Top 3 Takeaways from the PRSA Conference

by Bill McCown - Jun 10, 2015

The Idea People was pleased to sponsor and participate in this year's Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Southeast District Conference in Greenville, SC. The event was a three-day seminar for public relations professionals and others interested in the latest trends in the communications field.

The theme of the PRSA event was “Find Your Story,” and many esteemed guests spoke on elements of storytelling in everyday communications. Keynote speakers included Charles Bierbauer, Dean of the College of Mass Communications at University of South Carolina and ABC News reporter, and CNN’s senior White House correspondent for over two decades; Andrew Davis, best-selling author, former TV producer, and marketing guru; Kathy Barbour, incoming chairperson of the PRSA; and Poppy Dixon, documentary filmmaker who recently produced the Boston Bombers show on National Geographic.

It would impossible to distill the experience of attending the PRSA Conference into a few short words, but here are our three big takeaways:

  1. Greenville is Awesome!

Greenville, South Carolina’s official tourism motto is “Yeah, THAT Greenville.” The confident rejoinder seems silly until you actually spend time there. While there may be other places named Greenville in the Carolinas, none of them can match the energy of THAT Greenville. From the state-of-the-art medical school which housed the PRSA conference, to the world-class dining on Main Street to the natural beauty surrounding it– Greenville, SC is truly a hidden gem of a city.

  1. Technology is Changing Communications

The Idea People have been in the web and mobile space since 1994, so we have seen the revolution in digital communications first-hand. Computers and mobile devices have completely changed the way public relations and corporate communications is done. Gone are the days of phoning up your favorite newspaper columnist in order to pitch your company’s latest promotional story idea. Nowadays a mixture of paid, earned, shared and owned (PESO) media is required to deliver a clients’ story to the masses. Creating engaging, sharable and relatable content for your client is now the best way to make a splash in the fragmented media marketplace. That leads us to our biggest takeaway:

  1. Storytelling is Key to Communications

PRSA - Zach Michelin Man SelfieNow more than ever, brands need to be able to tell stories. In the past, a public relations team could bring a story idea to a newspaper writer and have them do the legwork of crafting a compelling story. Not so in the digital age.

Consistent and engaging storytelling is the key to grabbing your audience’s attention. With so many competing forms of media, brands need to tell a story customers can relate to and want to share on social media. Focus on the human elements of your brand, and craft stories that communicate your message through a personal story or experience.

The Idea People were proud to sponsor such an engaging and informative event, where we met so many fascinating and influential people, including the Michelin Man:

We can’t wait to see ya’ll again next year! If you’d like to learn more about The Idea People visit our website, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, or just drop us a line at!

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