive four-day blocks annually in Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok (with options to split into two day sub-courses, or taken as stand along courses) and will be piloted at a launch session on November 2 to 5 (click here to request more details).

The courses can also be be-spoked for individual companies and organisations which want specific professional development related to their sectors delivered in-house or in a residential environment.

Commenting, Craig Hoy, Executive Director of PublicAffairsAsia, said: “The public and corporate affairs industry in Asia Pacific has developed significantly over the last decade. But the absence of relevant, high quality training and professional development remain key concerns for many.

“PublicAffairsAsia Advance will address the need for professional development, delivered by senior professionals operating at the frontline of the corporate affairs and communications industry here in Asia Pacific. We have brought together a top-flight faculty of trainers and facilitators and look forward to developing PublicAffairsAsia Advance in partnership with them.”

For details on joining the first PublicAffairsAsia Advance Four-Day Training Session, taking place on November 2 – November 5, 2015 contact Orachon Tanaka. Special session rates available – one-day US$950; two-day US$1,750; four-day US$3,250 – PublicAffairsAsia network members receive a 25% “pilot” discount. Rate including accommodation and travel available upon request.


 PublicAffairsAsia Advance Faculty Includes:

Mark_RunacresMark Runacres, Corporate Adviser, Company Promoter and Institutional Leader

Mark is a former senior diplomat with deep Asian and trade experience.  Mark’s successful 25 year career with the British Diplomatic Service saw him in Paris, New York (UN), and New Delhi (youngest British Deputy High Commissioner), as well as South East-Asia Director and Trade Director for Africa and South Asia. Mark has spent the last decade as an entrepreneur and corporate player. He acts as a Public Affairs Adviser to leading corporates, in part in his role as India Adviser to the Confederation of British Industry and also as an independent consultant.

Mark has launched companies in executive search, public affairs and education/skills, as well as re-establishing the British Business Group in Delhi. He is on the board of Religare Capital Markets, Elara Capital, Chase India/Avian Media and was formerly with Mindtree, G4S India, A4e, Proven Energy, D1 Oils.

Pro Bono: Independent Director, Business and Community Foundation; Foreign and Commonwealth Office Prosperity Fund; Director, Great Britain India Business Convention 2014

Whitney Foard Small, Managing Director, Allison+Partners/ContentKiln

Whitney_SmallWith over 25 years of global experience, Whitney has a deep expertise in the Asian markets. A strong strategist equally at home on both the corporate and marketing communications side, she runs campaigns with attention to detail and deep discipline in integration, measurement and execution. In addition to leading regional roles with Ford Motor Company, Walt Disney and Burson-Marsteller, Whitney has strong experience as a trainer across the region, focusing on communication and marketing skills, including crisis and media training, marketing innovation skills and messaging measurement and analysis. Whitney has lectured at universities, including Chulalongkorn and Tsinghua, as well as speaking engagements with companies and conferences. An English and Mandarin speaker, Whitney is now improving her Thai. In her spare time, she publishes Beebliomedigital books for YA and teen readers.

Dr Mark Michelson, Chairman Asia CEO Forum at IMA Asia and former Deputy-Director General of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong

Mark_MichelsonMark Michelson is Chairman of the Asia CEO Forum for IMA Asia, which helps leaders of multinational companies in Asia Pacific to monitor and assess political, economic and commercial developments across the region – and to integrate key insights into their operational and strategic business plans.  He also is Senior Counselor and member of the International Advisory Council at APCO Worldwide, which provides public affairs and strategic communications services in Asia-Pacific and globally, and established APCO’s first Asia office in 1997.  At APCO, he has worked with companies and other organizations in stakeholder development and related issues.

He served as Associate Director-General for Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, where much of his work centered on internal advocacy within the government and behalf of existing or prospective international companies and other organizations investing in Hong Kong in such areas as education, visas and various regulatory matters.

Mark has given lectures and taught courses in public affairs and government relations at the University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Caroline Sapriel, Founder and Managing Director of CS&A International, the crisis management specialists

saprielCaroline is the founder and Managing Partner of CS&A International, a specialist risk, crisis and business continuity management consulting firm with offices in Asia, Europe and North America.

With over 25 years experience in risk and crisis management and corporate communications, Caroline is recognised as a leader in her profession and acknowledged for her ability to provide customised, results-driven counsel and training at the highest level. She is an accomplished trainer, facilitator and coach in risk, issues and crisis management as well as in communication skills and has worked with many senior executives at leading multinational corporations internationally. Caroline regularly speaks at international conferences and seminars on risk and crisis management and has been a guest lecturer at a course on institutional crises at the graduate school of public administration of Leiden University. She has published a number of articles on the subject.

Caroline is fluent in French, English, Spanish, Hebrew and Mandarin, and holds a BA degree in Chinese Studies and a BSc degree in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.