PR pros take over Detroit: The PRSA International Conference

It was a cold few days outside on the streets of Detroit, but the inside of the GM Renaissance Center was hot hot hot with talk of connecting from bottom up, social media, and other public relations trends. The conference opened up with Detroit’s newest Mayor, Kenneth Cockrel Jr. needing a little PR help of his own. Apparently his speechwriter or PR pro forgot to tell him the organization is P-R-S-A not PRISA like he pronounced it. 

Day one was highlighted by Craig Newmark’s speech (founder of Craig’s List) about how he’s just a normal guy who believes in customer service and peer to peer communications. I was one of the many who thought we were getting lunch and was then starving at 5 p.m. after all the sessions. That night, there was a great reception. Day 26 performed, but I didn’t listen to them at all. It was a great opportunity to meet many people, both professional and students since PRSSA was also hosting their conference at the same time. 

The next day was filled with professional development workshops where I learned a lot. Some of the workshops I took were bridging the generational gap, The transformation of PR in higher education, how bulletproof is your crisis plan, and What’s the ROI on your press release? Let’s just say I have pages of notes to go through sometime soon.

Instead of going into extreme detail about everything, I want to note the other keynote speakers were Bob Lutz, GM’s vice chairman, global product development, Mitch Albom, author and sports columnist, Penelope Trunk, author, and Lou Capozzi, APR, Business for Diplomatic Action board member 

All in all it was a great experience. Good connections were made, lessons were learned, and cases were studied.

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