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Ten takeaways from the PRSAConnect conference

I’ve simply spent the previous week in Phoenix, Arizona, at the Public Relations Society of America Employee Communications Section conference, #PRSAConnect.

In my 20 years of working in Comms, this week has been a real profession highlight. I beloved meeting with so many US and Canadian based mostly Comms execs, listening to their tales and answering their questions.

Seeing as I was given an enormous suite to remain in, I decided to make the most of the boardroom desk in my bed room(!) and invite delegates to hitch me for my first All Issues IC Mastermind outdoors of the UK. I welcomed five Comms execs for an hour and it was a pleasure to spend time together.

Thanks @AllthingsIC most of all on your nice #worker #communication #insights, as properly #ac & #water on this #toasty #Phoenix morning. Going to be an ideal @PRSAEmpComms #2019!

— margomcd (@margomcd) Might 15, 2019

Should you missed out on my upcoming UK based mostly Mastermind dates, do contact me to add your identify to the ready record for the Autumn periods in London.

I met Joshua Howell, Worker Communications Specialist at Cquence Well being Group and invited him to put in writing a visitor blog to share his prime ten takeaways from the conference, which you’ll find under. He’s pictured with fellow Mastermind attendees Priya Bates, Angee Linsey, Deme Jackson and Margo McDonough.

On Wednesday I loved listening to Alan Oram from Alive With Ideas’ storytelling and creativity workshop, followed by Pinaki Kathiari’s session on technique and co-creation.

That evening I used to be interviewed by PRSA Chair Chuck Gose @chuckgose for 45 minutes on stage and answered questions about Comms in the UK, life as a Advisor, psychological health issues, IC tendencies, being a mum and far more.

My fav photograph (from what I’ve seen) of yesterday’s keynote/chat with @AllthingsIC #PRSAConnect

📸 by @astoldbydeme

— Chuck Gose (@chuckgose) Might 16, 2019

I had such a enjoyable time tonight. Thanks for all the variety Tweets and DMs, I’m fascinated to see what resonated. I’m wanting ahead to giving the keynote in the morning and persevering with to satisfy fellow Comms execs over this aspect of the pond 🇬🇧🇺🇸 #PRSAConnect

— Rachel Miller, All Things IC (@AllthingsIC) Might 16, 2019

On Thursday morning I kicked off the conference as the opening keynote speaker, which I completely liked. The topic of selection was how IC execs can use their personal brand to rework their organisation’s Inner Communication.

@AllthingsIC‘s Keynote on reworking #internalcomms by means of personal model has me taking mad notes. Consistency, Clarity and Certainty – Very important for robust IC and powerful D&I work. I see a burgeoning alternative for ICs to help drive culture by way of inclusion.#PRSAConnect

— Dr Leeno Karumanchery (@LLKarumanchery) Might 16, 2019

Nicely stated, @AllthingsIC 👏🏾
“Internal comms is not a support function. We are a business function – we help the business to function.” #PRSAConnect

— Rey Bouknight (@ReyBouknight) Might 16, 2019

For this reason it’s essential for comms execs to enable and empower others to communicate in our group — it’s too necessary! We need to let go of control to be extra strategic. Thanks @AllthingsIC for reminding us! #PRSAConnect #internalcomms

— Sonia Fiorenza (@sonia_fiorenza) Might 16, 2019

Thank you @PRSAEmpComms for a incredible time. It’s been great enjoyable, better of luck with the rest of the conference #PRSAConnect

— Rachel Miller, All Issues IC (@AllthingsIC) Might 16, 2019

In the event you’re in search of the @AllthingsIC website with assets for #PRSAConnect attendees, you’ll find it right here:

— Lise Harwin, APR (@LiseHarwin) Might 16, 2019

Thank you PRSA for inviting me, I enjoyed this one-off trip and look ahead to holding in touch with the Comms professionals I related with.

#ChuckChats reunion at #PRSAconnect !!! 🤩🤩 @chuckgose @bananatag @KristinAnneH @AllthingsIC @StephJoRamos @JasonAnthoine @CommAMMO @AlanHasIdeas @ericamgoodwin @linseycareers @elisabeth_wang @carrieyoung @priyabates

— Kyla Rose 🌹 🐳 🙃 ✍🏻 (@krositabanana) Might 16, 2019

Does what your org says align with what it does? Does what you say align with what you do? #PRSAConnect @DiversitySI @AllthingsIC

— Tara Davis (@letswearlove) Might 17, 2019

My 6YO daughter followed my keynote presentation #PRSAConnect in real-time by way of Twitter with my husband. I just came residence to a hand-drawn image of me on stage. This is the pic she copied 💕🇺🇸🇬🇧 #MumTweet

— Rachel Miller, All Issues IC (@AllthingsIC) Might 17, 2019

I’m heading to the airport to start out my journey again to my family in London. Thank you @PRSAEmpComms for some unimaginable reminiscences. Thank you to each Comms professional who took the time to ask me questions, give feedback & study together. Properly carried out to the #PRSAConnect committee 🇬🇧🇺🇸🌵

— Rachel Miller, All Things IC (@AllthingsIC) Might 16, 2019

I’ll hand you over to Joshua…

PRSA’s 2019 Employee Communications Connect Conference: Ten Takeaways for IC Professionals

The 2019 PRSA Worker Communications Connect Conference simply concluded a couple of hours in the past, and I’m still on an inspirational excessive.

As a first-timer to this conference, I hoped to attend a high-quality occasion with nice instructional choices and loads of wonderful opportunities to network with fellow Inner Communication (IC) professionals. I’m grateful to report that the conference didn’t disappoint.

In the event you weren’t capable of make it this yr, listed here are ten of my takeaways (in no specific order).

Genuine Audio system

We’ve all been to conferences where audio system say issues like “feel free to reach out” or “I’Il be around the conference, come find me,” however then retreat to a secluded VIP space after their presentation.

This isn’t the case at PRSA. The audio system have been present and accessible, and most of them have been attendees themselves. If they weren’t sitting next to you in the breakout periods, they might be found in the hallways or at the receptions, ready to speak about no matter IC points you’re at present tackling.

I was lucky enough to attend Rachel Miller’s pre-conference mini Mastermind session with a couple of of this yr’s keynote audio system. It was an impromptu occasion that really laid the groundwork for what can be a tremendous conference experience for me.

Time to Connect

Talking of receptions, PRSA allowed for plenty of time that was strictly designated for attendees to attach. Wednesday night time provided a unbelievable networking reception with appetizers and drinks. Thursday offered plenty of breaks throughout the day, in addition to organized night eating locations throughout the city. Friday featured a morning hike on a close-by path. Each of these informal occasions have been crammed to the brim with individuals eager to talk all issues IC.


There have been plenty of super pertinent sponsors at the conference, ready to take heed to your tech pain-points and share how their product could be a part of the answer. Whereas a new intranet or an e-mail plug-in won’t ever be the full answer to your IC obstacles, these tech teams can undoubtedly help you in doing all of your greatest work.

Stats Don’t Should be Boring

PowerPoint isn’t lifeless, but a uninteresting slide deck filled with lackluster graphs and pie-charts may be the dying of your presentation. Jackie Berg offered fast methods to redesign your graphs utilizing distinction, shade dynamics, and better titles to really drive house the tales you’re making an attempt to inform. The perfect thing about it, she wasn’t selling you software; these have been issues you would do together with your present digital tools. (I couldn’t agree more, I’ll be running a blog about knowledge visualisation for IC quickly based mostly on what I heard – Rachel).

Rising Above Our Excuses

Kristin Hancock and Chuck Gose referred to as BS on the excuses we have a tendency to make use of at work. In response to them, issues like “Survey Fatigue” and “Short Attention Spans” don’t truly exist; our content just isn’t partaking. Worrying about not all the time having a seat at the desk? Construct your personal desk. As an alternative of preventing with IT, develop a better relationship together with your IT crew.

The act of “Commsplaining,” or listing excuses for why we will’t do our greatest work, needs to end. As an alternative, we have to step up our recreation.

Listening to @chuckgose and @KristinAnneH speaking about “Commsplaining” #PRSAConnect

— Rachel Miller, All Things IC (@AllthingsIC) Might 16, 2019

Make Yourself Seen

Although plenty of our work is behind the scenes, it’s important for IC execs to have the confidence to step out from behind the curtain. Priya Bates challenged attendees not to be invisible, but be pleased with their work and have interaction others in daring conversations. Be happy to brag slightly and present your self as a resource to your group. Jackie Berg doubled down on this by having the audience shout, “Damn, I’m good!”

Let it Go!

If being bold is the yin, letting go is the yang. We will’t (and shouldn’t) be the only communicators in our company. Rachel Miller encouraged us to be Curators, as an alternative of all the time the sole Creators. Since I’ve a musical background, I’ve stated something comparable. I need to be the conductor, not the soloist; working to empower the voices round me in the office, as an alternative of being the only voice heard.

Associate with Influencers

Just like how manufacturers associate with social media influencers to succeed in broader audiences, IC professionals want to seek out the influencers of their group. Typically, an influencer may be the ringleader of a traditionally silent and remoted group. If somebody has a following, it means they’ve a voice. It’s our job to construct a relationship with that individual and empower their voice on a bigger scale to deliver their followers into the fold.

Deliberately Handle Your Profession

Angee Linsey gave the remaining keynote presentation, during which she coached the viewers to create an action plan and concentrate on their career beyond their current job. Making an effort so as to add small every day, weekly, and monthly tasks to your routine to continue creating your self and your community is vital to maintaining your relevance and business consciousness as an IC skilled.

“Be deliberate. What do you want to help achieve at your organization? What will you do to check in on your career?” –@linseycareers #PRSAconnect

— Megan Clark (@MeganClarkPHI) Might 17, 2019

You’re Not Alone

Probably the most overwhelming, but definitely comforting theme around the conference was that regardless of working inside vastly totally different industries, most IC professionals at present share or have skilled the similar issues.

Personally, it was an unimaginable aid to have a gaggle of strangers sincerely validate and understand an IC situation that I’m presently working by means of. In the event you introduced up a problem that nobody had ever dealt with earlier than, although highly unlikely with the wide selection of expertise in the room, individuals have been greater than prepared to dig deep and brainstorm attainable resolutions or initial action plans with you.

The 2019 PRSA Employee Communications Connect Conference was an inspiring experience for me. I attended the conference alone, however felt at residence when surrounded by such an unimaginable group of progressive professionals from throughout the globe. Not only did I feel heard, however by the finish of the conference, I felt empowered, energized, and outfitted with new tools and concepts to make a which means influence to my group by way of Worker Communications.

Submit writer: Joshua Howell, Worker Communications Specialist, Cquence Health Group

Whereas Employee Communications hasn’t all the time been his precise job title, it’s been a part of Joshua’s career for a very long time. Joshua joined the army straight out of highschool and served abroad for four years. While in Korea, he was appointed as the Liaison to the base commander; serving the voice of the enlisted airmen to the highest-ranking officers on the base. That duty sparked a ardour inside him for communications.

After returning to civilian life, he worked a number of distinction external and inner dealing with admin positions; writing speeches and legislative payments for a couple of of Nebraska’s senators, operating worker occasions for the Emergency Drugs department of Nebraska’s largest hospital and general employer, and then serving as the Government Assistant for a violence prevention non-profit in North Omaha.

On the aspect, he writes fiction novels and graphic novels. His present employer, CQuence Well being Group, initially employed him to be the face of their schooling occasions, however he was more excited about turning his passion inward and specializing in enhancing the Worker Experience within the company. He’s really a individuals individual and enjoys the problem of connecting with individuals by way of Employee Communications.

Thank you for sharing your ideas Joshua, I loved our conversations and meeting you.

Study more about Inner Comms with me

My upcoming Masterclass dates might be discovered on the Masterclasses pages of this website. Full dates are under, there are simply two places left for my IC Masterclass in London on 22 Might, so do be speedy in the event you’d like to return.

Not based mostly in the UK? I can maintain a mini session with you by way of Skype, take a look at my work with me options. Please observe my diary is at present booked until late September 2019, so I’m taking bookings from the Autumn onwards. Do let me understand how I might help you.

Thanks for stopping by,

First revealed on the All Issues IC blog 19 Might 2019.