Annual Conference Program

 

2016 PRSA Georgia Annual Conference Program

Throughout the years, the PRSA Georgia Annual Conference has become known for its remarkable line-up of presenters and attendees who represent major corporations and cutting-edge small businesses, local and national nonprofits, agencies, independent contractors, and beyond.

This year, we are proud to offer three keynote sessions (two back-to-back opening keynotes and a lunch keynote)—along with the traditional plenary sessions on the latest trends in the public relations and communications field. 

Opening Keynote 1 (8:00 - 8:45 a.m.)

Entering the Most Important Era for Communicators
Presenter: Bob Pearson, president, W2O Group and former vice president of communities and conversations, Dell

Technology is enabling our customers and entrepreneurs around the world to evolve the media models we have used successfully for decades with astonishing speed. In Bob Pearson’s keynote, he will draw on his time as a leader of communications with Fortune 500 companies, his experience building the first global social media function at Dell, and the key learning’s that he has documented in his two books, PreCommerce and Storytizing (March, 2016) to explain how these fundamental media shifts are redefining the power of communications and, as a result, evolving the responsibilities of today’s chief communications officer. Bob will share with us his key learning’s across hundreds of companies and media properties to explain what is changing, why it is important to all of us, and how we can lead the way in this new era for communicators.

 

Opening Keynote 2 (8:45 - 9:30 a.m.)

Proven Strategies to Create a Competitive Advantage: Develop and Leverage Your Specific Edge for Growth
Presenter: Mike Wien, founder and president, The Specific Edge Institute LLC and adjunct professor, Georgia State University

The growth of the internet and digital marketing has had a profound effect on the competitive landscape. Gone are the days where massive amounts of advertising were needed to establish a presence. Any entrepreneur with a computer can promote a product globally. Companies who win the battle for customers in the future will be those who best develop their competitive advantage or Specific Edge.

Developing a Specific Edge is about understanding market segmentation and developing compelling messages for your key segments that create a competitive advantage by allowing you to anticipate customer needs better than anyone else in the market. In this session, Mike will give participants practical ways to select market segments and develop messages that are relevant to those segments. He will demonstrate how these two steps will help develop and evaluate tactical ideas that harness the power of being specific and get results.

Mike will use his experiences in the Ironman World Championship as a metaphor to keep participants entertained, engaged, and inspired to implement some of the ideas.

 

Plenary Session 1 - Choose One Breakout Session (9:45 - 10:30 a.m.)

Building Your Own Narrative: Communicating the Context of Your Story
Presenter: Daniel Horowitz Garcia, southeast regional manager, NPR’s StoryCorps

Everyone has a story to tell, and how they tell that story constantly evolves. The need to capture “the story” transcends industries, which is why storytelling becomes an important part of how we communicate. How are you telling your story? What makes it relevant? How does perfecting the craft of storytelling help you connect to and capture your target audience as a PR practitioner? Explore the connection between storytelling, history, and public relations, and learn how to challenge assumptions and break down barriers.

Campaigning for the Greater Good: How a Nonprofit and Agency Communications Partnership Built a Giving Movement for Our State
Presenters: Betsy Reid, vice president, marketing and communications, Georgia Center for Nonprofits and Sara Dever, senior account executive, Edelman

Led by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and powered by a coalition of corporate, creative, and media partners, Georgia Gives Day has raised over $9 million for more than 2,000 participating nonprofits. Hear from the co-leaders of the 2015 communications campaign about the process and potential of nonprofit-agency partnership—from collaborative goal-setting and strategy, to planning and execution, and even measuring success.

Next Gen YOU: Making Personal Development a Priority
Presenter: Stacey Tank, vice president, corporate communications and external affiars, The Home Depot

To stay fresh, relevant, and forward-looking in the communications profession, we have to constantly evolve and expand our capabilities.

Stacey Tank runs global communications and external affairs for The Home Depot and is passionate about stretching herself and her team. During this interactive session, you will hear more about how Stacey's department recently adopted a new approach to training, career-pathing, and succession. You also will create or improve your own development plan with the goal of identifying and stretching your personal learning edges.


Plenary Session 2 - Choose One Breakout Session (10:45 - 11:30 a.m.)

Two of the breakout sessions from Plenary Session 1 will be repeated, so participants have a chance to hear these insights if desired.

Building Your Own Narrative: Communicating the Context of Your Story
Presenter: Daniel Horowitz Garcia, southeast regional manager, NPR’s StoryCorps

Everyone has a story to tell, and how they tell that story constantly evolves. The need to capture “the story” transcends industries, which is why storytelling becomes an important part of how we communicate. How are you telling your story? What makes it relevant? How does perfecting the craft of storytelling help you connect to and capture your target audience as a PR practitioner? Explore the connection between storytelling, history, and public relations, and learn how to challenge assumptions and break down barriers.

Campaigning for the Greater Good: How a Nonprofit and Agency Communications Partnership Built a Giving Movement for Our State
Presenters: Betsy Reid, vice president, marketing and communications, Georgia Center for Nonprofits and Sara Dever, senior account executive, Edelman

Led by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, and powered by a coalition of corporate, creative, and media partners, Georgia Gives Day has raised over $9 million for more than 2,000 participating nonprofits. Hear from the co-leaders of the 2015 communications campaign about the process and potential of nonprofit-agency partnership—from collaborative goal-setting and strategy, to planning and execution, and even measuring success.

