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Perspectives Blog: Blog Posts

Take Aways from PRSA's International Conference

Thursday, January 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Eva Keiser
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In October Tom Sedlacek, Marketing and Communications Leader at Minnesota-based Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS) attended the PRSA's International Conference in Boston. 


We asked Tom to share some of Take-Aways he gleaned from the conference sessions he attended. These takeaways represent insights as well as good reminders.   


Happily Ever After: Boosting Business Results
Session focused on how to define clear goals to better measure success

  • Takeaway: It’s crucial to define engaged prospects. It is suggested to have a stakeholder (the Board) define what they are looking for. Examples: How do we define success for the Expo. Is it overall number of booths? Percentage of exhibitors retained? Average post-conference survey score? Number of complaints?


Inside Innovation Inc: Creating an AGILE Framework for Working Smarter
Session explored how to innovate, creating value from new ideas, new technologies and a new way to work

  • Takeaway: AGILE is a project management approach that incorporates rapid feedback and constant adaptation. The goal is to get things to the consumer as quickly as possible, gather feedback and do it better next time. Version 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 Example: If we surveyed everyone who attended a webinar, and used that information to re-shape how the next presentation is delivered. 

Off The Grid: How to Communicate with Remote/Unwired Employees

This session discussed the most effective ways to communicate – beyond email. 

  • Takeaway: Person-to-person feedback is critical. You can learn what technology you can use to connect – apps or texting, as well as how they spend their down time (breaks/lunches) at work. It is critical to talk to them in their environment to get a better understanding of their perspectives.

North Star For Your Non-Profit
Session offered tips on how to use traditional PR strategies and tactics to drive results.

  • Takeaway: 7 P’s – Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Results. This session really focused on planning campaigns, beginning with an analysis of the competitive landscape, and communicating with stakeholders, whether through focus groups or intercept interviews. 

Convergence + Conversion: How to Integrate and Measure Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned
Session focused on how a PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) model can help your team take a more holistic approach to brand building and measure your impact on business drivers with more precision.

  • Takeaway: If you don’t have a story, it doesn’t matter how much paid/social you have behind it. The panel also discussed the metrics that their organizations used to measure success. One key takeaway – if you have $1 to spend, put $0.90 into the audience 

Taking Big Data to the Next Level
This session focused on how advanced analytics can drive better storytelling

  • Takeaway: There are a lot of ways to use data. Whether it’s driving strategy, fueling creative or demonstrating the impact of marketing and communications. 

Rural Reach: Strategic Communication With Rural and Low-Income Audiences

This session discussed how to use a research-based approach to drive the conversation and demonstrate a possible solution to tackle the rural and low-income market.

  • Takeaway: Rural audiences watch TV and often rely on their smartphones/data plans for internet access. It’s important to do market research (focus groups, intercept interviews) to learn the most effective ways to research and impact messaging. They also pointed out how influential large employers can be in smaller communities. 

Marketing in the Digital Era: Revenue, Resources and ROI
This session covered best practices for prioritizing audiences, reaching them with quality content, leveraging targeted digital advertising and building a website that works; identifying and introducing the latest technology that’s best for your business (e.g., CRM, marketing automation, etc.); and implementing modern marketing metrics to measure ROI.

  • Takeaway: Marketing is based on driving growth. Traditional marketing plans are not tied to organizational goals. Marketing should help the organization reach sales goals. It is important to develop buyer personas, identify key performance indicators /business measurements, and goals/challenges.  The session also recommended building a case for marketing automation tools. 

Editor's note: If you attend a PRSA conference or workshop, we've love to share your takeaways. Please contact if you want to share.


Minnesota PRSA
5353 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 350
Minneapolis MN 55416
Phone: 952-564-3046
Fax: 952-252.8096

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