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Notes from PRSSA PR Advanced Conference March 29, 2008

Posted by Amy in Social Media.
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What an impressive job by BU & Simmons PRSSA putting on the PR Advanced Conference today. Great event & great speakers, & it was nice to see such a good turnout. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about if new & social media is really getting taught in the schools enough, but this day was very encouraging. I think a lot of students really do “get it.” It’s a really exciting time in our industry & it’s much better that the top talent are getting into it.

Anyway, attended as a sponsor representing Schneider, but I’m glad I was able to attend all day & hear the great sessions by David Meerman Scott, Jason Glashow from Fleishman-Hillard, Greg Peverill-Conti (@gregpc) from Weber Shandwick & of course, Rick Murray (@rickmurray) from Edelman.

Some take-aways I got from their sessions:

  • It’s not about the technology. Heard this over & over. I really think this is what a lot of people get stuck on…social media isn’t an item on a check-list. It shouldn’t be you have to do a Twitter campaign or Facebook page. You need to know where the conversation about your brand is & go there.
  • Control was the other big theme. Social media sometimes means giving up a little control. Jason Glashow said PR people have always specialized in uncontrolled media–that’s the difference between PR & advertising (but the lines are blurring as PR turns more to content producers). Rick Murray said clients don’t want to think they’re not in control (of what’s being said about their brand), but they aren’t.
  • As Jason Glashow put it, at the end of the day, we are still telling stories. The only thing that’s changed is where we’re telling them. And if you tell a good story, it doesn’t really matter where you’re telling it or to who.
  • My favorite quote from today, from Greg Peverill-Conti: “Executives should only be allowed to blog if they can be trained to have a personality again.”
  • Thought the discussion on what people going into these companies need to know about social media was interesting, especially since this was a conference for students. As Rick Murray put it, the traditional PR people hiring people like us are scared of us. They are scared to ask us all these questions that they themselves don’t know the answer to. But there’s a great opportunity for young PR professionals now because, as Rick said, these agencies are realizing that PR as we know it is becoming obsolete…& the easiest way to stay current is to change the culture by hiring people like us who “get it.”

If you missed Rick’s talk, Amanda Mooney will be posting video later.

Finally, it was great to see my colleagues, @AmandaMooney, @WillWheeler, @SarahHutton, @MariaGarcia, @LauraNelson, @MsCharlotte & @D_Sullivan there, along with soon-to-be colleague, @pamelump. It was a lot of fun, although Twittering from my pathetic regular cell phone today really reinforced the need for me to get a Blackberry, like, yesterday…or second-gen iPhone?

Hey, I can dream.

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Comments»

1. Digital Natives Attend PRSSA Goes 2.0 Conference in Boston « American Shelf Life - March 31, 2008

[…] posted her takeaways here. I posted as many as I could on my Twitter […]

2. Biana - March 31, 2008

It was great to meet you at the conference on Saturday. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. I also thought that line from Greg PC was really funny and am glad to hear I wasn’t the only one laughing at that joke. Although I was probably the loudest; I usually am. I think regular cell phone users with crazy long to do lists should unite in our lameness and then quickly abandon this union as soon as we can afford smartphones.

3. Amy - March 31, 2008

Hi Biana,
Heh. Yep, I used to think it was cool to have a tiny, thin phone, but as it turns out, it just makes me outdated & disconnected. 😉

My colleagues at SA & I all had a great time & thought the event was so impressive. Congrats to your chapters on a great day!

Thanks for the comment.
-Amy

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