Purpose. Legacy. Connection.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the 2022 PRSA Conference at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Marietta, Ga. It was exciting to attend the event not only because it allowed me to network with top professionals in the communications arena, but most importantly, it was wonderful to meet in-person for the first time since the pandemic began. I also got to say hello to fellow JSers that were presenting in Human Resources and Lifestyle PR sessions (shoutout to Sarah Voiselle, Monique Dyer, and Pam Sawyer!)

This year’s theme was “Purpose. Legacy. Connection”, celebrating 70 years of PRSA Georgia. The conference highlighted interactive sessions that addressed the challenges facing the industry and had generous professional development and cross-generational networking opportunities.

We kicked off Day 1 with the session,“Elevating Influence: A Panel Discussion with Atlanta Influencers.” With influencer marketing quickly expanding as a major focus for various clients at Jackson Spalding, I loved hearing insights from Atlanta’s top lifestyle influencers about branding and relationships through content – the importance of transparency with your audience, how to foster long-term relationships with influencers and how to advocate for education within your organization/company.

  • Make your influencer outreach emails short and sweet. The email should communicate questions influencers need to know, right off the bat:
    • What are the exact deliverables you want from the influencer?
    • What is the budget?
    • What is the product?
    • Where can I learn more about this? (i.e., link to the brand/product in the email)

Our next breakout session was,“Can We Skip to the Good Part? No! The Key Elements your PR Plans May Be Missing.” I walked away with a solid roadmap for any PR initiative using the research, planning, implementation, and evaluation (RPIE) process. The session thoroughly explained how to start your research, define measurable objectives, connect tactics to objectives, and measure your program’s success.

The day didn’t stop after these two action-packed learning sessions. After lunch, I attended “Attracting, Welcoming and Retaining a Diverse Workforce.” Our focus here was how to attract and retain a diverse workforce in the PR industry.

  • Be sure that what you’re selling is true.
  • Set an intention for your company and follow through.
  • Don’t use DEI programs just to check a box.
  • Retain diverse talent once you’ve recruited them.
  • Build recruitment programs to target underrepresented groups.
  • Hold each other accountable.

How do you launch a McDonald’s chicken sandwich in Buffalo, N.Y. — the birthplace of the wing? The final session we joined highlighted the answer to this question through the story of how a quick-turn strategy from the McDonald’s east coast branch exceeded KPIs, secured paid media influencer posts and earned broadcast and digital placements.

  • Consider the below tactics when tasked with a fast-paced campaign:
    • Use micro influencers to spread the word.
    • Get sororities and fraternities involved (if the target audience can relate).
    • Gather a diverse team that enables you to create a diverse audience.

Each session was full of meaningful content to weave into my day-to-day work. I invite you to do the same with the takeaways above. If you were at the PRSA Conference, email me at [email protected], I’d love to chat!