Podcast: Wil Reynolds: Seer Interactive

Podcast: Wil Reynolds: Seer Interactive

Engage Preview: Wil Reynolds and the Power of Data

If you’ve ever attended Portland’s Engage Conference (formerly Searchfest), you’ve probably seen Wil Reynolds speak. He’s a long-term Engage presenter, as well as the founder and director of strategy for Seer Interactive in Philadelphia.

With Engage right around the corner, PR Talk host Amy Rosenberg talked with Wil for a preview of his upcoming presentation and for a discussion about how data will change marketing forever. If you haven’t purchased your Engage tickets yet, there’s time. During the conference, you’ll join the area’s search and marketing all-stars for two full days of learning at Portland’s Sentinel Hotel, March 12th & 13th!

An Unexpected Career

Wil began his interview by referring to himself as a heads-down worker who’s not much into personal branding. However, this humbleness disguises his tremendous success. Seer Interactive, which Wil founded in 2002, is a search, social and analytics agency employing more than 200 people in Philadelphia and San Diego.

Wil never wanted to work in marketing or build a business. Instead, he went to school to be a teacher. When he started his professional career in 1999, times were tough. Wil spent 18 months knocking on doors before finally landing a job. A few years later, Wil’s manager at another firm declined his request to work through lunch so he could leave early for a volunteer opportunity. He quit soon after and started his own company. For Wil, entrepreneurship was a necessity rather than a goal.

These days, Wil’s immersed in data — specifically paid search data — which in Wil’s mind holds the key to so many business answers.

“When you understand that somebody’s looking for an answer, I think it’s a really cool job to figure out how to answer their question,” he said.

Taking Data Away From Search People

In what has become something of a controversial opinion, Wil believes the biggest problem with search data is that it got in the hands of search people. He thinks of Google as an “intent engine,” which contains customer insight that can help businesses build new products, better understand customer experience and so much more. As a result, this data belongs in the hands of key decision-makers at the center of a business. Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to extract meaningful data from all the digital noise. This is where Wil comes in.

By focusing on bringing meaningful data into one place, Wil’s team can answer client questions with speed and accuracy. “I thought I knew things before I got good at data,” Wil says. Most marketers fall back on their limited experience or best practices when making recommendations to their clients. While these recommendations may be correct most of the time, they will always lead a certain number of clients down the wrong path. Wil’s approach is different. By using good data that’s easily accessible, his team makes fewer wrong guesses and delivers better results for his clients in the process.


Data is the Future of Marketing

As Wil sees it, data mastery represents the future of marketing. “We like to build the engine that creates tentacles that other types of marketing can take advantage of if they’re willing to invite us in,” he says. Wil plans to expand on this theme during his presentation at Engage, where he’ll talk about how to use massive amounts of data at scale to better optimize all parts of your business.

This topic is especially critical for CMOs, who, as a group, are under attack right now. CMOs, in general, are not good at data and not good at answering questions the way CFOs are. This disconnect creates the impression that CMOs don’t bring the same value that other c-suite members do. This is also why CMOs are paid less than other c-suiters and are usually the first to go during restructuring.

When asked how Engage SEO and SEM attendees will react to his view that they shouldn’t own search data, Wil acknowledges the tension. He understands that his message is sometimes controversial because it invalidates the thing that makes search marketing pros feel valuable. But, in his view, this approach is all about improvement.

“I hope I put things to people in a way that makes them think a little bit differently, and that thinking leads to eventual change in terms of the work we do every day for our clients.”

Purchase Your Engage Tickets Today 

Listen to the entire episode to hear more from Wil Reynolds — including why he can’t wait for the next recession. Wil will also be giving the morning keynote presentation during the second day of the Engage Marketing Conference at Portland’s Sentinel Hotel. So purchase your tickets today. 

As always, if you’d like to stay up-to-date with all the latest in PR, subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and Spotify.

About the guest: Wil Reynolds

Wil started Seer Interactive in 2002 as a one-man operation out of his living room. Today, Seer is home to over 200 employees across Philadelphia and San Diego. In his free time, Wil hangs out with his wife Nora, sons Rio and Niko and pup Coltrane. He also serves Philadelphia’s homeless and runaway youth at Covenant House, where he participates in a yearly sleep out.

Connect and follow Wil on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: PRSA ICON: Adam Ritchie, Elizabeth Edwards & Marvin Stockwell

Podcast: PRSA ICON: Adam Ritchie, Elizabeth Edwards & Marvin Stockwell

Three Voices from PRSA ICON 2019

Earlier this fall, PR Talk Podcast host Amy Rosenberg attended the PRSA International Conference (ICON) in San Diego, California. In addition to learning new tips and techniques her team is already putting into practice for Veracity’s clients, Amy had the opportunity to sit down with three conference presenters to hear their perspective on the PR profession. 

We’re releasing this episode now, because, on March 1st, there will be a $300 price increase for tickets to the next ICON event in Nashville, Tennessee on October 25th-27th. So, you should grab your tickets soon!

Every Campaign is an Opportunity to Write a New Book

First up, you’ll hear Adam Ritchie, owner of Adam Ritchie Brand Direction in Boston, Massachusetts. He essentially reverse-engineers PR to create new products and services. As Adam sees it,

“PR owes it to itself to be more than just a storyteller. PR can also be a creator and an author.”

One of the examples of Adam’s approach that he’s most proud of is The Mom Squad, which he describes as the first team of all-pregnant comic book superheroes. Adam and his team created the campaign to help sell the baby gear brand Summer. 

This interview was short, but Adam’s agreed to come back on the podcast for a more extended discussion about his work — so stay tuned. You may also run into him at ICON 2020 in Nashville.


PRs Need to Reclaim their Slice of the Pie

The next interview you’ll hear is with Elizabeth Edwards, founder and president of both 11th Octave and Volume Public Relations in Denver, Colorado. Because clients pay her to deliver effective messaging, Elizabeth spends lots of time researching the science behind how our brains are hard-wired to respond to things. According to Elizabeth, researchers working in neuroscience, behavioral science and cognitive science are making a lot of conclusions about what keeps our attention and what doesn’t. Elizabeth’s team uses these findings

“to focus on learning as much as we can about what translates into high-conversion communication actions.”

In addition to her expertise in behavioral science, Elizabeth also uses technology to improve workflow efficiency and maximize engagement for her final products. Her Tech in PR talk during PRSA ICON was packed, which is strong evidence that most PRs need a lot of help in this area.

Elizabeth notes that in many organizations, PR’s slice of the pie is getting smaller and smaller, and we need to do everything we can to reclaim more of that work. Part of that approach comes through using tools that make PR’s work more impactful. Elizabeth used the example of wave.video, which is an online production tool she uses to turn ordinary press releases into more engaging and shareable videos. In her view, “PR people need to own these interactive engagements.”

During her presentation, Elizabeth also talked extensively about workflow shortcuts that can automate tasks that might ordinarily be done by an assistant or junior-level associate. If you didn’t make it to her talk, you can text volume to 31996 to get her complete Tech Tools eBook. We hope to have Elizabeth back on the podcast to talk more about these topics soon.


PR is All About a Good Narrative and the Right People

Amy ends this episode with an interview she conducted over lunch with Marvin Stockwell, director of media relations at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. He participated in the Pitch Tank — similar to the TV show Shark Tank — where participants pitch their media idea to a panel of judges in competition with their peers. 

During the event, Marvin pitched three ideas in ninety seconds to the panel, who then provided their feedback. His pitches included St. Jude’s use of therapy dogs to comfort patients undergoing treatment. The hospital’s international work, which includes curing cancer in Syrian refugee children living in Lebanon. And St. Jude’s recent acquisition of the world’s most powerful nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, which will give researchers the tools they need to cure the diseases of tomorrow.

The panelist agreed that while all these pitches are compelling, the new scientific tool offered a unique hook for journalists. One moderator suggested that while the whiz-bang science angle is excellent, audiences (especially in TV) want to see a human-interest element. With that feedback in hand, Marvin is now looking for ways he can tether this story with the good work St. Jude’s is doing every day. 

After participating in Pitch Tank, Marvin believes it’s a fresh take on the usual media panel that provided plenty of useful takeaways for the session’s 150 attendees. 


We’ll See You Next Year in Nashville

These brief interviews are just a sample of the expertise on display during these annual PRSA ICON events. If you’d like to attend next year’s conference in Nashville, purchase your tickets before March 1st and save $300. 

As always, you can keep up with the latest in PR by subscribing to the PR Talk Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify.

