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The More We Know

PRSA is gearing up for ICON, the association’s biggest professional development and networking opportunity of the year. Not everyone can attend, but there are other opportunities right here with our own chapter.
Each year the PRSA Midwest District, of which GKC-PRSA is part of, organizes an annual conference that provides an elevated level of professional development and networking opportunity with others in the region. The recent conference, Sept. 12-13, was hosted by the Mid-Missouri Chapter in Columbia, Missouri.
Attending the conference gave me the opportunity to learn and to connect with a variety of key experts. Here are some valuable highlights.

  • “We are secretly the stars of the show,” according to Kelly Drinkwine, APR, and Midwest District Chair. Drinkwine, who is out of Chicago, told us how to help our clients focus on their strengths and know their weaknesses when working on speeches and presentations.
  •  Rita Tateel, The Celebrity Source, shared the art and science for working with celebrities, which isn’t always glitz and glamour. “People say yes to people; not organizations.” But a little SWAG does help.
  • Justin Goldstein of Press Record Communications lead the discussion about media relations. Of no surprise, he said reporters no longer cover just one beat, they are less able to respond to email and answer calls and explore stories they are interested in. Engagement is their key metric. It’s about what we can offer them, not what they can offer us.
  • Brad Best and Jon Stemmle, MU School of Journalism, reminded us to beware of the curse of knowledge because everyone can learn something new. Speak simply, because your audience may not know as much about the topic as you do; and use the tools that you have available, such as your phone. Today’s mobile devices take great pictures and video. A variety of mobile apps, many of which have a free version, can help us tell a story that appeals to audiences of all ages. We can do it; technology is not just for the young.
  • J.W. Arnold, APR, principal, PRDC Public Relations, shared his 10 tips for going solo. According to Forbes, the consulting industry is expected to grow 83 percent this year. And PRSA has a group to help if you are a solo practitioner or are thinking about going solo – The Independent Practitioners Alliance.
  • Facebook is still top when it comes to mobile screen time spent among millennials and boomers, and Instagram is second. Kyle Frohnapple with Cision also shared highlights from Cision’s “2019 Global State of the Media Report.” My takeaways from the report were many, but what matters most is accuracy. When considering SEO, Frohnapple recommends a focus on organic search, be concise, be authentic, be strategic and know that video drives traffic. When it comes to sending news releases, my favorite tip was to avoid sending news releases at the top of the hour, :15s, :30s and :45s because everyone else is doing the same.
  • Gary Ross’s mini, hands-on workshop on leading change was a fun exercise in strategic planning. As PR professionals, we have an important role when communicating change within an organization.
  • Transitioning from being a journalist to a PR professional included GKC-PRSA member Brad Biles, APR. This frank discussion makes me optimistic that one day journalists who choose public relations will no longer be viewed as moving to “the dark side.”
  • Many thanks to these media panelists who let us ask any questions we wanted. Valerie Schremp Hahn, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; David Lieb, Associated Press; and Brian Hauswirth, MissouriNet.

I hope you will consider joining me at the next PRSA Midwest District Conference, which will be in the fall of 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bridget Koan
VP - Communications
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Upcoming Chapter Events
Oct. 29, 2019: Pitch Tank and Media Round Table

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Grand Street Cafe
4740 Grand Ave. , Kansas City, Mo.
Cost: $25, GKC-PRSA Members
35, Non-Members

Local editorial gatekeepers and reporters will share their thoughts on building relationships and survival in today’s challenging media atmosphere in this round table discussion. Hear how their newsrooms work, stories they most like to cover and their perspective on connecting the dots between PR and media.
Member Anniversaries
Congratulations to our members celebrating October anniversaries. Thank you for your continued support and involvement with GKC-PRSA. We're excited for another great year with you!
  • Sierra Bonney
  • Sydnie Burton
  • Tracy Campbell
  • Kathleen Lynn Hefner
  • Sarah Kolell
  • Laura A. Langstraat
  • Donna Mandelbaum
  • Debra D. Peterson, APR
  • Melissa Reeves
  • Jennifer M. Rusch
  • Amy L. Schemenauer, APR
  • Stephanie Anne Wilken
  • Robb Yagmin
Joining Doesn't Get Any Easier Than This, Folks!
If you are on the fence about joining or renewing, this is the DEAL for you, but it ends Oct. 31. Triple Play Promotion (now through Oct. 31)
Enter this CODE when signing up: FALL19
New and returning members, when they join National as a Regular member ($260 annual dues), receive a triple bonus:
  • FREE 1-yr Chapter (up to $100 value) +
  • FREE 1-yr Section (not including Counselors Academy or New Pros) +
  • FREE initiation fee ($65 value) or FREE reinstatement fee ($35 value)
National will reimburse Chapter and Sections for their dues. Chapters whose dues are more than $100 will only be reimbursed up to $100 and balance will be collected from member.
RESTRICTIONS: N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current/renewing members. Please visit the PRSA website for membership options .