This year’s PRConsultants Group Conference rallied 32 PR pros from around the country in Kansas City for professional development, networking, and some CSI (Communication Strategies and Innovation) fun.  Conference Chairs Alex Greenwood, Barb Harris, and Sharon Kreher, along with a committee*, planned 2+ jam packed days of seminars, meals at local KC hot spots, and a Mystery “Who Dunnit” dinner where members took on “identities” from the roaring ‘20s to compete to find out “who killed Ed Malone.”

All in good fun, and keeping with the CSI crime theme, the conference was a killer success!

Sessions along with some interesting highlights include…

  • Tech Tools – a conference staple, where members get up to date on the latest technology can offer to boost success and creativity by members Julie Dennehy and Toni Antonetti – Have you made a word cloud with Tagxedo yet?  Very quick way to make a word visual.  ToutApp’s video demos a powerful way to accomplish email marketing.
  • The Profit in Non-Profits – Houston member Jen Evans presented the latest trends and opportunities in the world of cause-related marketing
  • Keeping PR Out of the Police Lineup – Mike Brown of Brainzooming discussed why product launches fail
  • Investigating PR in a Multi-Media Age – Arkansas member Natalie Ghidotti and documentary filmmaker Jeff Dailey showed through award-winning videos how compelling a story can be when you let others tell it.
  • No Such Thing as a Free Consultation – Casey Coffman of the Sandler Sales Institute gave members a primer in sales success and outlined the psychology of selling.
  • Making the Transition from Traditional Media to Digital – Eileen Gaffen from Kansas City-based Hallmark, presented a case study in social media success along with Hallmark’s creative marketing tactics.
  • Metrics – Always a hot button in PR, how do you measure success and coverage?  Professor Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, Director of the School of Communication, University of Nebraska, Omaha (UNO), outlined his “same rules, new tools” along with some interesting ways to evaluate – have you heard of the free social media metrics tool, Fenton?

The PRCG Conference attracts an impressive list of sponsors marketing to the public relations profession each year, and #PRCGKC was no exception.  This year’s sponsors included Clear 10 vodka; ToutApp, Universal Information Services; Family Features; Brandtricity; and Radio Disney.

The PRConsultants Group solidifies its “National Strength. Local Power” mission by connecting its members not only through teamwork on national PR projects, but by innovative member development like the annual conference.  This investment solidifies its competitive edge as a “virtual national agency” with PR pros in every market who share a similar business philosophy of stellar results and client service.

And…the formula is working, because the group continues to attract multi-market projects.  In 2012 alone, PRCG members worked on campaigns for Make-A-Wish, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’ Donuts, University of Phoenix, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Procter & Gamble, Preeclampsia Foundation, Feed My Starving Children, Ride (for Citizen Relations); Preeclampsia Foundation (for Encore Public Relations) and more.

Author Bio:  Amy Kossoff Smith is president/founder of Write Ideas, Inc., a Maryland-based PR firm; publisher of The MomTini Lounge, an online parenting magazine; a national wire columnist; and founder/editor of PRCG Powerlines.  You can connect with her on Twitter at @WriteIdeasPR and @MomTiniLounge.

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