The annual Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) conference is aimed at bringing together industry professionals to learn from each other, hear from those that led the way and get equipped with the most effective tools and resources to adapt to the ever-evolving trends. 

PRSA ICON 2019 in San Diego focused on diversity, leadership, and integrity. The event brought together one of the largest turnouts, with close to 2,000 attendees. Members and sponsors learned about finding the leader within yourself, remembering brand values during a crisis, and that authenticity is king. 

Power of Looking Within 

The keynote speakers included former President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, world-famous international journalists, Laura Ling and Bob Woodward, and actor/comedian, Richard Dreyfuss. Each had the opportunity to capture the room of hundreds of people. The most common theme among all speeches? Leadership. These industry leaders exposed their paths to success; how listening to themselves and the leader within them allowed each to create movement against resistance.

We all know that change is inevitable, and the world of public relations is seeing it now. In a world where anyone has the ability to tell a story, the spread of information is faster than ever before. Trust is becoming harder to find, it’s the Public Relations and Communications professionals duty to rise up, find the leader in themselves, and act with the duty to do the right thing. 

Welcome to the World of Diversity 

Last year, the topic came up that there is not enough diversity and inclusion in the industry, which clearly triggered organizers to have “Diversity and Inclusion” as a subject for over 10 breakout sessions. 

PRSA organizers are encouraging people to make this an integral subject to many professional conversations with the Diversity Inclusion awards.  

Crisis Communications…a familiar word in our industry

Crisis communications is certainly not a new development since the age of social media. PR professionals and communicators have had to navigate sticky, unwanted, and often dangerous situations since the beginning of its existence. However, what’s changing is the way we respond and what the strategy is behind the communication in crisis. 

Whether it’s identifying who your key stakeholders are, or keeping relationships with journalists strong, it’s important to maintain the integrity of your brand values when in a time of crisis. 

Animal Therapy… and PR 

What happens when you get a sloth, kangaroo, and porcupine on stage at a Public Relations conference? A lot of tweets (58 to be exact). 

It’s been proven that animals can have a resounding effect on individuals who are healing from a mental or physical impairment and San Diego Zoo took to the stage to prove it. They ran through their program through the zoo that works with children to showcase the “Healing Power of Animals”. 

Was it a coincidence that they placed this at the end of the 3-day conference? 

Overall, the conference never ceases to impress first-timers, keeps legacy members coming back year after year, and invites vendors to showcase their latest product developments that emerge alongside the trends of PR. 

A big thanks to PRSA for another great conference. We can’t wait to see you in Nashville next year!