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Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture

The CIPR International Maggie Nally Memorial lecture is an event held annually in memory of Margaret Nally, who was the first female President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 1976.


Maggie was also instrumental in the formation of CIPR International Group, where she remained active until 2001.

Maggie Nally, first female President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations

The lectures have attracted a posse of prominent speakers. These include economist Sir Howard Davies, civil liberties campaigner Shami Chakrabati, film maker Lord Puttnam, Al Jazeera media presenter Richard Gizbert, MORI pollster and media commentator Sir Bob Worcester, and in recent years Rob Flaherty, Partner, Chairman and CEO of Ketchum, Bessie Lee, CEO, WPP China and Lord Karan Bilimoria, to name but a few. This is perhaps not surprising when the audience for the lecture is very wide-ranging and consists of Fellows of the CIPR, members, students and other special guests interested in the central role of communication in all aspects of today's connected world.

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2019 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture

​Dr David Landsman OBE Gave the 2019 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture keynote lecture on 23 May in London. Taking place at One Great George Street, the event attracted PR practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds.


David shared his thoughts on how and why PR and diplomacy are two sides of the same coin, and outlined his views on how every aspect of communication today is international - whether you like it or not.

"However much we think we’re doing business at a local level, the potential of all communication today is international", he argued. David also explained how communications practitioners can help to realise competitive advantage through human-centric and qualitative-first disruption.

2018 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture

Ricardo Carioni, Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of Nicaragua to the UK and Ireland, gave the Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture keynote lecture on 17 May 2018 at the beautiful One Great George Street.

Ricardo shared his thoughts on how Latin America is a region of unfulfilled potential and outlined how businesses and organizations elsewhere can tap into that potential by communicating effectively within this diverse range of cultures. 

You can read a summary of the debate through the event's hashtag #MaggieNally18 here, and a blog post by attendee Adam Riddell (Director, Crystal PR) here. An interview with Ricardo Carioni by Communicate Magazine is available here.

2017 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture

Robyn de Villiers, CEO and Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, Africa, gave the Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture keynote lecture in 2017.


Her address tapped into her extensive experience of the changing landscape of communication in Africa and the development of the PR industry across the continent. It also offered insight and advice to those wishing to engage with the very diverse markets and cultures of the continent.

A round-up of the evening can be found through

the event's hashtag #MaggieNally 17 here and an interview with Robyn from Communicate Magazine is available here

2016 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture


In April 2016 Lord Bilimoria, Founder of Cobra Beer and the UK-India Business Council, took centre stage in the Committee Room 10 at the House of Commons to give address the value of PR. 


Lord Balimoria started his speech with a quick history lesson of his own, outlining his upbringing in India and how he came to the UK as a young man and founded Cobra Beer with Arjun Reddy. Public relations plays a key role for Cobra on the subcontinent as direct advertising of alcoholic products is against the law – PR is the only way.


"Implemented effectively, PR is probably the best value part of any company's marketing mix. Be it a startup, or a global multinational." Bilimoria said. 


See the below Twitter collection for some highlights from this great evening. 

2015 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture

Bessie Lee, CEO, WPP China, gave the 2015 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture in London on 22 April 2015. The theme was digital development and the opportunities for the PR industry in China.

Ms Lee, who has worked in the media and communications industry in Greater China for more than 20 years is recognised as one of the most experienced and highly respected individuals in China's media industry. She is now responsible for mobilising WPP companies and resources across disciplines, and identifying new business opportunities.

You can listen the full audio recording of the lecture here

You can also read the summary in this article written by Stephen Waddington.  

2014 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture

Rob Flaherty, Senior Partner, CEO & President of Ketchum, delivered the prestigious 2014 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture in the Palace of Westminster on 27 February 2014.

His address, "The End of Illusion", offered perspective on how social technologies are accelerating the shift in power from institutions to individuals, everywhere from Beijing to Cairo and Cape Town to London.

As one of the sponsored students, Danielle Ricketts - a second year student studying Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England - commented:

"Flaherty discussed the implication that the end of illusion has on our profession, companies, brands and individual work. He suggested that the (…) future for international public relations lies in four steps: embracing transparency, focusing on character, reuniting the public and personal, minding the gap between actions and words."

Another student, Aaron Shardey - a second year Public Relations student at University of the Arts, London College of Communication – said that a lot of students want to go into PR for the contacts, events and the lifestyle:

"This lecture made me realise why I want to go into PR: to be a part of this industry, to embrace 'The End of Illusion', increase organisations' and leaders' transparency and transform their reputations."

2013 Maggie Nally Lecture

The 2013 Maggie Nally Memorial Lecture was delivered by Dr Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who discussed the importance of openness and engagement, and how these lessons are being applied throughout the world in her lecture: "Communication, Engagement, and Effective Economic Reform: The IMF Experience."

Core to her presentation was the iRevolution which has transformed the way policy is shaped and the communication strategy. But this hyper-democratic world has opened up risks, especially for organisations such as the IMF, traditionally unused to dealing with any stakeholders other than governments.

Gone are the days, Dr Shafik said, when all documents were confidential and the teams never spoke to the press. The IMF learned some hard lessons around the world and now fully acknowledges the role of communication which has to be an essential and early partner in policy development.

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