About the guest: Adam Ritchie

Adam Ritchie is the owner of Adam Ritchie Brand Direction in Boston, Massachusetts. An award-winning marketer and PR professional, Adam uses PR as an unstoppable source of invention and transformation. He’s also a musician, coast-to-coast walker, downhill skier and craft beer lover.

Connect and follow Adam on social media:

About the guest: Elizabeth Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards is President of Volume PR, a firm with an 18-year, award-winning track record, and 11th Octave, the first integrated communication agency in the U.S. to develop a modern-day communication model based on behavioral science and the psychology of the human mind.

Connect and follow Elizabeth on social media:

About the guest: Marvin Stockwell

As the director of media relations at St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Marvin Stockwell is at his best when making a case for causes he believes in and collaborating with others in his beloved hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Connect and follow Marvin on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Kim Moore: Oregon Business Magazine

Podcast: Kim Moore: Oregon Business Magazine

Connecting Local Business to the Larger Trends that Matter

A Conversation with Kim Moore, Editor of Oregon Business Magazine

After spending five years covering New York financial news, Kim Moore needed a change of pace. As a breaking news reporter, Kim’s job was to cultivate knowledgeable sources among the traders, investors and hedge fund managers working in the corporate loan and high-yield debt markets. These financial sectors were very busy during the mid-2000s, so there was a lot of news to break. During her time with Thomson Reuters, Kim began the publication’s first coverage of the credit default swaps that helped trigger the Great Recession.

Even though she enjoyed her work, the breaking news beat was high-pressure and non-stop. So in 2010, Kim moved to Portland in search of a lifestyle change and a new opportunity to write long-form pieces. In 2014, she took a job as a research editor at Oregon Business magazine. Today, she’s the magazine’s editor, overseeing a print publication and website. 

Kim recently sat down with PR Talk host Amy Rosenberg to talk about the Oregon Business editorial philosophy as well as tips for PRs seeking coverage.

A Statewide Presence

Every year, Oregon Business publishes ten themed issues distributed to 20,000 subscribers throughout the state. Beginning in December, Kim works with the magazine’s sales department to develop the themes for the upcoming year. In March, for example, the magazine will focus on real estate, May will cover economic development, and the June issue will dive into energy and the environment.

To accomplish this all, Kim oversees one staff writer and a pool of 10-15 freelancers who write long-form features about each month’s topic. Because her staff and resources are limited, Kim maintains a very organized publication structure. She begins work on each issue three months in advance. As a result, PRs seeking coverage in the magazine should be thinking at least four months ahead. The sales department can provide editorial calendars to anyone interested.

In addition to the print publication, Kim also manages the Oregon Business website, which is updated regularly with short, newsier stories that can be assembled in a day. The magazine also publishes several major lists, including The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon and the 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon. In addition, the publication hosts six or seven panels every year on topics like social responsibility and volunteerism in the workplace or how businesses can use social media for marketing themselves.


Focused Coverage

During her time leading the magazine, Kim has developed an editorial philosophy that connects broader macroeconomic themes and trends in ways that are relevant to Oregon businesses. For example, June’s theme is energy and the environment. Here in Oregon, legislators are debating cap and trade regulations to combat climate change. So, the June issue will examine this broader cap and trade issue along with the potential impact this new legislation could have on the Oregon economy.


Tips for PRs Seeking Coverage

This focused coverage means PRs will have to work a little harder to gain coverage. During the interview, Kim offered a few tips that might help capture her attention.

  • Customize Your Pitch for Each Publication: If you’re a PR seeking coverage in Oregon Business, get the editorial calendar, read the magazine and put a little thought into your pitch before sending it out. Pitches most likely to capture Kim’s attention will say: this is happening, this is why it’s relevant to Oregon business, and this is how it connects to a broader topical theme.


  • Pitch Stories from Outside the Metro Area: While Portland and its surrounding communities are the state’s economic heart, Oregon Business has a statewide focus. However, with a small staff, it’s often challenging to uncover the stories happening in areas like Eugene, Corvallis, Bend and rural parts of the state. As a result, Kim will be interested in reading pitches for stories happening outside the metro area.


  • Pick Up the Phone: Because we’ve become such a digitized society, very few PRs pick up the phone and call media members. Calling Kim won’t guarantee coverage, but it’s a great way to make a connection and learn a little more about the publication you’re pitching. 


