Seven days after his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations, launching nationwide protests. Within 72 hours, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his legal team swiftly filed suit in federal court arguing the ban amounted to religious discrimination, as well as other constitutional and statutory violations.
But unlike other individual challenges, Washington’s strategy argued harm to the state’s businesses, universities, tax collations and its very citizens. With statements of support from global tech giants Amazon, Expedia, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and others, Ferguson successfully argued the case; landing a stunning legal defeat and political blow to a new president within weeks of taking office. An international chess master, Ferguson is a keen strategist. In this fascinating case study, hear how planning, communications, strategy and message factored into the court victory and the narrative, and how Ferguson leveraged a national spotlight to shape an important public conversation amid a historic period of conflict.
Recommended handles/hashtags: @AGOWA, @BobFergusonAG, #travelban, #PRSAGameChangers
Dave Thompson, APR, Public Affairs Program Manager, Oregon Department of Transportation
2:00 Pm, Sunday, April 22
The eclipse was just over the horizon, and as many as one million people were headed to Oregon to watch. State tourism folks were overjoyed at the expected huge economic boost; virtually every farmer in Central Oregon was renting roosts for campers to come witness the celestial marvel.
Transportation officials, on the other hand, were starting to sweat: How would about 250,000 more cars fit on Oregon’s rural two-lane highways? Easy answer: They wouldn’t. Car-mageddon? Apoc-eclipse? And all those travelers would point fingers and demand to know why we weren’t prepared for them. It’s not like we didn’t know this was coming!
But then tourism officials stated their goal, clearly and succinctly.
And that saved the day.
Life-safety agencies saw how to help travelers avoid cosmic traffic jams and heat-related health issues on the way to and from the celestial dance.
The tourism goal led to the overall state strategy that allowed usually negative Nellies in transportation and health to write positive, even almost poetic, press releases.
It’s what every strategic communicator craves.
Oregon Department of Transportation Public Affairs Program Manager Dave Thompson, APR helped lead the state of Oregon’s communications response for the Aug. 21, 2017 solar eclipse. He will narrate the true tale of how Oregon planned for a scheduled but uncontrollable event, pointing out valuable lessons learned. The good, the bad, and the unbelievable.
- You’ll learn how the right goal, properly stated, can lead to collaborative strategies, even when your planning partners have different missions and therefore differing goals.
- You’ll learn how to craft smart objectives that measure stakeholder behavior, not your “busy-ness” factor, even though you may not be able to measure behavior directly.
- You’ll learn how to use the “power of 3” to craft memorable messages and metaphors. And you’ll learn how to control numbers—from our mistake.
- You’ll learn how to avoid the “mistake of assumption”—when well-meaning communicators think they know your messaging, only to get it wrong. (Oregon suffered some gasoline hoarding because of this.)
- You’ll learn how situation-specific crisis simulation training can prepare you and help test your messaging—and prepare you when it happens in real life.
- You’ll learn just how incredibly cool a total solar eclipse is!
Recommended handles/hashtags: ,, ,
4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 22
Presenting Sponsor T-Mobile
Have a dream? Grab a cocktail and a lollipie, and get ready to laugh and learn with colleagues. With dreams of pie and a lot of hard work, smart, savvy and warm-hearted Chris Porter quit his PR career and took a giant leap. Less than eight years later, he’s stuck a fork in it; now lauded as one of the top 100 fastest growing businesses in the Seattle region and rolling in dough–literally. His jump from the office to the oven, and upward will give you insights for your own dream and career. Chris, T-Mobile and the PRSA North Pacific District Conference welcome you to Seattle in a memorable cocktail reception that will leave you energized, inspired, and dreaming of your own ‘pie in the sky.’
Recommended social handles, hashtags: @AlaModePies, @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers, #PRSAPugetSound
Elizabeth Edwards, Founder and President, Volume PR
10:15 am, Monday, April 23
Consumers see more marketing messages every day. How do you ensure yours is remembered? At the 2017 PRSA ICON, Elizabeth Edwards introduced how communicators can use neuroscience & behavioral science findings to increase positive PR outcomes and received rave reviews. But, that was just the beginning. Elizabeth will build off these presentations with new ways that PR professionals can use strategies & tactics based on behavioral laws that can be implemented immediately. Elizabeth will provide case studies, interactive examples, and insights to inspire participants to think in a new way, use new tactics, and increase success. By the end of this session, you’ll earn five new communication tools you can use to immediately increase your PR media outcomes, and learn new Rules of Engagement, building off the past PRSA presentations, to better increase your chances of breaking through the 50,000 marketing messages a day that you have to compete with to get your consumer’s attention with the help of neuroscience research and behavioral laws. You’ll also learn the difference between the thinking brain and the breathing brain, and how to engage your audience’s brains in a way that they will remember your message and be more motivated to act.
