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. 

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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.

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