Along with four PRSA colleagues and friends, including Pam Fultz, Cindi Withorn, Judy Bricker and Russell Tuff, I attended keynote presentations and breakout sessions at the 2019 PRSA International Convention (ICON) in San Diego. With the theme of “Inspire, Innovate, Engage & Influence,” ICON started Sunday morning with a keynote from Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author and Washington Post Reporter Bob Woodward.

Mr. Woodward and many others discussed the importance of a free press, factual reporting and keeping an open mind about opposing views. He and other speakers suggested we all improve our listening skills and carry on civil conversations as a way to combat today’s divisive public commentary. Another theme reinforced throughout the conference was about building relationships with reporters, peers in your industry and community and organization leaders. Step away from technology and grab a cup of coffee to help you better understand the world around you and create connections that will serve you throughout your career and your lifetime.

Frank X. Shaw, Corporate VP of Communication with Microsoft, weaved a well-constructed presentation about various periods of time that have impacted how we communicate. He shared his philosophy that as communicators, we must relentlessly pursue the truth (facts).

Perhaps one of the other enlightening trends is around data. While Marketing leaders have built their strategic and tactical plans around measuring results and proving value to an organization, PR and communication professionals are now expected to do the same. Several workshops addressed how to measure impact of social media and other communication tools used to achieve objectives for your organization.

Congratulations to Pam Fultz, APR, who was selected to present a “pitch” to a media panel in a breakout session call “Pitch Tank.” Pam’s presentation about the Vi at Bentley Village “cake lady” was well received and may have garnered an opportunity for national exposure.

I look forward to seeing you at the evening Holiday Social on December 3, featuring former CBS News Correspondent Bob Orr and CNN’s first anchor, Denise LeClair Cobb.

Best wishes,

Julie Pedretti, FACHE, APR, President

Key messages and Trends, Highlights at ICON in San Diego