Social Media Case Study: How Georgia-Pacific Used Social CPR to Stop Sales From Being Flushed Down the Toilet
Presenter: Meg Fligg, director of communications and social media, Georgia-Pacific

What does a Miss America contestant, “The View” talk show, and a group of nurses have in common? A firestorm of controversy. Last fall, when co-hosts mocked a pageant contestant for spotlighting her profession as a nurse during the talent competition, nurses across America were enraged – and the social media hashtags ensued. #NursesUnited eventually called out the show’s advertisers to stop running spots on “The View” and threatened brand boycotts. Come see what happened when Georgia-Pacific’s bath tissue got rolled up into the mix and how their social media team wiped up (yes, we meant that) and turned a potential crisis into a sales opportunity. 

You’ll come away learning:

  • How to spot a creeping crisis in social
  • That managing a crisis internally can be just as challenging as what you say externally  
  • How quickly consumers can impact your business-to-business sales too


Lunch Keynote  (11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)

PR's Role in Amplifying the Brand
Presenter: Bruce Schroder, president, Moe’s Southwest Grill

As president of Moe's Southwest Grill, Bruce Schroder is a huge advocate for PR and the role our function plays in amplifying a brand. Proactively, PR can keep a brand relevant to current conversations, highlight a company's market-leading innovation, and make an emotional connection through its community impact. Reactively, especially in crisis situations, PR helps executives rise to higher ground and minimize downside impact. During his keynote, Bruce will share case studies and draw from his experience with PR at food and beverage brands like Moe's, Jamba Juice, and Peet's Coffee & Tea, among others, and offer his perspective on how we can help differentiate our brands focusing on the emotional versus functional consumer benefit. We can and should be the eyes and the ears of the executive, whether the brand is "backdrafting" larger corporations, making a difference, or rising above crisis.

 

Plenary Session 3 - Choose One Breakout Session (1:15 - 2:00 p.m.)

Strengthening Our Communities Through Partnership
Presenters: Lori George Billingsley, vice president of community relations, Coca-Cola North America and Carlos Pagoaga, group director of partnerships, The Coca-Cola Company

When disaster strikes in a community, who do you call? What role do corporate entities play in the vitality of local communities? Lori George Billingsley, vice president of community relations for Coca-Cola North America, will share best-in-class examples demonstrating the success of partnership between business, government, and civil society to fulfill a community's opportunities and address its challenges.

Beyond Traditional Media Coverage: Creating Buzz Through Owned Media Channels
Presenter: Todd Smith, executive director of media relations, Cox Communications

When it comes to the trio (paid, owned, and earned media), PR professionals are looking for ways to create buzz beyond the traditional media coverage. Learn how one company is blending the trio to amplify coverage, showcase thought leadership, and direct the online conversation. Cox Communications is creating their own "snack size" content for both consumer and B2B audiences. The company is also partnering with Inc. Magazine for its Get Started event series, which brings people together and supports entrepreneurship in a way that promotes success. While embracing both paid and owned, Cox is continuing its push to earn traditional media coverage - both on a national level and in the local markets it serves.

Shoestring Budgets That Deliver Phenomenal PR Results
Moderator: Jasmine Hoffman, APR, associate dean for enrollment and communications, Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing

Presenters: Don Hale, vice president for public relations and marketing communications, Georgia State University; Elyse Hammett, APR, vice president, marketing and communications, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; Manoela Muraro, marketing director, King of Pops

The glory days of lucrative PR budgets are long gone. Every penny counts, and nowhere is that more important than in the nonprofit/association world where donors demand transparency and PR practitioners are challenged to show deep returns on their investment. So, how do today’s PR leaders deliver value and results to their Board of Directors, donors, and other constituents?

Whether you work for a start-up, not-for-profit, or for-profit organization, join our panel of veteran communications pros, as they dive in to creating PR value on a shoestring budget. With tips, techniques, and treasures to share, these communication connoisseurs will lead you through a dynamic journey to ensure success. Take the following how-to’s back to work:

  • Structure department for maximum efficiency and cost savings
  • Create one-page planning documents that make your Board jump for joy
  • Cut through the clutter with media relations actions that get noticed
  • Leverage brands, partnerships, connections, and celebrities
  • Helpful tools and resources

 

Plenary Session 4 - Choose One Breakout Session (2:15 - 3:00 p.m.)

The Hidden World of Employee Engagement
Presenter: Kathy Hogan, director of employee experience, UPS

Are your employees proud to say they work for your organization? What’s your turnover rate? What does the annual engagement survey say about the company culture?

With 425,000 UPSers around the world, making the “Forbes Best Places to Work” list is no simple task.

Learn more about the logistics leader’s successful PR strategies and tactics, including the UPS Intranet, annual engagement survey, plus internal crisis communications, and solid measurement practices.

Beyond Traditional Media Coverage: Creating Buzz Through Owned Media Channels
Presenter: Todd Smith, executive director of media relations, Cox Communications

When it comes to the trio (paid, owned, and earned media), PR professionals are looking for ways to create buzz beyond the traditional media coverage. Learn how one company is blending the trio to amplify coverage, showcase thought leadership, and direct the online conversation. Cox Communications is creating their own "snack size" content for both consumer and B2B audiences. The company is also partnering with Inc. Magazine for its Get Started event series, which brings people together and supports entrepreneurship in a way that promotes success. While embracing both paid and owned, Cox is continuing its push to earn traditional media coverage - both on a national level and in the local markets it serves.

Pitch Perfect: How to Take an Idea to Coverage
Moderator: Mike Neumeier, APR, principal, Arketi Group

Presenters: Julie Bryant Fisher, vice president of communications, marketing, and advocacy, Atlanta Community Food Bank; Tim Henschel, senior public relations manager, NCR Corporation; Jason Maderer, assistant director of media relations, Georgia Institute of Technology

Dreaming of coverage in The Wall Street Journal, but your ideas fall flat? In this session, you’ll perfect your pitch through a live pitch-off with a panel of media relations professionals.


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