PRCG Turns it Up in Tempe for 15th Annual Public Relations Conference

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

It was time to “plug into PRCG” with business development and community service in Tempe, Arizona, for PRConsultants Group’s 15th Annual Conference. Some 42 members attended, representing 40 markets, for education, networking, and strategizing how to capitalize on public relations opportunities in 2018.

The State of the Network revealed a robust combination of ongoing development, growth potential, and an unprecedented amount of intra-group collaboration. Next, members enjoyed a hands-on “Embracing Your Creativity” workshop with Many-to-One’s Dennis Skinner. This 17-year creativity veteran outlined the barriers to creativity (optimism bias, self-imposed rules, inward thinking), along with the traps we face when attempting innovation (familiarity, patterns, assumptions). Then, he illustrated ways to achieve innovation by being paranoid (!), drawing a new box, and thinking outward.

A new conference “Speed Share” feature invited these public relations professionals  to share innovations in their own businesses. Highlights included plenty of info on public relations strategy…

  • Ghidotti Communications’ new podcast “The Arkansas 100” – Ghidotti recommended staying connected to your theme & brand.
  • Fran Stephenson’s Texas Travel Talk, a blog-powered travel influencer community. Stephenson illustrated the importance of building a meaningful conversation gradually and the art of aggregating social media influence.
  • Todd Smith, a new PRC representing the Nashville market, explained his business approach and a unique road rage survey his firm conducted to publicize an insurance client in a novel way.
  • Robb Yagmin, who started his career as a TV anchor, demonstrated his broadcast savvy and outlined valuable pay-to-play TV tactics and the ROI approach to this guaranteed placement opportunity.
  • teamworks communication talked about the importance of “media love,” to support the media with powerful visuals and goodwill to develop valuable relationships.
  • Paul Larrabee of Corning Place Communications detailed an advocacy campaign that addressed delays in 911 emergency response times that compromised community and police officer safety.  CPC showed how muliple public relations strategies including social media engagement, online petitions, lawn signs and old-fashioned shoe leather got the successful attention of politicians who eventually fixed the issue (thanks to some powerful PR).
  • Lisa Faulkner-Dunne presented tools and tactics that members can use to build business and opportunity together by being there, being open, and being available.
  • And Amy Kossoff Smith (that’s me) presented a new way to extend the Write Ideas brand.  Smith launched Power Hour Marketing, leveraging a journalism background with the art of telling a story with an authentic voice and locktight grammar.

A first for the PRConsultants Group, we rolled up our sleeves and sported hairnets to pack meals and do community service at Feed My Starving Children. Along with some local kids, we packed 184 boxes in total, feeding 108 kids for a year. Scoop by scoop, we packed 39,744 meals, and had some great conversations about gratitude and giving along the way.

The conference wrapped up with the annual Tech Tools Presentation by creative team, Julie Dennehy and Toni Antonetti, who also publish Curious and Clever. A video showcased the importance of human connections, and then we dove right into office and PR productivity tools including Slack, Trello, Airtable, NewsAi, and more…Plus, Dennehy claims anyone who tries to clean up a cluttered email box will be amazed.

Many thanks to our Phoenix & St. Louis duo from teamworks communication, Barb Harris and Sharon Kreher, for creating and facilitating a fabulous conference, along with our outgoing President Nicole Candler and incoming director trio, Gary Young (President), Jason Brown (VP), and Stacia Kirby (Treasurer).

About the Author:

Amy Kossoff Smith, Founder/Editor of PRCG Powerlines and Founder/President of Write Ideas, Inc. and Power Hour Editing, 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 published a national wire column.

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