Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the 2015 PRSA International Conference in Atlanta. The three-day event was a great experience to network with more than 2,000 other communications professionals from across the world while hearing from some outstanding industry leaders. The theme of the conference was PoweRful Connections, and the conference provided just that. Here are some of the things I learned from my time in Atlanta:
Drive the content machine – No matter the client or industry, if you want to get more media attention, create and drive your own engaging content. Content can be anything from blogs and news releases, to newsletters, podcasts, white papers and infographics. There’s a huge benefit to cultivating your own content – company blogs that post content regularly generate 67 percent more leads than companies who don’t. Get visual with your content as well – blog posts that incorporate visuals drive 180 percent more engagement than those that don’t.
Create a “pillow of good news” – In today’s 24 hour news cycle, it is inevitable that an unfriendly story will come out about a client. I attended a session that discussed the importance of regularly feeding the media with stories with good news about your client to create a “pillow of good news.” If you’ve created this pillow with the media and their audiences and there is a less friendly story that comes about, it won’t make as loud of a “thud” with the media.
Grant extreme trust by getting personal – We interact with countless people every day in some way, shape or form. One of the conference keynotes, James Kane, was an expert in what makes a person loyal, whether it’s to a brand, another person, a cause or an organization. He covered the difference between trust and loyalty and how too often we make people earn our trust when we should be giving them trust and confidence from the get-go to avoid creating divides between teams and coworkers. As humans, we crave inclusion and to connect with similar people, so in the workplace we should focus more on what makes us similar and less on what’s different. To build a stronger team, get to know each of the people you work with to learn what’s important to them.
Overall, it was a great event that allowed me to meet with others in our industry to hear about the awesome things other PR professionals are doing for their clients and organizations. If you work in PR, I highly recommend attending a PRSA International Conference at some point in your career – you won’t regret it!