Subscribe to PR Talk Podcast

Kim and Amy cover much more during their conversation. Click through to hear more about Kim’s time working in New York and her PR pet peeves. Amy also offers a few valuable pro tips that could take your upcoming pitches to the next level. Don’t forget to subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and Spotify. There are more episodes on the way that you won’t want to miss.

About the guest: Kim Moore

Kim Moore is editor of Oregon Business — an awarding-winning monthly business magazine and website. She’s passionate about telling stories that illustrate the opportunities and challenges facing communities and business. Special interests include energy and environment, climate change, science and technology, and innovation. 

Connect and follow Kim and Oregon Business on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Elyse Stoner: Fresh Perspective

Podcast: Elyse Stoner: Fresh Perspective

Elyse Stoner Brings a Fresh Perspective to Event Planning

Elyse Stoner has spent her career planning events. She got her start straight out of college, managing halftime activities at college sporting events. From there, she moved on to arena management, trying to fill 20,000 seat venues by promoting concerts and family shows. Elyse then took a step into big-time college sports with roles at an NCAA Division 1 university, and an athletic conference where she helped plan a ten-team basketball tournament. Today, Elyse uses all that experience at her consulting firm Fresh Perspective, where she helps clients rethink their events with an eye towards strategy.  

In this episode of the PR Talk podcast, Elyse joins host Amy Rosenberg for a conversation about her event philosophy and why ROI may be the wrong framework to measure an event’s success.  

Start with the Why

As Elyse sees it, most planners don’t treat events as the strong marketing and publicity tools that they could be. To take full advantage of that latent potential, Elyse encourages her clients to take a step back from the planning and think about the why for their event first. When you start there, suddenly, the why impacts your planning, logistics, communication, production and follow-up activities.

As Elyse notes, her work can be complicated by teams that are reluctant to seek help because they believe they have it all handled, or they’re afraid of showing weakness. As she puts it,

“you can only help people who want to be helped.” 

But for those clients that do want help, Elyse can work wonders. She believes that by understanding your target audience and your brand, and by taking the time to think about what you want your event to do, you can develop a roadmap for success. 


Measure Your ROM rather than Your ROI

Elyse often hears from clients who are having trouble defining an event’s ROI to senior leadership. While there are ways to crunch hard and soft data for events, Elyse argues that this is the wrong framework to use for measuring success.

In Elyse’s mind, an event is an opportunity to have a moment with someone who matters to your business. You can use that moment to make an impression, to educate, or to show your appreciation. No matter your why, Elyse recommends measuring success based on a ROM, or Return on Your Moment. Once you’ve defined your event’s purpose, set goals based on your desired moment outcomes. Then, do everything you can to increase return on that moment. 

Elyse helps walk her clients through this process by defining an event’s purpose, working on messaging and setting metrics for success that support business outcomes. Eventually, she says, you can demonstrate hard ROIs like shortened sales cycles, but it requires an adjusted perspective to put the necessary pieces in place.


Event Mistakes Every PR Pro Should Avoid

Toward the end of the interview, Amy asked Elyse for her top event tips for PR professionals and marketers. Elyse responded by turning the question around a bit by providing three mistakes too many PR and marketing pros make when planning and executing events.

  1. Not Defining Your Event’s Purpose: Elyse meets people every day who say, “I do an event because I have to do an event.” There’s no strategy here, only obligation. Instead, begin by identifying why you’re doing an event and defining what type of event it will be. Then, you can craft goals and messaging in support of your event’s specific needs.
  2. Not Developing Goals for Your Event: Elyse recommends you think outside the box to develop your event goals. For example, how many media members attended, or how many media members from different categories attended? Once you’ve established solid goals, your planning activities can work towards achieving them.
  3. Not Doing Follow-Up: Elyse mentioned the age-old adage that it takes seven impressions for your message to resonate with a consumer. As Elyse points out, follow-up messaging presents a fantastic opportunity to reiterate your message with a group of fired-up people who just participated in your brand moment. Follow-up activities can also serve as a way to generate data to make reliable decisions moving forward. Don’t obsess about getting something out within 24 hours of your event, either. Instead, focus on sending out quality content that achieves a strategic goal.


Elyse Has More to Say

Listen to the entire episode to hear more from Elyse, including how she deals with our “horrible” RSVP habits in Portland and why religious revivals are more complicated to plan for than rock concerts. 

