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PRSA Charlotte Hosts 2nd Annual Communications Symposium on April 28

PRSA Charlotte Hosts 2nd Annual Communications Symposium on April 28


PRSA Charlotte Hosts 2nd Annual Communications Symposium on April 28

Prominent Speakers Provide Expert Insight
and Practical Applications for Communications Professionals

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 16, 2016 -- – The Charlotte chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) announces its 2nd Annual Communications Symposium. The symposium will take place on Thursday, April 28, 2016, from 8 a.m. until Noon, followed by a networking lunch, at UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus. This comprehensive half-day of programming will provide expert insight and practical applications for essential competencies within communications. Speakers will cover important topics such as community relations, crisis communications, media relations, social media metrics and more. Event sponsors include Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, Duke Energy, Food Lion, Moore & Van Allen PLLC and UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business.

"We are very excited to host our second annual communications symposium," said Christy Phillips-Brown, APR and President, PRSA Charlotte. "The conference will have a number of important topics relevant to PR professionals and offer our colleagues an opportunity for professional development at an affordable training rate."

The opening session will feature Katie Cody, manager of Charlotte Hub Communication; Michelle Mohr, managing director of corporate communications at American Airlines; and Crystal Jackson, communications specialist at American Airlines. Speakers will share insights and lessons learned about the US Airways/American Airlines merger including key internal and external communications impacts, managing the blending of two corporate cultures and more, all through the real-time nature of today's digital landscape.

After the opening session, there will be six breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including:

  • Yesterday's PR Pros Are in Trouble:  Here's How to Take Their Spot – Ted Williams, the publisher of Charlotte Agenda, will look at how are today’s many new media platforms helping businesses and not-for-profit organizations connect with their audiences, at a time when traditional news media are losing readers, viewers and listeners.
  • Communicating during Difficult Times – Willie Ratchford, director of community relations, and Sandy D’Elosua, director of corporate communications and marketing, from City of Charlotte, Malcolm Graham, former N.C. State Senator, and Nepherterra Estrada-Best, director of public relations for Pride Communications, will cover how Charleston and Charlotte’s major departments (police, community relations, families, etc.) work in coordination with communications professionals to devise plans to limit civil unrest and community impacts during or after the Charleston shooting, the arrest of the former Mayor, and the Kerrick trial. How did actions taken or not taken in other cities impact contingency planning in both Charleston and Charlotte?
  • Social Media: Measurement and Analytics – Alex Taub, CEO of Social Rank, will expand on how can various businesses or organizations employ social media channels to enhance public interest in their products or services. What are some of the latest trends in audience activation, event activation, rewards programming and key influencer strategy? Are there any inexpensive tools available to help gauge success?
  • Duke Energy: Coal Ash 2.0 –Paige Sheehan, director of communications, and Catherine Butler, corporate communications specialist, from Duke Energy will discuss how Duke Energy’s initial public relations and legislative responses to the February 2014 Dan River coal ash spill set the stage for subsequent developments. What were the key issues addressed by Duke Energy during 2015, as the utility moved beyond the “crisis phase” and shifted its attention to re-building reputation and implementing long-term solutions to ash disposal?
  • Charlotte’s Ebola Scare – Amy Murphy, interim vice president, corporate communications, marketing & outreach, and Katie Thomas, communications manager, from Carolinas Healthcare Systems will explain how Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) communicate with key audiences during the summer of 2014, when the Ebola outbreak spread to the United States.  What strategy was developed after numerous American missionaries were evacuated from Africa and quarantined in Union County? How did CHS instill confidence in its own clinical staff, after ineffective training efforts at a Texas hospital left nurses critically ill? How did these experiences help the staff to prepare for future public health contingencies?
  • Connecting with Multi-Cultural Audiences – Nika White, vice president of diversity and inclusion, from Greenville, S.C., Chamber of Commerce will focus on the keys to targeting commercial or informational messages most effectively, at a time when markets are increasingly fragmented into sub-audiences who speak different languages or represent different cultural backgrounds.

Attendees who register by March 25, 2016, will save $30! Early bird rates are $120 for PRSA Members and $150 for non-members. After March 25, registration will be $150 for PRSA Members and $180 for non-members. Groups of eight or more are eligible for a 10 percent discount.

For more information on the 2nd Annual Communications Symposium and to register, please visit the PRSA Website.


Media Contacts:

Lucie Fernandez
PRSA Communications Symposium Chair

Danielle Kelly
PRSA Communication Symposium Communications Chair

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