Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 #PRSA Southwest District Conference on Speed Dial

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of participating in and speaking at the 2010 PRSA Southwest District Conference in Oklahoma City. First off, great conference and huge kudos and thanks to the committee and Oklahoma City Chapter of PRSA for being such gracious hosts.

Image by 1980Andrew
Dale Chihuly's blown glass sculpture
at Oklahoma City's Museum of Art
Here are the PR take-aways and conference quick bites that struck me as being important:
  • The Roaming Gnome is apparently very popular.
  • So is OKC Mayor Mick Cornett and he's a much better speaker.
  • To make an exit all you you need is an NBA mascot create a diversion.
  • Your network is your net worth.
  • The conference hashtag was #prsasw10.
  • Blown glass is awesome!
 Your Network is Your Net Worth
  • Ari B. Adler wants us to remember LSP (Listen, Share, and Participate).
  • Careers are now landscapes, not paths.
  • Create (join) a community before you need it.
  • Be an information hub.
  • Mentor, mentee, repeat.
 Message Management & Communicating During a Crisis
  • John Deveney advises that during crisis having a proactive and rapid response communication plans are vital.
  • Sometimes you can't get all of the facts before a story breaks.
  • You need 3rd party advocates during a crisis.
  • Crisis communications: Communicate frequently and make sure you are reliable.
  • Secure your position as trusted source.
  • You must be quick to establish who is involved and who is in charge.
  • Don't discount or short-change local news, they know you.
  • Most of the time some people know you; during a crisis, a lot of people are going to meet you.
  • Spokespeople need to feel what they say.
  • During interviews, pauses are the toughest, but best tip.
The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business 
  • Tara Hunt @missrogue says your Social Media strategy won't save you.
  • Be happy social media is complicated because it makes our jobs much more interesting.
  • Think people-centric business that serves existing customers.
  • Concentrating on customer happiness; "enthusiasts" are far greater than "influencers."
  • Whuffie: reputation, trust, reach, positive sentiment, influence, # of people you know, # of people who know you, reciprocity, and known accomplishments.
Rebuilding, Recapturing and Retaining Stakeholder Trust
  • Alan Hilburg, APR and Margaret Ritsch reminds us that communication is about listening.
  • A brand is the trust consumers put into products or services.
  • It's about what someone feels not about what they think.
  • Ask yourself, what are you a protagonist for?
  • Data --> Information --> Knowledge --> Wisdom
  • Culture is the environment in which we make decisions.
Relationships Matter: How to Develop Relationships with The Media To Generate Ongoing Press Coverage
  • Margo Mateas paints a picture of failed media pitches because PR people irritate reporters and our information is often (90% of the time) ineffective and irrelevent.
  • Stop doing stupid things like failing to research the target media outlet.
  • 97% of media relations is preparation. We need to work smarter.
  • Understand a reporter's point of view.
  • Story origami: twist, fold, turn, bend, and turn it into something that benefits their audience.
  • Use an "Editor's Filter" - Summary statement, Why should I care? Are you credible? Call to action.
  • PR people get lost in the unimportant details when we have about 10 seconds to connect.
  • Give them what they need in the way they need it to develop the relationship.
  • Remember to front-load your e-mail pitches with relevant keywords and phrases.
  • Try this when working with a reporter: "Tell me what kind of stories you are looking for so I can help you."
  • You have to be real with reporters, be yourself, be casual, and be direct. Don't waste their time.
These are just a sample of the nuggets of information that I took from the conference. It was great connecting with some new and old friends. The conference title lived up to it's tagline: Your Network is Your Net Worth.
If you were at the conference, I'd love to get your thoughts on these or other sessions. If you couldn't make it, I hope you find something relevant in the post. Either way, the comments are yours.