March 2015 #NPPRSA Twitter Chat Highlights: Preparing for a Crisis

Twitter Chat 3-18 SquareWe’d like to thank everyone who participated in the March #NPPRSA Twitter chat as we discussed crisis communications–how to prepare and how to react.  We would especially like to thank Jonathan Bernstein, President of Bernstein Crisis Management.

Join us again on April 15 for our next #NPPRSA chat and stay up-to-date with PRSA New Professionals on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.

Review highlights of the chat below. What did you learn from the March chat? How can you prepare for your brand’s vulnerabilities before a crisis? What can you do to minimize damage once a crisis hits?


You can receive FREE New Professionals Section membership for PRSA throughout March!

Lauren Headshot 1.3MBLauren Rosenbaum is the PRSA New Professionals Social Media Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Soversity, a public relations and digital marketing company. You can connect with her on Google+LinkedIn or Twitter.

PRSA New Professionals Brown Bag: Evolution of the Prototype Marketer

The lines between marketing, public relations and technology departments are blurring, as digital platforms have revolutionized the way we communicate. Employers struggle to recruit and retain professionals qualified for positions that did not exist even three years ago.

The job market is changing, and new professionals need to change with it if they want to succeed in a new world of marketing. More and more, organizations are seeking hybrid professionals who are highly proficient writers, analytical, creative and tech savvy, with strong competencies in business, IT and human behavior.

The PRSA New Professionals Section invites you to join Paul Roetzer and Tracy Lewis of PR 20/20 on Monday, March 25 from 12 to 1 p.m. EST for a lively discussion highlighting how new professionals can become hybrids and keep their skills sharp in emerging core marketing disciplines such as email, mobile, analytics, social networking, web, search and content.

This brown bag seminar is free for New Pros Section members. It’s not too late to register here. We hope to see you there!


Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer) is founder and CEO of PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency; author of The Marketing Agency Blueprint (Wiley); and creator of Marketing Agency Insider—the hub for a more open and collaborative agency ecosystem—and Marketing Score—a free assessment tool and marketing intelligence engine.

Tracy Lewis (@Tracy_J_Lewis) is a consultant at PR 20/20 where she is involved with client services and account management activities. She is also the community manager for Marketing Agency Insider, the hub for a more open and collaborative agency ecosystem. She joined the agency in March 2009 after graduating from Ohio University, and is a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional. 

Lessons from PRSA International Conference: A New Professional’s Perspective

The last time I attended PRSA International Conference in 2010, I was convinced that I needed (and wanted) to join Twitter after sitting in on so many compelling social media sessions. Joining Twitter when I did was one of the best decisions I made in my early career. On my way to San Francisco last month, I couldn’t wait to see what the 2012 conference would have in store for me.

In a three-day whirlwind, I furiously monitored Twitter feeds, filled numerous pages with notes (am I the only one who still takes handwritten notes?) and even had time to kick back and socialize with industry peers. The conference flew by, and my brain was on overload on my flight back to Chicago. I was excited about all the new tips and tricks I was going to implement right after conference, but once the overflowing inboxes and pressing deadlines kicked into my routine again, it would be easy to forget everything I learned and go back to doing things the way they’ve always been done.

Even though a month has passed since conference, a few key takeaways made a lasting impression on me. Here’s what I’m still thinking about four weeks later:

Content is king: One of the themes across many sessions and keynotes was that traditional sales-y press releases and marketing speak are no longer tolerated, by either the media or consumers. The key to achieving great results for PR campaigns is developing and sharing relevant content targeted to your audience. The question “So what?” has never been more important.

When the spreading of information is placed in the hands of the public—not just the media—content can cause your communications to sink or swim. Newsletters, images, tweets, blog posts and videos should all be developed with the audience in mind, making sure to show what’s in it for the consumer when spending their precious time on your communications. Provide interesting content and both consumers and the media will keep coming back to your brand for more.

Social media should supplement, not replace: Tim Westergren, keynote speaker and founder/chief strategy officer of Pandora, mentioned in his general session that social media would never replace his town hall meetings or personalized emails to Pandora users. Other presenters echoed his sentiments that social media is a great tool, but it’s not a strategy and should not be the lone tool in your toolbox.

Even the Conference committee realized that social media is no substitute for in-person networking and relationship-building and hosted a tweetup (my first!) for attendees, allowing us to meet face-to-face with other PR professionals we follow on Twitter, as well as make new connections. Being able to speak with other professionals in sound bites longer than 140 characters was an irreplaceable opportunity to make more meaningful impressions.

