A New Pro’s Guide to #PRSAICON in Washington D.C.

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403 x 403(1)The annual PRSA International Conference is just a few weeks away from October 11-14 in Washington D.C.! The theme this year is “Leading the Way. A fearless future for PR.”

You may be so busy meeting up with old PRSSA and PRSA friends or old colleagues that you might not have time to plan out what sessions to attend once you get there. The time to check out and plan out sessions is now.

To start, there are five tracks you can follow, which include:

  1. Integration
  2. Tools and techniques
  3. Specialization
  4. Strategy and Measurement
  5. Leadership and Management

Or you can pick your own path. I suggest looking at the tracks first to see if you’re interested in one, but there are so many sessions to pick from you might want sessions around a variety of topics.

Here is a list I’ve put together of sessions/events I think will be particularly useful for new professionals:

When: October 11 from 5-8 pm
Where: Marriott Foyer Mezzanine
Hosted by the PRSA Diversity Committee and sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company

  • Newcomers Orientation

When: October 12 from 10-11 am
Where: Washington 3/4
Why attend: This is a newcomers orientation for first-time attendees so you can connect with and get tips from veterans and learn all the opportunities/events you can attend.

When: October 12 from 3-4:15 pm
Where: Virginia A/B
Track: Leadership and Management
Why attend: It can be hard to work with different generations, we all know that. This session will show you ways to create a team and a results culture that spans the ages, as well as hear ideas and approaches to managing, motivating and mentoring across multiple generations.

  • New Pros Mixer!

When: October 12 from 5:30 to 9 pm
Where: Mission Restaurant in Dupont Circle
Why attend: Join the PRSA New Professionals for a happy hour New Pros Mixer on Sunday to network and meet up with New Professionals attending PRSAICON. RSVP here.

When: October 13 from 10-11:15 am
Where: Coolidge
Track: Strategy and Measurement
Why attend: Learn how to track and evaluate media coverage, measure public opinion, and shape internal and external perceptions during critical communications campaigns, crisis events and product launches.

When: October 13 from 3:15-4:30 pm
Where: Maryland C
Track: Integration
Why attend: This session is hosted by the New Professionals Section. It will cover how to become a hybrid PR professional in order to lead more successful, integrated campaigns and will also identify skills and traits optimized for the digital age.

When: October 14 from 8-9:15 am
Where: Maryland A/B
Track: Specialization
Why attend: Expectations of a career in PR really differs from the reality of a practitioner’s everyday life. This session will discuss strategies to manage expectations and learn how to face challenges of the work-life fit.

Other things to check out:

  • The exhibit hall
  • Mentoring with the College of Fellows
  • Demystifying to APR on October 12 from 11 am to 12 pm
  • Reigniting AT&T’s Engaging with the LGBT Community on October 13 from 10-11:15 am
  • 11 Deadly Presentation Sins on October 14 from 2:15-3:30 pm

There are many more sessions to check out, these are just a few that stood out for new professionals (in my opinion). Make sure you look at the full International Conference program for more sessions, events, coffee breaks, trainings and boot camps.

Comment below if you want to plug a session or if you see another you think new professionals should attend!


0114bd7Lauren Gray is a Project Manager at The Visual Brand in Westport, CT and also serves as the PRSA New Professionals Section blog co-chair and PRSA New York new professionals co-chair. She also served as the PRSSA 2012-2013 National President. Follow her on Twitter @laurenkgray and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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