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PRSA Maryland Virtual Conference, “Navigating the Next Normal”

Image courtesy of Devaney & Associates

Registration is closed. Registrants should have received an email with login instructions. If you have registered but have not received your instructions, please email us. *Be sure to check your spam filter before notifying us. 

As PR pros, planning for the unexpected is what we do. But this is 2020, a year dominated by a pandemic, protests and politics – and unimaginable challenges for the world, the economy, and the industry.

What will post-pandemic PR and marketing look like? How should organizations respond to and address issues raised by protests? How do communications teams and content managers position their messages to participate authentically in the greater conversation and attract media coverage? What are the latest techniques to reach and engage audiences? And, how do we remain inspired and maintain our stamina?

These are some of the topics we’ll explore together in PRSA Maryland’s 2020 virtual conference “Navigating the Next Normal.” Scheduled over two half days, the conference will feature a professional moderator to ensure everything runs smoothly. Our committee is hard at work putting together energizing and engaging sessions that will get you thinking and give you the tools you need. We will also offer incredible sponsorship packages that provide exposure beyond the event.

Click here to see who’s on the program!

Click here for a pdf of the program including session descriptions and speaker bios.

Date/Time (subject to change): Thursday, September 24, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Friday, September 25, 1 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Investment: $50 for members and $60 for non-members
Platform: Zoom Meeting*

*Instructions for accessing the conference will be sent via email to all registrants. Please email us by COB Wednesday if you do not receive.

*PRSSA Chapters are invited to attend the conference for the group rate of $100 per chapter. Register below using “PRSSAChapter_2020Conference” ticket option or download printable form. Questions? Send us an email for more information

A special thank you to our current sponsors … 

Official Sponsor

Design Team

Experience Sponsor

The pandemic, protests and politics shape PRSA Maryland’s 2020 fall virtual conference, “Navigating the Next Normal”

Kathleen Koch, former CNN correspondent, and Jardena London of Souls@Work to keynote

The past year has taken “planning for the unexpected” to a whole new level as the pandemic, protests and politics continue to bring unimaginable challenges to the world, the economy and the communications profession. This will be the focus of the Public Relations Society of America Maryland Chapter’s (PRSA MD) 43rd annual conference “Navigating the Next Normal,” a completely digital event taking place Sept. 24-25, 2020.

Highlights include keynote addresses from former CNN correspondent and crisis communications leader Kathleen Koch and Jardena London, an agile transformation consultant and founder of Souls@Work. Sessions will also explore:

  • Social media marketing in a post-COVID-19 world;
  • How to respond to and address issues raised by protests;
  • How organizations can effectively discuss diversity, equity and inclusion;
  • The latest techniques to reach and engage audiences;
  • Corporate social responsibility and “corporate personhood;” and
  • How to remain inspired and maintain your stamina.

“Navigating the Next Normal” is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 24, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sept. 25. More details on featured speakers as well as the full conference lineup will be announced soon. The fee is $50 for PRSA members and $60 for non-members. Registration information and additional details can be found at https://prsamd.org/event/prsa-maryland-virtual-conference-navigating-the-next-normal/.

Koch spent most of her career as a journalist, starting as a reporter on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and ending as a Peabody Award-winning network television White House correspondent. She left the news business in 2009 and wrote Rising from Katrina, the prize-winning bestseller about the recovery of her Bay St. Louis, Miss. hometown from Hurricane Katrina. Koch led a nationwide letter-writing campaign to encourage the survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan before turning her attention to aiding in disasters at home by creating LeadersLink.

Jardena London’s life mission is to help organizations become healthy, productive and fun. She is the founder of Souls@Work, a movement to create workplaces that give us energy and nourish our souls. As an agile transformation consultant, she works with leadership teams on Enterprise Business Agility. Her most recent successes have been transforming large legacy organizations into modern workplaces with breakout results. She has also served as co-founder and CEO of Rosetta Technology Group since 1997.  Check out her blogtoon on workplaces that thrive at www.rosettatg.com/blogtoon.

Conference sponsors include Chesapeake Employees Insurance and Devaney & Associates (graphic design), with additional sponsorship opportunities still available. Approximately 125 communications professionals are expected to attend.

Capitol Communicator’s The Communicator Summit

Proud Partner of the 2019 Communicator Summit!

This re-envisioned summit replaces MAMS that has been hosted in Baltimore for the past six years. The Communicator Summit will be more Baltimore-centric and will represent the convergence of all disciplines that comprise the profession of communications such as advertising, marketing, public relations, media, graphic design and production products and services. The prior summit, MAMS, brought together 300+ CMOs, Senior Marketers, Agency Professionals and Technology Executives from throughout the Mid-Atlantic area. Communicator Summit Baltimore will have programming for a broader range of communications professionals.

Communicator Summit is produced by Capitol Communicator, the media and events company serving the greater mid-Atlantic region’s community of advertising, marketing, public relations, production and communications services professionals.

Click here for more information and to register.

*PRSA Maryland Chapter members are entitled to a 15% discount on registration. Use promo code “PRSA-M” at registration.

