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PRSA 2019 International Conference

Innovate. Inspire. Engage. Influence.

Oct. 20–22 | San Diego

Breakout Session Preview

With 140+ featured sessions, you’ll have a wide variety of subjects to choose from that will help amplify your results. Take a look at the sessions below for a glimpse of the high-quality programming being offered.

Captain Marvel, Midway, Top Gun: Partnering With Filmmakers to Educate, Inform and Position Your Mission and Capabilities

Each military service actively seeks opportunities to educate and inform the American public on the honor, courage and culture of the men and women serving around the world to keep our country safe. Placing historic locations, dynamic individuals, engaging narratives and amazing visuals into productions ranging from feature films and TV shows to video games and more may seem insurmountable. Hear how it all comes together!

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After the Crisis — Then What? Moving a Community Away From Hate and Toward Hope

When a lone gunman opened fire at a synagogue in the small town of Poway outside San Diego, the Mayor’s first words at the initial press conference was “This is not Poway,” effectively setting the tone for a narrative of hope, healing and heroism. It’s a reminder of the ripple effect that happens in crisis communications. How do we, as communicators, assess our place in that ripple, develop messages and connect with our audience? When the tragedy is hate-based, what role does communications play in helping move a community forward in the aftermath?

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Journalists, Journalism and the Free Press in Peril

Many journalists in nations around the world are literally in peril — physically and professionally. Journalism itself, the free press is also threatened daily, even as many legacy news media organizations face grave new economic uncertainties. Learn how we as communications professionals can help protect journalists, journalism and the free press.

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Around the World in a Day: Creating Global Internal Communications Campaigns That Work

In an era when information ricochets around the world in a flash, it’s never been harder — yet more important — to follow a realistic and effective approach for communicating with your global workforce that balances local and regional nuances with international messaging. Hear directly from leading experts in a spirited panel discussion loaded with real-life stories that will inspire your own work.

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Front Seat to History: Communications Leaders Share Experiences in Memorable World Events

Get an insider view into events and activities that defined history on a grand scale across the U.S. and around the world from people who’ve been at the front lines of memorable events like coordinating the Marine Corps’ biggest media embed program in a war zone in U.S. history; planning, leading and executing 250+ events for the U.S. president, White House, members of Congress, United Nations and foreign dignitaries; leading public affairs teams in Afghanistan, Iraq and throughout the Arabian Gulf region; serving as spokesperson and public affairs for U.S Department of Homeland Security; covering wars, government overthrows, peace talks as a foreign correspondent, and much more. In recent years, they’ve taken their leadership abilities and skill sets to iconic organizations, successfully transitioning to places that were not previously on their radar screen.

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Creating a Peanut Allergy-Free Future by Driving Parents to Act

Groundbreaking research rewrote the rules on peanut allergy prevention. But it also led to tremendous confusion and concern. Discover how a research-based, empathetic, influencer-centric campaign by the National Peanut Board helped overcome objections and equipped parents to take control of their children’s food allergy future.

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Inside Latino News: Top Journalists Share Latest Trends on Why Latino Journalism Matters

Which opportunities are still unclaimed in the Latino market? How can you assist key journalists and get them to rely on you as a source? Learn how to generate Latino media coverage from top reporters. Discover fertile ground to increase media placement.

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Strategic Communications on the Front Line:  Reaching Stakeholders During Combat Operations

How do military public affairs officers manage complex military operations in some of the most high-stakes communication environments? In a multi-domain battlespace where life is fragile, public affairs activities bring context, empathy and understanding where trauma and tragedy are all too common. Hear how military warfighters adeptly navigate the communication landscape, respond to adversaries, and build enduring relationships with U.S. audiences, military families, treaty allies and host nation partners.

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How Columbia, S.C., Drew 400,000 People for the Eclipse

The longest 100% total eclipse for a metro area on the East Coast presented a tremendous regional tourism opportunity. See how the “Total Eclipse Weekend Columbia, S.C.” campaign raised awareness of the region as a destination and fueled economic impact by motivating local entities to host eclipse-themed events. Explore how this award-winning campaign can serve as a model for your own strategic opportunities, activities and events.

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Communication Resiliency: Lessons Learned After Hurricane María

September 18, 2017, changed the history of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 hurricane, devastated the island’s infrastructure, and everything from telecommunications and electricity to housing and education was severely affected. Standard operating procedures for many public relations practitioners had to change as they faced their “new normal” under the crisis. As people fled the island, communities suffered, international help arrived and the island slowly recovered, communication professionals learned to adjust their strategies, both internal and external, implementing short- and long-term plans that helped rebuild their communities and Puerto Rico.

