PR Niblets

Friday, October 22, 2010

I went to the PRSA International Conference and all I got was a new sense of community…

Trust me, it was much better than a t-shirt! The 2010 PRSA International Conference, hosted by the D.C. Chapter, was an overload of information on all things PR, marketing and social media. Taking place from Oct. 17-19 at the Washington Hilton – fun fact: it’s also known as the “Hinckley Hilton” because Ronald Reagan was shot there by John Hinckley – the conference was an intense three days of keynote speakers, workshops, sessions and networking events.

Overall, it was very successful, I learned several new lessons, discussed many interesting topics from ethics to RFPs, and made some great connections (the last one is a given when you put a bunch of PR people in a room together). But of all the workshops and sessions I sat in (the total count was eight or nine), one major theme stuck out to me: Building your community.

It doesn’t matter how you build your community – platforms are agnostic. Whether email, snail mail, events, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., you need to have a strategic plan and mission for your company’s public relations efforts.

PRSA proved this in the outreach to attendees throughout the conference. Between QR code games, tweet ups, live tweetchats, Facebook pages and mobile applications (basically everything but Wi-Fi was available), we were able to connect with the organization and our peers in almost every way possible.

Communities are the reason that we all travelled to D.C. by plane, train or automobile, in the first place…to connect with a community of like professionals and share useful information to better ourselves and our business practices. If it wasn’t for communities, social media wouldn’t exist…we’d still be hanging out in AOL chat rooms or doing three-way calls with our colleagues and friends. We should all thank jebus that technology is advancing so quickly nowadays! And no matter what, we should not get overwhelmed by all of it. We have to come to the realization that we’ll never be one step ahead of the next Twitter or Foursquare – we just need to do what is best for our businesses right now.

Since I would never be able to recap all of the amazing info that was shared, check out #prsa_ic for tweets from and about the conference. And visit Feintuch Communications on Facebook for photos and videos from my trip to D.C.!