Working to Continue with a Bold PR Future – Conference Recap

by Lisa Brusio Coster, Chapter President

It was a dog day of summer and the conference did not wilt under the heat. While NDMU did its best to keep us cool, 72 attendees at this year’s PRSA Maryland conference networked and learned new ideas and skills from our panelists and presenters. (To see details on the presenters, see the conference agenda here.)

In the opening panel on Changing Baltimore’s Narrative, we heard about the “Charm City Three-Step” – how Baltimore takes one step forward only to take two steps back. We were reminded Baltimore has a brand perception problem and we need to come together on a common theme. It was a deep, intelligent discussion with a few opposing views and in the end, a 15-minute Idea Lab was implemented for problem-solving, which allowed each table of attendees to work within specific parameters.

Afterwards, there were so many strong ideas expressed, PRSA Maryland decided to create a task force of sorts to take the lead on re-branding Baltimore. More to come on that concept, but initially, the goal will be to invite other PR, communications, marketing, and advertising organizations into the fold to accomplish the task.

Six sessions were held throughout the day, which covered diversity in internal communications, podcasting, public affairs, storytelling, niche audiences, and crisis. 

In the podcasting session, we learned the podcast audience is highly educated with high income and that most listeners fall between the ages of 25 – 34. During the storytelling session, we were told stories are the currency of human life. We were encouraged to find a way to blend informal and formal stories.

In crisis communications, we heard we must maintain trust with our stakeholders and whether you are viewed as caring is the single biggest predictor of how you are perceived after a crisis. In internal communications, we were counseled to expand our communications styles and platforms for various audiences and add our preferred pronouns to our email signatures. We were also reminded how important it is to have conversations with people with viewpoints different from our own.

In developing content for millennial black mothers, we heard how influential this audience is in terms of brand perception and buying power. And, in public affairs (PA) bootcamp we learned that while both PR and PA professionals represent organizations, PA is strictly related to the political, legislative, and government function, and closely related to lobbying. Some of the pressing challenges for PA practitioners revolves around crisis communications and risk management strategies.

Our day wrapped up with a panel presenting Towson University’s (TU) re-branding campaign. The TU staff took us down the path of research through implementation, covering an 18-month process. While they couldn’t share their budget with us, one of the best takeaways was that brand ambassadors include faculty and staff; hence, that internal audience required a communications strategy that culminated with a roll-out presentation long before the external audience was informed. We were also reminded logos are not brands and key messages are not tag lines.

Events like these are not possible without financial and in-kind support, over and above our attendees’ fees. Once again, we thank our sponsors: Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, The Bozzuto Group, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Researchscape, Coster Communications, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, Megan Evans Photography, and Quandra Gray for design.

2019 PRSA Maryland Annual Conference

Online Registration is closed. Please register onsite or email us at info@prsamd.org. Late fees will apply.

Thursday, July 18 | 7:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Notre Dame of Maryland University

Truth. Transparency. Authenticity. The push to do business and communicate in a more open and transparent way.

Today’s consumers want more in their purchasing choices than a great product or service. Whether it’s shoes or eye glasses, luggage or even ice cream, the soul and character of an organization carry just as much weight.

What’s all this got to do with public relations? Turns out, pretty much everything. We’ll open our day with a deep dive on this issue through the lens of our city, Baltimore. We’ll discuss how to address and apply the demand for transparency in our work as a public relations professional.

Then, take those aha’s into a series of sessions on key PR topics. How can we live a mantra of transparency in the daily tasks of PR?

A day of education and networking event. Plus the chance to catch up with old acquaintances and make new ones. The conference is a must-attend program for those seeking new insights and perspectives on the latest industry trends. 

Click here to see what’s on the program!

Investment (includes continental breakfast, break & lunch. Plus free parking)
PRSA Member: $219 (includes late fee)
Guest: $269.00  (includes late fee)
Student: $95.00 (includes late fee)
*Registration fees increase $20 7/16/2019

Parking and where to go:
Parking is free. We recommend using the Homeland Avenue entrance for easiest access. The parking lot is to the left past the Playing Field and Tennis Courts. Note that there are steps from the parking lot leading up to Doyle Hall, just follow the signs. There will be a shuttle available 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. for those that don’t wish or can’t make the climb. Click here for campus map.

Handicapped spaces are available next to Doyle and there is a drop off area directly in front of Doyle. Please let us know at info@prsamd.org if you will need assistance.

Multi-Staff Discount available! Send 3 or more staff from the same organization and receive $20 off each registration (student fee not eligible for discount). Please click here for Multi-discount Registration Form.

A special thank you to our sponsors …

PILLAR OF TRUTH
Program Sponsor

George Washington Cherry Tree
Lunch Sponsor

George Washington Cherry Tree
Lunch Sponsor

Honest Abe
Breakfast Sponsor

Reliable Source
Break Sponsor

Reliable Source
Break Sponsor

Design

Photography

Want to showcase your brand in front of Maryland PR pros? Sign up to be a Conference sponsor. Several levels available.

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors