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PRSA Maryland Virtual Conference, “Navigating the Next Normal”

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. Save these dates and watch for more soon!

Date/Time: Thursday, September 24, 8 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Friday, September 25, 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Investment: $50 for members and $60 for non-members
*Times are subject to change

Would you like to help shape the conference? Contact us!

A special thank you to our current sponsors … 

Conference Host

Design Team

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.

Is all trust lost? How to recover from a brand damaging crisis

Submitted by Jennifer Donahoe, PR & Social Media Account Director, Planit

On June 4, 2019, shocking and gruesome undercover video broke showing animal abuse at a dairy farm in Indiana where the popular milk brand Fairlife produces its milk.

Originally posted on social media, the video quickly went viral and national media and local media across every major market in the country covered the story. The words “horrifying,” “torture,” and “disturbing” became synonymous with the Fairlife brand.

The result? The brand’s perception was immediately damaged and public trust tanked, with customers banning the product, and chains such as Jewel-Osco, Casey’s Foods, Family Express and more pulled Fairlife milk from shelves. In response, not surprisingly, the “where to buy” section of Fairlife’s website was taken down.

As communicators, there’s a lot we can learn from this crisis. When Fairlife responded, how Fairlife responded, and most importantly, what Fairlife did in reaction to the crisis, will all be discussed on July 18 at PRSA Maryland’s conference session on How a Crisis Can Become an Opportunity.

You will learn:

  • How to prepare for a crisis
  • Rules of effective crisis response
  • What works – and what doesn’t work – in a crisis
  • Key messages to communicate, regardless of the crisis
  • The most important question to ask in a crisis
  • When to respond in a crisis

We’ll discuss all this and more, analyzing major recent crises to help you prepare for the foreseen – and unforeseen – so that your business or clients are ready no matter when or how a crisis strikes.

The reality is a crisis can happen at anytime to any company. If you’re ready to prepare and protect your client or brand, this session is for you.

Click here for more information on this session and more!

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors