The theme of this year’s annual PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) conference was “Communications Convergence.” It is a description of the profound and accelerating changes that make PR critically important and give way to a whole new communications ecosystem.  

Here are key takeaways from last week’s conference:

Strategy:   Achieve measurable outcomes with behavioral planning. To move the needle, you must change consumer perception. Building a plan that is strategic, that supports organizational goals, and contributes to business outcomes and effectiveness is critical. You must lay the foundation. You must know what consumers think of you before you can begin to impart change.

Content:  In today’s competitive info landscape, your content often falls on deaf ears.  Substantiate your message with facts. Tell the truth. Enhance your message with professional photography, video, and soundbites.  Be heard and acknowledged. Content is more than print. It is digital, social and yes, viral!

Communication Tactics:  We live in the age of proprietary audiences where consumers have the power to swipe over information with a quick flick of the thumb. Whether you’re trying to reach teens or boomers, communicating across demographics is key.  Know and understand your audience, and keep your communication objective in mind.

Measurement:  Moving the needle is the first part of the equation, but what have you achieved?  How do you know if you have changed perception? Facebook ‘likes’ and a notebook full of clippings about your business are no longer acceptable.  Just like PR, measurement has evolved.

Crisis Communication: How your organization handles a crisis determines its success or failure. You must be proactive, not reactive. Timing is critical. Get in front of the crisis with a well-crafted message that addresses the issue head-on. Organizations and municipalities need to turn to trained professionals for assistance.

Today, businesses are tasked with proving ROI, enhancing campaign effectiveness and achieving objectives.  Public relations, like no other discipline, can deliver tactics and on-point content across paid, earned, shared and owned platforms to obtain these goals.

Contact Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR, Fellow PRSA, and President of Marketing Strategies, Inc. to learn how your organization can succeed in today’s changing communications ecosystem. Put the power of Public Relations to work for you.

Contact Denise at or call 843-692-9662.


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