More than 2,300 PR professionals from around the world gathered in Boston this week at PRSA’s International Conference. There was a healthy dose of humor and endearing humility from the keynotes, and a call to action on many topics in our industry – from diversity and ethics to better measurement, and best practices shared from brands and agencies, as we all aspire to hone our craft as perpetual students. And learn we did.
Top Takeaways from PRSA ICON in 140 characters or less:
- "If you can get someone to laugh, you can get them to listen."
Morgan Spurlock spoke about creating an emotional response – whether focused on laughter, or on ‘all the feels.’ He’s driven his career both with films, and now partnering with brands, to create this response. WE Communications last year netted a similar observation last year. More entertaining = more sharing. This year’s WE Brands in Motion study, points to how the right balance of emotional and rational thoughts, can keep your brand in motion.
- “What are the keys to success? It’s all about resilience. And that means strength, stamina and stubbornness.”
Bea Arthur shared her personal story of entrepreneurship. While anyone can make it look easy, it’s what you don’t often see that leads to the win. It’s the hustle. It’s the tradeoffs. It’s the tenacity. And that can be for you, your team or your organization.
- “As leaders, it is our job to ask bigger, badder, bolder questions.”
AmyK offered a healthy dose of tough love for the senior communications counselors in attendance. The speaker pushed the crowd to ask: “How might we….?” It reminded me to return to a WE mantra and grounding question: “What problem are we trying to solve?” Avoid tactical conversations until you’ve debated and aligned on the strategy. No point in checking a box, if it’s not the right box.
- “Create the conversation that generates new customers at no additional cost. Make word-of-mouth involuntary with Talk Triggers.”
Jay Baer was quick to quip “same is lame.” Whether we’re creating messaging for our company or our clients – we need to zero in on what’s truly different about our brand – and that must be a repeatable factor that is available to all customers at all times.
- “When writing a paragraph for mobile, express 1 idea in 2-3 sentences, taking up 4-5 lines on a mobile screen.”
Ann Wylie shared that with 96% of people coming to your Website not to read – but to find – it’s important to pass the skim test. Just pausing and sending your new content to your own mobile device for review is a great first step to experience your content as a visitor. What might you change? Another speaker encouraged content producers to create that ‘stop scrolling moment.’
WE’s Brands in Motion research points to the importance of bands navigating industry disruption and technology shifts to keep pace with a world that is in constant motion. PRSA is in constant motion too – whether revising our Code of Ethics to combat fake news – or continuing to loudly champion diversity in our industry. Thank you to PRSA and PRSA Boston for bringing the Spirit of Revolution to our fine city during PRSA 70th anniversary year and continuing to provide an unwavering presence in our industry. See you in Austin in 2018.
Catherine Allen, member PRSA
SVP, General Manager Boston
To connect with the author, Catherine Allen, visit her on Twitter.