14th Annual PRCG Conference in Houston Gives Members a Passport to Creativity

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By Amy Kossoff Smith, President Write Ideas, Inc., and Editor/Founder of PRCG Powerlines

The 14th Annual PRConsultants Group is a wrap, and it was the 3rd time this international group of PR pro’s had “boots on the ground” in the Lone Star State (Texas). This year’s theme, “Passport to Creativity,” inspired the 50 members attending to consider new, innovative ways to add color and relevance to PR campaigns around the world.

Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • Keynote speaker C.C. Chapman, author and marketer, presented “Finding Inspiration & Staying Relevant in Today’s Marketplace.” He had tons of tips, and some of his headlines I found particularly relevant included…
    • Relationships are everything; spray & pray (blast emails) are for amateurs.
    • Make it easy for the reporter to talk about your story (include tweets, images, links).
    • Consume content constantly (read, YouTube channels, etc.).
  • Next, a panel included Brandpoint President, Scott Severson and PR Week Global Editorial Director Steve Barrett. The talk focused on the PESO Model, with a look at Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned Media. The conversation went in many directions, but here are some of my key takeaways:
    • Barrett noted, “No one has a monopoly of great ideas,” inspiring members to create and to understand the digital space. He also shared that the 24/7 nature of news leads to a tweet storm at times, warning professionals to stay out of the crosshairs.
    • Severson advised attendees to be clear and authentic in labeling and disclosing sponsored content. He also suggested packaging content to be “short and digestible” to break through the clutter.  Severson also shared a great overview article he wrote with me post-conference that outlines this topic, The Inevitable Rise of Paid Media in Public Relations.
  • Joel Luks, principal content strategist with The CKP Group, our host agency this year, shared a dynamic presentation about Content Creation, urging PR pro’s to make sure content is “authentic, transparent & truthful,” to think across all channels, and to focus on a cycle to “attract, convert, close, and re-engage” targets. He shared some compelling intel about the power of video and closed with creative inspiration: “Content is a long-term relationship, not a one-night stand. Be useful.”
  • Salt Lake City PRC Margaret Nathan, Strategic Communication, presented strategies on client retention, weaving in examples of long-tenured clients and reinforcing the value of teambuilding and bringing in talent that enhances our abilities.
  • Amy Mifflin, Global Collaborations, Inc., presented “Managing & Working on a Multigenerational team.” Her “millennial intelligence” helped members understand the intricacies of working with different generations, especially today’s growing base of millenials where a different style of leadership and workplace is more effective.  I loved her slide, “Does age matter” (below) including food for thought…
  • The conference closed with some in network business and a final speaker’s presentation about Intellectual Property. Katie Sunstrom, an attorney with Lorance & Thompson, talked about legally protecting content, providing a number of online resources including Creative Commons, Copyright.Gov, Eff.org, and more.

Many thanks to our Houston host, Jen Evans, The CKP Group, Toni Antonetti, Heidi Langer, and the entire conference committee and PRCG leadership, for orchestrating a jam-packed schedule of education, networking, collaboration, and a “passport to creativity” in the year ahead.

Fun fact: This year’s icebreaker, in keeping with our “Lone Star State” location, was to name a celebrity (star) you had worked with or dreamed of working with. The 50 members had no problem detailing professional and personal experiences with everyone from Presidents and Governors to Sports and Hollywood personalities, and more.

Next year in Tempe!

Author Bio: Amy Kossoff Smith, Founder/Editor of PRCG Powerlines and Co-Chair of PRCG’s Shared Resources Committee, met a huge Texas-sized boot on the way into town. Smith is Founder/President of Write Ideas, Inc., has 20+ years’ experience in retail PR & promotions.  She also publishes an online parenting magazine, The MomTini Lounge.  Featured on The Today Show, in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and all local TV networks, she also publishes a national wire column.  And for the record of this post, she ate (and thoroughly enjoyed) lots of spicy Texas cuisine.  A repeat performance of lots of boot kicking, foot stomping, incredible work fun!

 

 

 

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