Takeaways from the Modern Communicator Conference by Haley Bender


While I never thought my first post-grad conference would be over Zoom, I sat down at my laptop on Friday excited and ready to learn. Here is a summary of some of the best advice and tips I received from the best and brightest of Central Ohio PRSA: 

  • Hana Bieliauskas from Inspire PR Group taught us about influencer partnerships.  Because of the more authentic nature of influencer content, 92% of consumers trust influencer marketing over traditional, making them a valuable asset to PR strategy.  Don’t forget to thank the influencers you work with by sharing their content and recognizing their hard work. 
  • At the Strategic Storytelling: Maximizing Your Impact session, Ann Mulvany and Whitney Somerville of FrazierHeiby discussed the importance of organizations having strong values that are authentic to their brand and brand purpose. A great example of a brand that stands behind their values is Ben and Jerry’s. 
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Abbie Roth informed us on how the hospital uses content marketing to maintain peer reputation. Nationwide Children’s Hospital has a print magazine, website and Twitter account for doctors and medical research content that is minimally branded and professional so that a doctor in any hospital can feel comfortable reading it. 
  • COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement has shown us the good and the bad of organizations in crisis. Hinda Mitchell from Inspire PR Group says the most important thing a leader in an organization can do is prepare for a crisis before it happens. Mitchell gave six key steps to being prepared for a crisis: 
    • Know who is on the crisis team and why.
    • Designate a spokesperson. 
    • Have a list of internal and external key contacts and numbers.
    • Prepare an established media and social media policy for employees. 
    • Do training and scenario planning. 
    • Review the plan regularly and update it as necessary to ensure there aren’t any gaps in the plan. 
  • You might think public relations and content marketing are two totally different things, but Michelle Garrett of Garrett Public Relations shared how the two can overlap. PR and content marketing are both important for content creation, building relationships, gaining visibility through reaching out to audiences and thought leadership. Garrett gave great advice for PR professionals dabbling in content marketing: if you can’t seem to get media to cover your story, publish it yourself on your blog or website. 
  • Video can be very overwhelming to newcomers but video experts Dan Farkas and Beth Menduni shared their favorite hacks for making the best video content. Dan Farkas shared the advice, “Put your talent in the best situation to thrive.” Meaning, make sure your talent is comfortable and prepared to ensure the best video content. They also recommended using Adobe Premiere Rush for simple and effective editing. 

Overall, the virtual conference was a successful learning experience. Big shoutout to PRSA Central Ohio for putting on this event despite the COVID-19 hurdles. 

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