Top 10 Takeaways from the 2014 PRSA Western District Conference

This year, the annual Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Western District Conference came to San Diego, and we had the chance to learn and share our expertise with peers from 10 other chapters. Topics included PR, marketing, writing, company productivity and more.

Read on for our top 10 takeaways from the conference, new things learned and great reminders:

  • A Work of ART: Building a positive company culture is an ART, which requires every member of the company to be Authentic, Responsible and Transparent.
  • Good Yelp Reviews = More Money: If your restaurant can boost its overall Yelp rating by one star, it can result in a 5-9 percent revenue boost (Harvard study).
  • In a Crisis, Empathy is #1: The most important thing that people (internal and external audiences) want to know in a crisis is that you care. Start with empathy in your actions, thoughts and statements.
  • What Millenials Need to Know: The way to beat bad Millenial stereotypes is to: Realize you are not special (sorry!), accept your differences with other generations and be willing to reverse mentor (e.g. help guide your seniors through the confusing labyrinth that is social media).
  • Wearer of Two Hats: PR people need to remember to think like a journalist and a marketer at the same time.
  • Don’t Forget Your Employees!: Your employees are your ambassadors out in the field. Make sure your company mission and goals are clear to them.
  • Beyond Spell Check: Check out to find your writing errors, which uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology.
  • When an Expert Isn’t an Expert Spokesperson: Principles of authentic communication include that it should be fundamental, clear, relevant and accessible. Remember that sometimes “experts” aren’t the best spokespeople, as they may make the message too complicated – or may just need additional media training.
  • Take That Company Culture to the Bank: Good company culture can boost your bottom line/ revenue because your employees are more motivated, trust you and ultimately produce better work.
  • What’s That One Word … ?: Can’t think of that perfect word you’re seeking? Try Beyond a regular thesaurus, with this tool you can enter a phrase or a few words and hit the “Reverse Search” button for results. Example: A search for “candy stick” returns “cane.”

Want more tips? Check out our Twitter accounts or #PRSAWDC.

Side note: JWC’s Sandy Young was the programming co-chair for this year’s PR conference.