The Public Relations Society of America held its annual International Conference from Oct. 26-29 in Philadelphia. Attendees traveled from all over the United States and over 20 countries to the City of Brotherly Love (and Sisterly Affection) to attend first class professional development sessions, network with other public relations professionals and engage with inspirational keynote speakers. The latest information, technologies and trends in the public relations field were showcased to over 2,900 attendees.
In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at hot topics from the 2013 Conference. You will hear how PRSA is adapting to changes in the industry, see tweets from those who attended, hear about national Chair-Elect Joe Cohen’s agenda for his term and understand trends and insights from Conference. We’ll also look at the new opportunities for public relations in the media.
PRSA adapts to ever-evolving industry (PR Week)
PRSA updates its strategic plan every three years, and new goals have been set for 2014-2016. The goals include:
- Championing the strategic value of ethical PR and the role of PR as a lead discipline in driving organizational strategy
- Creating virtual and face-to-face communities where members build relationships to learn, network, and mentor
With these new initiatives, PRSA is working to meet the needs of its members and public relations professionals in the ever-changing industry by delivering relevant, lifelong learning opportunities.
2013 PRSA International Conference Roundup (Cision Blog)
Attendees actively tweeted from the PRSA International Conference, using the PRSAICON hash tag. In fact during the first opening keynote with Brian Solis, the Conference hashtag, #PRSAICON, was trending nationwide. Cision captured tweets that reflected what attendees learned and took from the conference. Guidance from keynote speakers Solis, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour and John Wood, integrating communication, applying data and maintaining your brand were popular topics among tweeters.
Meghan Gross (@mgrosspr) tweeted from Solis’ keynote speech “PR sits at intersection of brand, user and customer experience @briansolis #prsaicon we tell whole story and should have budget for it.” For more tweets and to catch up on what attendees took from Conference, visit Cision’s post.
PRSA Chair-Elect Joseph E. Cohen, APR discussed important messages from the conference and his thoughts on visibility, influence and the value of public relations with PR News. The conference focused on presenting public relations as a “lead strategic discipline” and how to adapt to the ever-changing nature of the industry.
“Communications professionals should be ‘analytics obsessed,’ or adept at reading, understanding and articulating data and leveraging these findings to inform and optimize their approach, enabling them to deliver the best work product possible,” Cohen said. “When done right, PR can be presented as a value versus a cost, particularly when compared to other disciplines.”
David Olsen of Brandpoint reflected on his experience at Conference and the trends of the public relations industry. He highlighted new and current trends like content marketing, owned media vs. earned media, data analysis and video communication, all of which were popular areas of discussion at Conference. A key theme was that as technology advances, the strategies of public relations pros are changing, and new concepts are becoming more important.
“In my world as a practitioner of PR and content marketing, this makes a lot of sense. PR is becoming more digital and more measurable. So it’s logical that it gravitates to the very measurable world of content marketing, where outcomes like web traffic, leads and conversions are commonly captured,” Olsen said.
The ever-changing nature of public relations took the spotlight at the 2013 Conference. The increased use of “social media, content marketing and digital marketing” is now being woven into public relations strategy, and professionals are able to incorporate these new tools into their efforts. Attendees and speakers discussed that as media evolves, public relations must work to keep up with the changes to ensure brands are receiving adequate coverage and take advantage of new media.
“Media outlets are developing apps, creating infographics and shooting video on the fly. We have to ask ourselves if we’re providing the right sort of data and content that will work in these evolved presentations of news,” said Sarah Skerik, author of the article and presenter at Conference. “Failing to do so means that our brands will miss valuable opportunities for exposure.”
Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.