Important tips from 2011 PRSSA National Conference: Perception is Reality

By: Brittany Kapps

This month I attended my second PRSSA National Conference in Orlando, Fla. Conference is always a memorable experience both personal and professional. It’s a great way to meet other members who share a passion for PR as much as you do. It’s also a great way to network with PR professionals and gain a better understanding of PR. For me, conference always brings me inspiration and motivation.

Here are the important tips I brought home with me from my favorite sessions:

Craig Dezern, vice president of global public relations at Disney Destinations

  • To deliver a message globally, you must LISTEN. Tap local expertise, observe, question and look for connections.
  • To prepare for a career in international PR you need to get curious about the world and gain some experience and insights
  • Avoid obvious international blunders with simple tools – I advise the book, “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands?”
  • We must always be evolving in our media environment today. “Blend and bridge traditional, digital and social.”

Erin B. Hart, Senior Vice President, Fenton Communications

  • Public interest communications consists of shared need, a defined target audience and a call to action.
  • If you ever have any enemy in a fight, don’t discount them. Learn from them.

Rick Bubenhofer, Vice President, Director of Public Relations, Brown-Forman

  • Sometimes the worse thing that happens to you is the best, and some times the best thing that happens to you is the worse.
  • We are limited only by our imagination
  • When you go into a foreign country to conduct a PR campaign, team up with a firm from that country.

Gary McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA, Director of Partnerships Development at HGTV

  • PR landscape is expanding as media platforms are changing
  • Never be afraid to hook on to an idea, make it bigger and better
  • Date an idea, but don’t marry it
  • Create with limited rules and no expectations

Soledad O’Brien, Special Investigations Correspondent, CNN; Host, “In America,” CNN

  • Envision a life you could lead and minimize external voices.
  • Do not pitch a statistic, pitch a story – people want to be inspired.
  • People have the answers. They just need the confidence to deliver it.

Peter Diamandis, Chairman and CEO, X PRIZE Foundation

  • The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.
  • If it wasn’t a crazy idea, it wouldn’t be a breakthrough.
  • Developing a competition can be a successful way to make an idea come to life.
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