Communications Specialist Megan Townsend recently attended the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Midwest District Conference (MDC) in Springfield, Missouri. The PRSA MDC’s theme for 2014 was “Firm Foundations. New Horizons” and focused on strengthening foundations of your PR practice and looking into trends on the horizon.
While at the conference, Megan attended sessions about gaining positive publicity, measuring and analyzing social media efforts, telling compelling stories, managing brands and reputations, crafting impactful media pitches and more.
Megan said the conference not only helped her learn new PR tips but also helped her brush up on key areas. A few of the main takeaways Megan says she will put to use in her daily work include:
- Most people will only read your first 150 words of a document — make them count.
- The anatomy of a good story includes: compelling characters, a hook, plot or twist, a resolution or call to action and the story must be relatable to the audience.
- When you are trying to change negative perceptions and opinions about your brand, be transparent, change up the messenger, take yourself out of context, give customers unexpected access to you and play to their heart.
- Notice trends ahead of time — what happened yesterday doesn’t matter anymore, be a person of tomorrow.
When engaging in social media, do not sell, but instead listen, join and lead the conversation, give instant responses to your audience and always be looking for ways to improve your posts by analyzing your interactions as well as time of day and content posted.