Don’t forget to subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and Spotify, so you’ll never miss out on the professional wisdom of PR luminaries like Elyse Stoner.

About the guest: Elyse Stoner

Elyse Stoner founded Fresh Perspective Consulting to help clients hone their strategic event and overall marketing games without adding additional FTE to their teams. With over 30 years of hands-on marketing, event and brand management experience, combined with her outgoing personality and can-do attitude, Elyse’s projects have drawn millions of people to countless sporting events, concerts, educational programs, fundraisers and business conferences. 

Connect and follow Elyse on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Talia Beckett Davis: Women in PR

Podcast: Talia Beckett Davis: Women in PR

The PR Glass Ceiling Keeps Most Women Out of Leadership Roles. Talia Beckett Davis is Working to Change That.

For more than a decade, Talia Beckett Davis has blazed a trail for women in the Canadian PR industry and here in the states. She’s the owner of Pink Pearl PR — which works with luxury brands targeting female consumers — and FEMpreneur, an agency helping female entrepreneurs thrive through personalized coaching. If that isn’t enough, Talia is also the founder of The Organization of Canadian Women in PR and its cross-border cousin, The Organization of American Women in PR

Talia is passionate about improving opportunities for women throughout the PR industry, which shines through during a lively discussion with host Amy Rosenberg in this episode of the PR Talk Podcast.

Combatting the Gender Gap in PR

Amy and Talia kick off their conversation by talking about the challenges women face in the PR industry. Although women hold the majority of PR jobs, they don’t reach leadership roles as often as men do. And as Talia’s research reveals, women in the PR industry are also frequently paid less than men for the same kind of work.

The reasons for this disparity are complex. As Amy and Talia note, women are socialized to care for the needs of others ahead of their own. While this approach works well in client relationships, it doesn’t help women advocate for themselves as they advance their careers.

Women in the industry also didn’t have a dedicated professional organization, focused solely on women in PR, they could turn to for support as they combatted these gender inequities. Talia believes women are often more comfortable discussing issues like managing family obligations, personal development and career aspirations when surrounded by other women. Without that support system in place, women in the industry were at a real disadvantage.

With those needs in mind, Talia moved to create opportunities for women in PR to connect in ways they never could before. 


Women Supporting Women

In 2016, Talia launched The Organization of Canadian Women in PR with an advisory board and three local chapters. The group found immediate success, so Talia shifted her attention to the needs of Women in PR throughout North America. A year later, she launched The Organization of American Women in PR with an event held in Times Square. Both organizations have been growing ever since.

The organizations exist to support women in PR through live and online career-development opportunities. After conducting research, Talia learned that 26% of women in PR said they weren’t confident about asking for raises and promotions. That compares with only 13% of men who felt the same way. Talia’s organizations are fighting this trend by providing courses on topics like how to build confidence, how to get paid what you’re worth, how to start a consultancy and how to get more clients. 

The organizations also hold online challenges that aim to propel women into positions of leadership with daily learning and action-items. Along the way, the two groups create powerful communities women can access as they navigate and succeed in every phase of their PR careers. 


More From Talia

Listen to the entire episode to hear more from Talia and Amy’s discussion, including insight on what it’s like balancing work with motherhood, as well as Talia’s tips for maximizing efficiency amid a busy life. You can also subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on iTunesStitcherGoogle Play and Spotify to hear insight from a host of industry leaders, all-stars and friends.

You can also find more from Talia Beckett Davis on the web. In addition to her work running multiple agencies and two successful professional organizations, Talia still somehow finds the time to write. She’s the author of three ebooks, which are all available for download from womeinpr.com. Talia also curates a PR job board which is accessible online and filled with great opportunities for women throughout North America.

About the guest: Talia Beckett Davis

Talia Beckett Davis is the Founder of Canadian Women in Public Relations and American Women in Public Relations (Women in PR North America), a networking organization that brings together senior PR and media practitioners across the Americas. Talia is the Owner and Managing Director of Pink Pearl PR, an agency that specializes in baby, kids and women’s lifestyle products. She is the host of the Fempreneur Podcast and creator of the online coaching platform Fempreneur.com In addition, Talia is the Vice President of Communications at RE Royalties, a company that finances renewable energy projects. She serves as a judge for the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, PR and marketing awards category.

Talia has worked with some of the largest brands in North America to help them get featured in high profile media outlets. NASDAQ recognized her as a PR Influencer, and PR Week highlighted how she is helping women in the PR field succeed.

Talia has a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of London, England, a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Royal Roads University and a Marketing Management Diploma from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She also spent one year living and studying abroad in Finland at Helsinki Metropolia University.

Connect and follow Talia on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Rhoda Weiss: PRSA International

Podcast: Rhoda Weiss: PRSA International

Rhoda Weiss Leads the 2019 PRSA International Conference to New Heights

In this episode of the PR Talk Podcast, Amy Rosenberg chats with Dr. Rhoda Weiss, CEO of Rhoda Weiss & Associates, Inc. and this year’s chair of the PRSA International Conference in San Diego.

During their conversation, Rhoda shares some fascinating tidbits about her long history in PR and gives podcast listeners the full download on what attendees can expect from the upcoming conference. 

Use Discount Code OREGONIC19 for $100 Off

Three Decades of PR Experience

Rhoda began her career working as a journalist, which is an origin story many PR pros will recognize. Before long, she transitioned into public relations, working primarily in the healthcare field. After 15 years in the industry, Rhoda hung out her shingle and started an L.A.-based consulting firm of her own. In the years since, Rhoda has traveled about 250,000 miles every year, speaking and consulting with mostly healthcare companies about PR, branding, communication, and marketing. Rhoda is truly a pro’s pro and the perfect person to chart a new course as industry members from around the world converge in San Diego.


What is New, Next, and Best? 

With experience organizing conferences for healthcare executives, Rhoda set out to shake up this year’s PRSA International Conference. As she developed programming, Rhoda wanted to help industry members achieve excellence, navigate change, assert their influence and position the importance of PR more broadly. To do this, she focused on professional development by doubling the number of learning opportunities over previous years.

Attendees can choose from 140 sessions, ten keynote presentations, and 250 different speakers. This year’s lineup includes luminaries like journalist Bob Woodward, Laura Ling, a reporter imprisoned in North Korea for more than 100 days, former President of Mexico Vicente Fox and First Lady Marta Sahagún de Fox, who was Mexico’s first female press secretary, and Academy Award-Winning actor Richard Dreyfuss.

In a nod to Rhoda’s work with U.S. Air Force, this year’s conference also includes a session featuring public relations officers from every service branch discussing strategies for effectively working with filmmakers. Other sessions focus on crisis communication with the pros who coordinated responses to the Christchurch Massacre, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the devastating wildfire that destroyed Paradise, California.

With so many different options, it would be easy for the average conference attendee to become overwhelmed. Fortunately, PRSA has you covered. Attendees can choose to follow pre-developed conference tracks, or plan a customized path using PRSA’s interactive program.


PR Trends to Watch

When asked about what trends she expects to see discussed at the conference, Rhoda immediately pointed to artificial intelligence. With the rise of big data, PR pros will have incredible opportunities to leverage AI tools to create new analytics roadmaps that were previously unimaginable. However, along with these opportunities come new ethical questions centered around using your brand data for good. Listen to episode 61 to hear more about PR and AI.

Fortunately, this year’s conference will help attendees wrap their heads around these huge new questions with sessions on Big Data, analytics and how PR pros can lead the fight for truth in an age of disinformation.


Rhoda Has More to Say

Rhoda has much more to share about the upcoming PRSA conference, so be sure to listen to the entire episode. You’ll also hear an interesting discussion about the role Rhoda believes PR and comms pros should play in corporate leadership.

As always, if you’d like to stay up-to-date with all the latest in PR, subscribe to the PR Talk Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify. In the meantime, there are still tickets available for the PRSA International Conference, October 20th – 22nd, in San Diego. So register now and join an expected crowd of 3,000 industry professionals and students for a weekend of learning, networking and fun.

If you are heading to San Diego, make plans to join your colleagues as they recognize Rhoda’s extraordinary career with the Gold Anvil — PRSA’s lifetime achievement award and top international honor. What better way to say “thank you” for everything Rhoda has done to promote our industry and take the PRSA International Conference to new heights.

About the guest: Rhoda Weiss

Rhoda Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally recognized and versatile executive, speaker, consultant, author, educator and award-winning professional specializing in strategy, business development, branding, marketing, public relations and crisis management. During her career,  she’s traveled 6 million miles speaking and consulting to more than 700 organizations in the U.S. and abroad. 

Connect and follow Rhoda on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.