Don’t rest on social media alone to converse with your audience and provide relevant content for their use. You might be missing out on great chances to connect.

Passion drives success: Both Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and keynote speaker at Conference, and Westergren made one point clear—passion and belief in their business was the driving force behind their success.

As new professionals, we may not always have the privilege of working in an industry for which we have a specific passion. The truth is, because of the economy many of us are either still looking for positions or are working in positions that might not get us jazzed every morning. Maybe you love sports, but you’re interning at a local hospital, or you’re working for a corporation and long to be involved with political campaigns.

However, if we can learn anything from Stone and Westergren, it’s that the passion for what we do will determine our success. If you focus on your dedication to pitching reporters, keeping up with social media trends and providing the best results for your organization or client, you will succeed in your career. If you have a great idea, don’t give up on it. Dedicate yourself to PR and your goals.

I know I really do love PR, I love learning and I love when I achieve top-tier media coverage for a client. It’s all interconnected.


Who else attended PRSA International Conference? What else would you add? What did you learn?


Heather SliwinskiHeather Sliwinski is an account executive at KemperLesnik, a Chicago-based public relations agency, providing media relations and social media services to a variety of B2B clients. She has held positions in marketing and event planning for corporations, nonprofits and higher education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications with an emphasis in strategic communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sliwinski is the blog co-chair for the PRSA New Professionals Section. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Professional Devleopment Brown Bag: “What PR Bosses Wish Their New PR Pros Would Do But Won’t Tell Them” with Michael Smart

All of us have different relationships with our bosses. Many new professionals hear from their bosses more than they’d like, while others may not hear from them enough. Some can walk into their boss’s office anytime to ask a question, while others need to get on their schedule and prepare a little bit to speak with their boss. Regardless of where your relationship with your boss falls, one thing is true – your boss is not telling you everything he/she appreciates or wishes you wouldn’t do at work.

Our next New Professionals Section Brown Bag features someone who has not only worked with countless PR executives, but has also mentored several successful young pros (who have gone on to Edelman, Waggener Edstrom, Fleishman-Hilliard and Harvard Business School). In working with these PR executives, Michael Smart has often heard them rant and rave about their young employees. Now he’s here to share it with us – the good and the bad – in our upcoming Brown Bag, “What PR Bosses Wish Their New PR Pros Would Do But Won’t Tell Them.”

Don’t miss it! Join us Monday, June 11 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. EDT. Register here.

Michael SmartMichael Smart teaches PR professionals a smarter way to get PR results. He’s regularly the highest-rated speaker at the industry’s largest conferences, including the PRSA International Conference last year. He has trained more than 4,000 communicators from Frankfurt to Bangkok how to land top-tier media coverage. Smart also coaches communications execs at companies ranging from Fortune 200 firms, such as Aflac and GlaxoSmithKline, to mid-sized companies and PR agencies. Follow him on Twitter.

The Brown Bag is only available to New Professional Section members.

Professional Development Webinar: “Career Fitness: How to Build Lasting Success at Work” with Peter Weddle

Remember that New Year’s resolution you made a few months ago to get in shape? When’s the last time you evaluated the shape of your career? If you haven’t lately, you should. Think about it: All aspects of our jobs are constantly changing and evolving, from the technology to the customers.

What can you do to keep up and stay ahead of the crowd? Practice “career fitness.”

Career fitness can help you increase your paycheck and your happiness at work. It includes several career-building activities that can be used to not only advance your career, but also clear a path to nonstop success. Join us for our webinar on Thurs., April 12 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST. It’s free for New Pros Section members!

You’ll learn:

  • How employers’ expectations of workers are changing and what that means for you
  • The key principles for effective career self-management in today’s hyper-kinetic workplace
  • How to set goals that will keep your career moving forward, even in difficult economic times
  • The seven facets of a healthy career and the best activities for developing each of them
  • How to recognize and record your career accomplishments so they work for you

How can you reach peak career fitness? Register here!


Peter WeddlePeter Weddle, author and Wall Street Journal columnist, is CEO of WEDDLE’s Research & Publications, which specializes in employment and workforce issues. WEDDLE’s guides to Internet employment sites are the gold standard of their genre, leading the American Staffing Association to call Weddle the “Zagat of the online employment industry.” His most recent books, “The Career Activist Republic” and “Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System,” offer a frank, yet positive, assessment of the challenges and opportunities available to working men and women in 21st century America.