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PRSA 2019 International Conference

Innovate. Inspire. Engage. Influence.

Oct. 20–22 | San Diego

This year’s PRSA International Conference is bringing the leading minds in public relations, communication and marketing to sunny San Diego on Oct. 20-22, 2019. 


Former President of Mexico and First Lady to Share Perspectives on Public Service

Vicente Fox photo
Marta Sahagun de Fox photo

Former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and First Lady Marta Sahagún de Fox will discuss their leadership journeys, the critical role of communications, and their philanthropic endeavors to advance civic engagement, leadership and equity among youth and the underserved in a keynote address at PRSA’s 2019 International Conference.

On Monday, Oct. 21, this power couple will speak about the founding of Centro Fox, considered Mexico’s first presidential library. This organization is dedicated to contributing to the formation of leaders based on social values through a platform that promotes equity. Centro Fox’s “President for a Day” program hosts up to 60,000 children a year to hear messages of hope and an opportunity to go home saying, “I can be President” or whatever they dream of for their future.

Fox served as president of Mexico from 2000 until 2006, after a successful career at Coca-Cola and terms in the national Congress and as governor of his home state of Guanajuato. Fox was the first president elected from an opposition party since 1910.  

Marta Sahagún de Fox has also dedicated her life to public service, including an impressive career in communications. She served as the governor’s spokesperson and was press secretary for Fox’s presidency prior to their marriage in 2001.


Global Agency Panel to Feature Leading Communication Executives

Four Panelist Head Shots on Glabal Agency Panel


Laura Ling, Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist, to Keynote on Sunday, Oct. 20


Award-winning broadcast journalist Laura Ling will share her wide-ranging insights at PRSA’s 2019 International Conference on the afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 20.

Ling has dedicated her career to exposing key global issues, including slave labor in the Amazon, women’s rights in the Middle East and the energy crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

As the host of “Conquered,” a series on the Z Living cable network, she profiles awe-inspiring people who have broken boundaries to achieve their goals. Her purpose-driven programming for Discovery Communications’ digital network, Seeker, has garnered tens of millions of views online. 

While reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling’s personal story became international news in March 2009 after she and her colleague, Euna Lee, were captured by North Korean soldiers along the China-North Korea border and held captive for 140 days. Ling documented her experience in the memoir, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home,” that she penned with her sister, Lisa.


Luncheon Keynoter: Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Communication, Frank X. Shaw

Frank X Shaw Photo

An accomplished communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, Frank X. Shaw will address the topic of “Thriving in the Next Communications Age” during the Conference luncheon on Monday, Oct. 21.

In his role at Microsoft, Shaw is responsible for defining and managing the company’s communications strategies worldwide, company-wide storytelling (including planning and execution), product PR, consumer marketing, media relations, executive and employee communications, global agency management and military affairs.

Shaw was recently ranked No. 5 on PRWeek’s “U.S. Power List 2019” of the 50 most powerful people in the communications industry. He’s also been recognized by Business Insider as No. 1 on a 2016 list of the 50 best public relations people in the tech industry. That publication described him as “the go-to PR guy for the many, many reporters who cover Microsoft and [he] has been for years.” Also in the same year, Shaw was awarded a SABRE Award (presented by The Holmes Report) for Outstanding Individual Achievement in 2016.

Shaw served in the U.S. Marine Corps and is a graduate of the Department of Defense Information School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. 


PRSA’s Opening Keynote Speaker Is Pulitzer Prize-Winning Reporter & Best-Selling Author Bob Woodward


Bob Woodward has been called “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever” by The Weekly Standard

As our Conference speaker, Woodward will pull the curtain back on Washington and its leaders to share stories that are sometimes surprising, sometimes shocking and always fascinating.  He blends stories that are both up to the minute and from the past to provide historical context.  Woodward speaks as he writes — crisply and concisely — and helps people go behind the scenes to understand what’s really going on in the halls of power in an age of 24-hour news, social media and snarky politics.

All 19 of Woodward’s books have been national bestsellers, with 13 of them reaching the #1 spot — more than any other contemporary nonfiction author. Plus, three of Woodward’s books have been made into feature films, including the above-mentioned “All the President’s Men,” which won four Academy Awards. 

No one else in political investigative journalism has the clout, respect and reputation of Woodward. He has a way of getting insiders to open up — both on the record and off the record — in ways that reveal an intimate yet sweeping portrayal of Washington. His work is meticulous and draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with key players. 

Woodward, an associate editor at The Washington Post,  has won nearly every American journalism award. The Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Woodward’s work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for Post articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks; this coverage won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002. In 2003, Woodward won the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.

ICON 2018 Recap Image

At the PRSA International Conference in San Diego, you’ll be able to choose from a wide range of programs spotlighting the latest in public relations and communications strategies and tactics. At the same time, you’ll enjoy opportunities to enhance your personal and professional network while connecting with some of the world’s most influential companies and organizations. You’ll meet communication and public relations colleagues along with over 150 industry experts from all career levels, sectors, work environments and industries during three days of practical insights and idea sharing.

See you in San Diego!


Save $100 on your full Conference registration package with the Saver Rate when you register by Sept. 13, 2019!

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Photo of Debra Erikson, San Diego Zoo

Wrap up the Conference on a high note at a Keynote from one of our host city’s most famous attractions, San Diego Zoo. You’ll learn about San Diego Zoo Kids television channel, and meet some of its animal stars live and in person. 

San Diego Zoo Kids TV, a 24-hour, commercial-free channel for children’s hospitals, offers a welcome distraction and comfort to kids and their families when they need it most. 

It debuted in 2013 at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. Since then, it’s been installed in 250+ children’s hospitals and Ronald McDonald Houses across the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Pakistan, South Africa, Qatar and Curacao.

What Can You Expect?

To get an idea of what to expect at a PRSA International Conference, check out these highlights from our inspiring keynote speakers at PRSA’s 2018 International Conference in Austin, Texas, which attracted nearly 2,000 attendees who enjoyed 116 professional development breakout sessions and four amazing keynote speakers.

We are now planning similarly thought-provoking events for San Diego, and we hope you'll join us in person for their full presentations!

Why You Must Attend

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PRSA thanks its 2019 sponsors: