PRSA Western District Conference

March 19-21, 2015

Presented By:

J.W. Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE Hotel | Downtown Los Angeles

Program PDFicon |  Video Recap  |  Photos

Yes. Everything Is PR.

Social media. Big data. Consumer marketing….it all involves PR. Really.

In March 2015, the Los Angeles chapter of PRSA hosted the annual PRSA Western District Conference.

The conference theme — “Yes. Everything Is PR” — was reflective of the transforming world of PR. From the disintegration of traditional media and the rise of social media marketing and analytics; from multi-layered communications strategies to cutting-edge technologies; from Big Data to Big Brands; from the constant desire for new ideas for brand awareness to the ever-present need for reputation management, the conference delved into all of these exciting topics…and many more.

Sponsored By:

Business Wire


Pollack PR Marketing Group  |  Murphy O’Brien Public Relations
Allison+Partners Public Relations

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hosted by the PRSA Public Affairs and Government Section

Topic: Are You Battle-Ready? Crisis Communication from Public Affairs Pros
Presenters:  Joseph V. Trahan III, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Lt. Col.., U.S. Army (Ret.), and president, CEO and media trainer at Trahan & Associates; and Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR, special assistant to the Jacksonville (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office and president of Cat 5 Crisis Communications

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Topic: Leadership, Influence, and Credibility
Presenter: Greg Warren, Ph.D. Fellow, Leadership Studies Chapman University, College of Educational Studies and Administrative Manager, City of Orange
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Topic: PRSA Leadership Panel
Panelists: Holly Ferris – Owner, Ferris Communications (PRSA-LA), Aaron Norris, APR – Vice President, The Norris Group (PRSA-IE), Paula Pedene, APR – Owner, Pedene Public Relations (Phoenix PRSA), and Moderated by Chris Perez, APR, Owner, Chris Perez Consulting (PRSA-IE, OC-PRSA)

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Our panel of Western District PRSA leaders will address a “nuts and bolts” approach to leadership within our profession. While succeeding in their individual careers, each has also brought leadership skills to their own PRSA chapters, as well as broader regional and national roles within the organization. This panel will examine what specific tools of leadership are developed within PRSA volunteerism. In addition, we will look at the challenges of time management and the question of value if you are considering a role on a non-profit board of directors.

Friday, March 20, 2015


Speaker:  Tucker Bounds, Co-Founder and President, Sidewire; Former Director of Corporate Communications, Facebook; Deputy Campaign Manager/Comms Director, Meg Whitman 2010; and Deputy Comms Director/National Spokesman, John McCain 2008


Topic: Crisis Communications – Guiding Leaders To Make Wise Decisions In A Crisis
Presenter: Joan Gladstone, APR, Fellow PRSA
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Topic: Branding and Influencers – What Influencers?: Crafting Your Brand’s Influencer Strategy
Presenters: Crystal Duncan and Kimberly Kovacs of IZEA
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Topic: Brands/Social Media Engagement – Beyond Facebook Insights
Presenters: Genevieve L. Mazzeo of ConAgra and Debra Parcheta of Blue Marble Enterprises
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Topic: Influencing Public Behavior – Glass Half Full:  Motivating A Community To Conserve During Drought
Presenter: Patrice Lehermeier, APR, Colorado Springs Utilities
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Topic: Integrated Marketing – How Out-of-Home Advertising Was Maximized Through Public Relations
Presenters: Amy LaSala of Off Madison Ave and Kiva Couchon of the Arizona Office of Tourism
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Topic: Media Relations – The Changing Face and Economics of Broadcast Media Relations and How It Affects You
Presenter: Bob Gold, President, Bob Gold and Associates
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Speaker: Fred Cook, CEO, Golin


Topic: Sports PR/Reputation Management – The Global Sports Crucible:  The Art and Science of Sports Organization Reputation Management in An Era of Increased Fan Popularity, Worldwide Media Scrutiny, and Public Transparency
Panelists: Jeff Moeller, Senior Director of Communications and Content, Los Angeles Kings; Seth Burton, Vice President of Communications, Los Angeles Clippers; Toby Zwikel, Co-Founder and Vice President, Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc.; Tim Tessalone, Sports Information Director, University of Southern California (USC); Michael Roth, Vice President, Communications, AEG; and Moderator:  Tom Hoffarth, Sports Media Columnist, Los Angeles Daily News

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Topic: Digital Marketing – The Internet Is Video Centric. Is Your Marketing?Presenters: Lisa Caprelli, Author and Digital Marketer and Brian Gaps, Digital Media Producer, The Business Experience Show
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Topic: Crisis Communications – LAX Shooting Crisis Communications Case Study
Presenter: Mary Grady, Managing Director of Media and Public Relations, L.A. World Airports
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Topic: Content Marketing Strategies – Using Content to Engage Customers When They’re Not in Market for Your Product
Presenter: Dave Barthmuss, Group Manager, General Motors
Presentation pending

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Topic: Media Training – Media Training For A Viral World:  How To Create A Larger Pool of Savvy Spokespersons
Presenter: Brad Ritter, APR

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Topic: Diversity – Panel Discussion presented by the Black Public Relations Society of Los Angeles: “Diversity in Hollywood” with Senior Executives from ABC, CBS, and NBC
Panelists: Bree Bosselmann, Senior Vice President, Multicultural, Terry Hines & Associates; Nidia Caceros Kilde, Vice President, Communications, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group; Marsha Smith, Publicity Director, ABC Television; Moderator: Darnell Hunt, Director, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, Professor of Sociology, UCLA

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Saturday, March 21, 2015


Topic: How Are PRSA and Public Relations Succeeding in 2015?
Presenter: Kathy Barbour, APR, Corporate Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Baptist Health South Florida; PRSA National Chair


Topic: Internal Communications – Regarding the Ebola Crisis
Presenter: Ron Owens, APR, Fellow, PRSA, Managing Director of Integrated Brand Communications, Kaiser Permanente/Southern Calif. Region
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Topic: Content Marketing Strategies – How Content Marketing Can and Should Evolve Your PR Strategy
Presenter: Dan Santy, President and CEO, Santy
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Topic: Millennial Marketing – Communicating With iGen, the Next Generation of Consumers
Presenter: Stefan Pollack, President and CFO of The Pollack PR Marketing Group

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Topic: Media Relations – Meet the Media: A Session with Producers and Talent Bookers from TV Talk Shows, Syndicated News Magazines and Network News Bureaus
Panelists: Claudia Cagan, Freelance Talent Producer; Bill Hinkle, Senior Editorial Producer, CNN/HLN; Steve Loeper, West Coast Entertainment Editor, The Associated Press; Steve Sunshine, Senior Producer, EXTRA; and Moderator: Erik Deutsch, Principal, ExcelPR Group (PRSA-LA Immediate Past-President)

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Topic: PR Tactics – How Social Media Maximizes Your PR Efforts for 2015
Presenter: Serena Ehrlich, Business Wire
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Topic: Branding/Segmentation – Don’t Stop the Music:  Brands and Market Segmentation/ROI
Presenters: Chris Chamberlin, General Manager of CitizenRelations and Toni Wallace, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at Columbia Records

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Speaker: Tom Bernthal, CEO of Kelton