Recommended social handles, hashtags: @PR_Virtuoso, @VolumePR, @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers
Kelly Guenther, North American Video Specialist, Shootsta
11:45 am, Tuesday, April 24
Smartphones have surprising video and microphone functions that rival the quality of broadcast television cameras from just a few years ago. Match that technology with the growing need for ‘authentic’ video content across an organization’s channels and your phones’ ability to upload anywhere — and you end up with a lot of power in the palm of your hand. Bring your smartphone because in this session, you’ll actually create a pro-looking video for your organization and ideally post it on one of your channels by learning just what your iPhone is capable of, simple techniques and cheap tools professionals use, and just as importantly – how to find and adjust video and camera settings on the fly.
Recommended social handles, hashtags: @shootstavideos, @GuentherGroup, @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers
Derek Moscato, Assistant Professor, Western Washington University
10:30 am, Tuesday, April 24
Issues such as climate change, energy projects, and wildlife conservation are not only changing the national political landscape; they’re also a catalyst for rethinking public relations practice. Companies such as Patagonia and North Face are integrating environmental activism into their corporate social responsibility approaches, while the outdoors cooperative REI has provided an industry wide rethink of retail consumption. Environmental advocates and activists, drawing from best practices in strategic communication but also a historic legacy of environmental appeals in the United States, are providing public relations practitioners with new insights into successful persuasion, but also public engagement. Hear how recent public relations cases from both companies and non-governmental organizations, as well as Moscato’s recent primary research from high-profile environmental cases (comprised of experiment-based surveys and content analysis) provide understanding for this dramatic shift.
Recommended social handles, hashtags: @DerekMoscato, @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers
Jessica Hagy, Founder, Indexed
10:30 am, Tuesday, April 24
More than 90% of all content shared today is visual. Headlines need pictures. Stories need illustrations. Brands need images. We’ll talk about how to turn messaging texts into sharable visuals and how to turn those visuals into stickier, more memorable brands. Learn how to transform any complete sentence into a visual social object, create a visual brand through repetition of signature elements, and build a system for quickly generating and deploying visuals for a campaign.
Enjoy Jessica’s daily visual social images, published weekday mornings while the coffee brews, on her Webby award-winning blog Indexed.
Recommended social handles, hashtags: @jessicahagy, @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers
Carla Sandine, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, PATH
1:00 PM, Monday, April 23
Due to the pace of change, the field of communications is–at times–unrecognizable from a decade ago. Today, communications and marketing sits at the intersection of technology, revenue, creative, customer, and brand – it is the powerful and exciting confluence of consumer experience and an organization’s identity. And more than ever before, data-savvy chief marketing officers are being elevated to CEO.
The evolution of technology has become the game changer; driving society and consumer behavior changes. How will you keep pace, and stay ahead of that change? How will communicators remain nimble and adapt to changes when the swift speed of transformation is upon us before we even realize we need to prepare? By the end of this session, you’ll learn:
• How to identify potential changes in your organization, and prepare to support your teams,
• How to analyze and modify your tactics to evolve ahead of the needs,
• The most important skills to develop and tools to use to adapt to change.
Recommended social handles: @CarlaSandine, @PATHtweets, @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers
Catherine Hinrichsen, APR, Project Director, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness; Reiny Cohen, Director of Communications, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance; and Christena Coutsoubos, Director, Strategic Communications and Development, Building Changes
10:15 AM, Monday, April 23
Learn best practices for linking stories and data to advance your goals with policymakers, media, donors, community and more at this session from the 2017 PRSA International Conference. The presenters, who collaborate through funding from the Gates Foundation, will share:
• Data visualization and storytelling tools, apps and platforms.
• Data and storytelling initiatives such as StoryCorps and The Moth, and outreach events that break the panel-discussion mold.
• Results such as contributions to changes in Washington state public policy.
You’ll walk away with new strategies, skills and tools for connecting the data to the people behind the numbers.
Recommended social handles, hashtags: @chinrichsen_su , @ReinyCohen, @ccoutsoubos,
Matt McKenna, co-founder, Greenbrier
10:15 am, Monday, April 23
Bad things happen on weekends, holidays and when the weather is nice – learn how to always be prepared for a crisis and the rules for communicating through it. Matt McKenna, former Senior Advisor and spokesperson for President Clinton and former Uber communications executive, will share his experience in navigating crisis and upholding an organization’s trust, credibility and reputation in the process.
- The 9 most important communications and public relations rules you can utilize to tackle any crisis
- Building actionable crisis playbooks and the steps to take to be better prepared for when crisis strikes
- Tips on developing strong narratives that add value to your reputation
Recommended social handles: @PRSA_NPD, #PRSAGameChangers