More than 80 public relation professionals joined the Baltimore Public Relations Council at its September Conference, PR Survival: Online, On the Job and In the Future, hosted at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
A five-member panel discussion started the half-day event, providing a comprehensive look into today’s news cycle and the use of social media by print, television and radio outlets to get the scoop on breaking news. Panelists included Michael Pranikoff of PR Newswire, Bryan Sears of Patuxent Publishing, Mark Vernarelli of the Dept. of Public Safety & Correction Services, Dustin Wadsworth of WMAR-TV/ABC2, and Scott Wykoff of WBAL Radio.
The panel was followed by Don Bates of George Washington University, who shared how the press uses and values public relations professionals. Bates’ presentation highlighted best practices for PR specialists to consider when working with media.
Lunch featured a keynote address by Peter Shankman of Help A Reporter Out (HARO). Shankman delivered a rousing presentation on effective two-way communication between companies, their public relations representatives and their audiences.
“Constant transparency is the name of the game today,” said Shankman.
Shankman shared that organizations wanting to know the best way to reach their target audiences should simply ask them. He also highlighted several basics of communication: the importance of relevancy and brevity, learning how to write, and taking the time to talk with your network.
The afternoon session featured Debbie Friez of BurrellesLuce and David Warschawski of Warschawski. Both agreed with earlier event speakers who noted the increasing need for organizations to focus on using social media as one tool, but not the only tool, in their public relations efforts.
Friez provided an insightful presentation ([download id=”8″] available) on Twitter showcasing how the outlet can benefit and enhance PR professionals’ relationships with traditional media outlets.
Warschawski offered an informative lecture on our use of technology and noted that social media should be included in comprehensive PR plans, not as its own plan for an organization or product.
“Don’t force social media,” said Warschawski.
Thank you to all who participated in the event!
Event photography by Bob Stockfield Photography.