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Taking a Stand for Ethics

Courage, honesty, integrity, a servant’s heart, innovation and even high-end risk- taking are critical to achieving ethical values. No more knows that better than Paula Pedene, who took the ultimate risk to improve lives of military veterans and their families. One of the nation’s best-known whistleblowers, Pedene and a colleague exposed mismanagement and other issues that led to the exposure of secret wait lists hindering access to needed health care for our country’s veterans.

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Big Data vs. Big Brother: How to Package Your Brand Data for Good

Learn how to package the wealth of data at your fingertips so that it resonates with the public and drives reputation for your brand. Understand how to pivot the data conversation away from Big Brother, synthesize it and package it to resonate with consumers in a compelling narrative.

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Digital Strategy on a Shoestring Budget: Creating Effective Organic Content

Look in-depth at steps that achieved organic audience-driven content for USPS and Under Amour and drove engagement and growth without paid media. Hear more about social media measurement and cost-effective sourcing solutions to populate your customer or client feeds.

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Lessons From the Playing Field: What Fandom Teaches Us About Public Relations Engagement

Examine how fan worship in sports drives emotional attachment to products, events, places and organizations. Explore ways that relationship management techniques, integrity and ethical behaviors create sports heroes, and how a compelling playbook can energize public interest.

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Marketing to Machines

Alexa sets the mood and picks a restaurant. Algorithms choose where and how to invest our money. How do we pivot from traditional, emotionally rich storytelling and appeal directly to intelligent but impassive machines? Get a pragmatic look at this ever-changing landscape. 

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Achieving Intercultural Competence: What Senior Leaders Have To Learn About Diversity and Inclusion

Learn about groundbreaking research supported by the Arthur W. Page Society Diversity Committee that opens a conversation for senior leaders to assess their knowledge as well as motivational and organizational assets in effectively practicing diversity and inclusion.

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Rebranding NASA Johnson Space Center’s Internal Communications for the Digital Era

Learn how the NASA Johnson Space Center External Relations Office reimagined its internal communications products, while being mindful of today’s technology, to help employees and retirees lead the charge as the American space program’s most knowledgeable ambassadors.

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Lessons in Transition: Military Leaders Move to Entertainment, Agency, Corporate and Legislative Arenas

Leaving one industry to join the unknown can be terrifying and fraught with uncertainly. This panel explores opportunities and challenges for those interested in continuing in communications within their area of expertise or moving to an entirely new frontier.

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From Misinformation to Disinformation: Minimizing and Managing Fake News Crises

Want to avoid falling prey to fake news and effectively manage through the pain points of these crises? Explore strategies to minimize risks of a fake news attack, insights on triggers, and trends connected to misinformation and best practices to minimize risks of a fake news attack.

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Choose Your Own Adventure: Understanding and Developing an Analytics Road Map

Tracking and analyzing communications efforts is critical to showing one’s worth with key decision makers, but the abundance of data and methods can be overwhelming. Discover how to build a metrics road map to help track and communicate the value of your communications.

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Connecting the PR Dots: Effective Storytelling With Purpose

Learn how Florida’s Orange County, home to global tourism destination Orlando, engaged in a multifaceted and multilingual campaign, across a variety of platforms, using story arcs to ultimately create awareness, captivate and engage residents to impact behavioral change.

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The New Must-Have: Content Partnerships With Media

Discover how a health system partnered with traditional and digital media outlets to produce and distribute content to strengthen its brand, drive business and achieve results that can be replicated to enhance your brand, reach large numbers, gain public trust and drive business.

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Shareholder Activism: A Public Relations Perspective

Shareholder activism is at an all-time high. Investors are challenging corporations on a variety of issues, and public relations professionals are on the front lines dealing with activism. Explore theory-driven and practice-supported advice on managing activism issues.

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Mind the Gap: Women’s Leadership in Public Relations

Women comprise more than 75% of public relations professionals — yet just 20% are in leadership positions. Learn via research and personal stories how to improve gender equality, empower and place women into leadership roles, and produce results that improve employee diversity, inclusion and retention. 

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How do you successfully achieve leadership opportunities in public relations?

Learn about findings from new research of 50 women along with personal stories of women of color who have faced additional challenges when pursuing their own career advancement.

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Health Check: How the Blues Are Using Data to Tell Us About the Health of America

Explore the ways that BlueCross BlueShield Association leverages its data resource to communicate about health care issues and inspire dialogue around important topics that are top of mind for many Americans — including the opioid epidemic, mental health and childhood vaccinations.

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Practitioner to Professor: Bringing Your PR Experience to the Classroom

Thinking about a second career as a part-time or full-time faculty member? Public relations professionals can play invaluable roles in developing the next generation of public relations leaders through classroom careers. Learn about resources that help transition into teaching. 

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Reverse Case Study Model: An Analysis and Evaluation of Your Campaign Performance

Is hindsight really 20/20? Find out why the Reverse Case Study method of “reverse engineering” is a valuable tool to assess your communications campaigns and activities, develop critical thinking skills and provide new baselines for future work.

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