PRSA ICON 2020 Goes Virtual and Doesn’t Miss a Beat

It’s that time of year again! PRSA ICON 2020 is right around the corner. While we’re all disappointed that we can’t gather in Nashville together as initially planned, this year’s event will take on a brand-new and exciting virtual format that will still deliver plenty of opportunities for learning and networking. The event kicks off on October 26th and runs through October 29th. You can purchase tickets by registering on the PRSA website.

In this episode of the PR Talk podcast, host Amy Rosenberg chats with Del Galloway, the chair of PRSA ICON, and a Senior Vice President of Communications for Wells Fargo. During their conversation, Del offers a rundown of this year’s conference theme and a few of the exciting speakers lined up to share. While the event may be virtual, PRSA has gone all-out to make this conference relevant and valuable during a critical time in our profession’s history.


Pandemic Disinformation, First Amendment Freedoms, and DEI-R

The theme for this year’s conference is A World Disrupted. As Del explains during his interview, PRSA designed this conference to address the critical issues communications experts face in this historic moment: pandemic disinformation, our First Amendment freedoms, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and representation issues.

Over four days, PRSA ICON will present five general session speakers covering aspects of the three conference themes. Day one features Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jon Meacham who will provide “reasoned and seasoned” insight into what’s happening in our country.

On day two, DiversityInc CEO Carolynn Johnson talks about diversity, equity, inclusion and representation and will also moderate a more extensive discussion.

Day three is a double-dose of disinformation featuring Nina Jankowicz, a Disinformation Fellow at the Wilson Center, who will talk about disinformation through a political lens. We’ll also hear from Lata Nott, the Executive Director of the First Amendment Center at the Freedom Forum, who will explain how four of the five amendments relate directly to our PR practices.

The conference wraps up on Thursday, with Peabody, Polk and Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Laurie Garrett. She’ll help place PRs as critical communicators struggling to provide factual information in the face of media chaos.



Skill Building and Socializing

In addition to these five stellar speakers, PRSA ICON attendees can also participate in more than 50 professional development breakout sessions. These smaller gatherings will offer deeper dives into how we can execute on the big ideas the general session speakers present.

Conference planners also understand the importance of socializing and networking during these gatherings. Attendees have the option of participating in three virtual lounges. One, called A Taste of Nashville, features a mixologist from Jack Daniels, who will teach participants how to make specialty cocktails. PRSSA, the PRSA student group, will have dancing and other fun activities in its lounge. Nashville author and musician Alice Randall will also host an evening workshop on storytelling through music. So, as usual, PRSA ICON will be a place for both fun and learning.


Check Your Email for a Sneak Preview

Because this virtual format is so new, Del and the PRSA ICON organizers wanted to provide a sneak preview of the technology they’ll be using to present this year’s speakers. PRSA members should watch their email for a link to preview 6Connex, the technology that will bring this event to all attendees. This is more than a Zoom meeting. Not only can attendees participate in general and breakout sessions, but they’ll also be able to connect in smaller groups via virtual lounges. This feature preserves the all-important connection opportunities many people miss with virtual conferences.


Hear More from Del and the PR Talk Podcast

If you’d like to attend PRSA ICON 2020, you can register for the event on the PRSA website. PRSA Oregon sponsors the PR Talk podcast, so we’re well aware of the wonderful work this organization does for our industry. Even in its new virtual format, PRSA ICON will do the same.

To hear future PR Talk episodes and access past interviews, you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeart Radio or Spotify.

About the guest: Del Galloway

Del Galloway is a public relations executive with proven success building brands, strengthening reputations and driving results for Fortune 500 companies and other global organizations — from AT&T and United Way to Wells Fargo. Del’s understanding of relationships, his focus on reputations and his ability to convey the right messages at the right time have made him a trusted advisor to clients worldwide.

Connect and follow Del on social media:

Del Galloway on PR Talk

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 for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Josh Friesen
I'm a writer and content marketer at Veracity, telling client stories one post at a time.