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Buyer Personas Deep Dive

Built from the real words of real buyers, a buyer persona reveals what prospective customers are thinking (and searching for) as they weigh their options to address a problem that your company resolves. Much more than a one-dimensional profile of the target market, actionable buyer personas provide the foundation for a well-built content and social media strategy rooted in research. They uncover insights about your buyers’ decision-making process — the specific attitudes, motivations and criteria that drive prospective customers to choose you, your competitor or the status quo. Join Lynne Kingsley, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Services at Ironmark, a strategic marketing and communications firm, in breaking down the process she takes with companies to design tailored content that speaks directly to their target growth segments.

Investment: PRSA Members $15; Guests $25

Lynne Kingsley, VP Strategic Services, Ironmark

Lynne has been generating growth for companies through digital marketing since 2003. With agency and client-side work under her belt, Lynne has diverse experience in both the B2B and B2C sectors with clients such as the U.S. Naval Academy, Homestead Gardens, Tate Engineering, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and more. Lynne works with clients daily on marketing programs at a strategic and directorial level, heads up all research and strategic marketing planning for Ironmark Digital Marketing. A certified inbound marketing professional, she is passionate about helping companies transform their marketing function into fully diversified yet streamlined growth engines.

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.

Important Update for APR Candidates

Here’s some great news for APR candidates!

There are now two ways to take the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). As of June 19, 2020, candidates have the option to take the APR exam either at a Prometric Testing Center or remotely through Prometric’s ProProctor application.

For a remote proctored exam, candidates must consent to being videotaped and supply their own laptop with camera, microphone, and internet connection. They must also be able to install a software application (“app”) prior to the test event. For information about both options, see www.prometric.com/pruab.

Additionally, if you are a candidate who is ready to give your Panel Presentation, PRSA Maryland can now administer virtual panel presentations using Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, or another virtual platform. If you are ready for one of these steps, or if you are interested in learning more about the APR, contact Dianna Fornaro, APR, at dfornaro@ceiwc.com or go to https://prsamd.org/apr/.

Never assume your crisis is over … until your audience says so!

We took a brief break from our #PRSAMDWeeklyChat only to come back on June 12 with PR pro Jeffrey Davis, APR, Managing Partner, Van Eperen! Jeff talked about the realities of crisis communications and why you need a solid plan to address Covid 2.0, our national conversation about racism and whatever awaits us in the “Next Normal.”

Listen below to full conversation below or read recap for highlights.

Highlights:

What is a crisis? Internally, a crisis is an event or a series of events which threaten the organization’s ability to achieve its mission. Externally, a crisis is an event or a series of events which put your organization’s values on trial in the court of public opinion.

Realities of a crisis: Your values will be communicated and will under public scrutiny. Remember that what you say must be reinforced by your behavior. Important publics (employees, media, competitors, neighbors, family, critics) are paying attention to you. Be ready with good messaging.

Basics of a crisis: Ask “what do you want people to think about you?” That you care, are doing something, and will prevent recurrence. That you are accountable and will be part of the solution. Have a solid messaging strategy that includes a media policy, prepared messaging platform procedures, trained/tested spokespeople. Tip:  When training spokespeople, practice with a series of Q&As that will prepare the spokesperson for the hardest questions imaginable. *Don’t train in the midst of a crisis! Crisis specifics make the news.

Tip: Journalists often put out calls for more information via social media. Be a part of the story; be prepared to answer those calls.

Initial statement: Don’t ignore the “window of opportunity.” Respond quickly. Your initial statement may be broad but make sure it is timely and be sure to address the key issues during this critical period. Tip: Don’t put the news media ahead of your own employees. They are your ambassadors and can help get the messaging out. Let your employees know what is going on. Tip: Organizations can be pulled into employee issues. If this happens, respond quickly.

Create a solid crisis communications plan that includes a mobile option allowing easy access to all. The mobile plan can be setup based on crisis levels vs. specific scenarios, i.e., Level 3 – Emergency event; Level 2 – Significate/threshold event; Level 1 – Major event. The plan should identify team members and their roles, current contact information, template statements, and social media passwords.

Crisis Management Best Practices:

  • Risk assessments – identify scenarios; plans using levels
  • Scheduled sessions to review plan
  • Regular updates to plan – internal team, external stakeholders, media/influence lists, contacts, templates, mobile version
  • Media/speaker training for primary spokespersons

 

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors

Thank You to Our Chapter Sponsors