PRSA Conference Weekend Recap

October 22, 2007


While most of the country enjoyed the beautiful fall (or is it summer?) weather, the PR world gathered in Philadelphia for PRSA’s International Conference. Much to our regret, PRNewser couldn’t make it down for last night’s blogger dinner, however we are providing you with a recap of weekend events and our conversations with attendees Peter Himler and Jack O’Dwyer. Today is a big day, with both Tim Russert and Karen Hughes giving keynotes. Are you there? Send us your thoughts/news/pics etc. in the comments or prnewser at
The official conference blog can be found here.

Peter Himler posts a Sunday recap, including the panel he moderated, “PR & Social Media: What Every Practitioner Needs to Know.” We spoke with him via email:

What were your highlights of the weekend?

I just arrived this afternoon, and as I posted, came during the Mia Farrow keynote. Few knew what to expect, but virtually all were inspired by her passion and commitment to the tragedy in Darfur. Apparently, she also has a rather sophisticated website and blog at Kami Huyse, who interviewed her, observed that her efforts cut across many PR/marketing disciplines, which she lists here.

Would you like to share any good quotes or “overheard at PRSA” moments?

On the panel I moderated “PR & Social Media: What Every Practitioner Needs to Know,” one of our panelists, Nicco Mele, founder/CEO of echodiito, was quite animated. Nicco was Howard Dean’s web strategist, or as he puts it, he was there for the highs and the lows. He also hosts Rosie O’Donnell’s website, which, at the time of her departure from “The View,” attracted a bigger audience than The View.

What panels were well attended?

I don’t know about the other panels, but the Eric Schwartzman-moderated panel on the social meda news release featuring reps from PR Newswire, Business Wire and Marketwire, along with SEM/SEO expert Greg Jarboe, was standing room only. The panel I moderated also had an SRO crowd.

Besides your latest post, any other tidbits from your panel that you’d like to share?

Rob Key’s take on how to gain acceptance in online communities like Second Life, FaceBook, Wikipedia was unique. He likened it to “cultural anthropology” wherein each community has a distinct culture that needs to be learned and engaged appropriately. “You can’t gain the confidence of any of these social networks with a press release.” Here are some fresh podcasts.

More news and happenings:

Steve Lubetkin has a brief recap of Mia Farrow’s opening keynote on Darfur, “She noted that many US companies sponsoring Olympics are also represented at PRSA conference and also noted that China has hired big US PR firms to burnish its image.”

Measurement guru KD Paine calls out PR software makers DNA13 for spamming and nominates them for the Bad Pitch Blog. Besides reading her post, we checked out their blog, and oh man, she’s right.

PRWeb’s Joe Beaulaurier asks why he had to get out of bed so early, “Exhibitors were told to be at the ready at 7am. What for I don’t know since there were only a lot of grumbling exhibitors there between 7am and 10am today. It was Sunday after all and there were no attendees walking the exhibit hall until much later in the morning. So when the exhibit hall reception concluded at 7pm, I was unsurprisingly spent.”

Edelman’s Phil Gomes spoke and gave us, “a four-part process for companies and organizations to engage in social media.”

FLEE: Find, Listen, Engage and Empower. Find those content creators who matter to your company or organization. Listen to what they have to say. Engage in a conversation with them. Empower.

PRSA interviewed keynote speakers Tim Russert and Brian Tierney. Russert: “I’m often amused by the number of people who say, “Do you have to give the questions ahead of time to your guests?” I’ll say, “This is not the World Wrestling Federation. No. Now, they’ll [the candidates] spend a lot of time trying to prepare for it, but that’s what their staff gets paid to do.”

Jack O’Dwyer called us earlier in the week to give his take, stating, “they [PRSA] have defiled our flag with rotten lying and cheating. They’re worse then Uzbekistan when it comes to transparency! They’re celebrating their 60th anniversary but you won’t see a single thing in the news.” You can read his additional thoughts here.

For all the time we spend talking how hip we are to social media, the real techies – big surprise – still destroy us. Google blog search for “Web 2.0 Conference” gives over 120,000 hits, while “PRSA Conference” only turns out 1,900.


3 Responses to “PRSA Conference Weekend Recap”

  1. Kami Huyse Says:

    Ah Joe; I was sorry I didn’t get to meet you. You can check out my Twitter stream for more quotes:, I am covering the general sessions live there.

    Also, Josh Hallett has posted some high-quality photos on the conference Flickr group, anyone can add to or use photos from the group.

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks Kami. I’m checking out the stream now, as well as Josh’s photos. Good stuff!

  3. […] I’m tagging some of my new favorite bloggers/Twitter friends, David Westcott, Julia Roy, Joe Ciarello, and Amanda Gravel. My apologies if you’ve been tagged, I tried to do a thorough check, but […]

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