PRSA Western District Conference
March 20-22, 2014

Download the conference program.

PRSA SD/IC had the great pleasure of being the host city for this year’s Western District Conference, the largest PRSA event in the west. The conference took place March 20-22 and brought nearly 200 PR professionals from throughout PRSA’s Western District, which included attendees from Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, and locations throughout California, to a sold-out learning and networking extravaganza. The conference offered fascinating keynote sessions, breakout gatherings, round-table discussions, and valuable networking opportunities.

After a welcome reception at East Village’s Bar Basic the evening before, the first full day of the conference was held atSempra Energy and began with a keynote breakfast session featuring Scott Pansky, senior partner and co-founder of Allison + Partners, who shared his thoughts on the topic of workplace collaboration in a session called ‘How Workplace Culture Boosts Creativity and Collaboration Amid Constant Change’. Pansky emphasized that healthy company culture benefits employees, clients and the company’s bottom line. He shared from his own experience, referencing Allison University, the professional development program created by Allison + Partners to train and mentor their staff, contributing to the health of their own company culture.

Guests then had the opportunity to attend morning breakout sessions where they were able to learn from a handful of the area’s leading PR professionals on topics ranging from creating a stellar PR campaign on a budget, to keeping your sanity while working with colleagues from a different generation.

Friday’s lunch keynote session gave San Diegans and visitors alike a glimpse into how social and traditional media, along with an integrated PR campaign from theSan Diego Convention Center Corporation, played a critical role in keeping Comic-Con International in San Diego, despite previous threats of possible relocation to another city. Steven B. Johnson, vice president of public affairs for the Convention Center Corporation, described how a fan-made Facebook page helped create useful advocates throughout the city, along with how the convention center successfully advocated for a much-needed expansion in facilities.

Friday concluded with another series of breakout sessions, a spirited scavenger hunt, networking opportunity in Gaslamp Quarter and happy hour at Jimbo’s…Naturally.

For the final day of the conference, guests enjoyed breakfast while attending one of eight round-table discussions. Joe Cohen, APR and PRSA National Chair, also gave an exciting look at the future of our profession. The day concluded with additional breakout sessions.

Thank you to all our sponsors who made this memorable event possible – and to our dedicated volunteers. We showed the West what America’s Finest City has to offer!

Did you miss the conference or just want to relive one or two of the sessions? You can view some of the presentations here:

Bridging the Digital Divide: Keeping Your Sanity Working with Millennials, Baby Boomers and More
Speakers: Chris Perez, APR, @cperez08 and Matt Prince, @Matt_Prince

The Future of PR & PRSA Board Initiatives to Help Members
Speaker: Joe Cohen, PRSA National Chair

How to Attain Champagne PR Results on a Beer Budget
Speaker: Sherree Geyer, @sherreegeyer

How Workplace Culture Boosts, Creativity and Collaboration Amid Constant Change (Breakfast Keynote)
Speaker: Scott Panksy, Allison + Partners @allisonpr

Managing Intense Media Scrutiny: Tactics for Effective Communications During a Crisis
Speaker: Joan Gladstone, APR, PRSA Fellow, @joangladstone

Protect Your Brand: How Brands Can be Diminished Online (And How to Avoid It!)
Speaker: Todd Cooley, APR, @toddcooley

Tourism PR on a Global Scale: Lessons from LEGOLAND® California Resort
Speaker: Julie Estrada, @JEstradaEwart

Your PR Campaign Soul Mates: Finding the Right Demographics
Speakers: Debra Bethard-Caplick, MS, MBA, APR; Sherree Geyer, @sherreegeyer

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