Midwest District Conference Gets Rave Reviews!

July 21, 2012

Judging from the Twitter chat on #PRSAMDC, the Midwest District’s 2012 regional conference delivered on its promise to provide two days of leadership education and professional development to the more than 150 PR practitioners and educators who attended.

The conference was held July 18-20 on the Water Tower Campus of Loyola University and hosted by the Chicago Chapter. From the get-go, the Twitter chat was buzzing:

“So blessed to have the chance to attend #prsamdc,” tweeted Dani Barnhizer, a member of the Hoosier Chapter. “Thanks @PRSAchicago for this opportunity & the educational/inspirational speakers.”

“Great session on mentoring the next generation from @AlisonHamer, @YPNChicagoPRSA and Regina Waters at @PRSAMidwest and @PRSAchicago #prsamdc!” posted Chicago Chapter member Erin Jordan.

 District leaders used the half-day before the conference to conduct a Leadership QuickStart. It was keynoted by Cheryl Proctor-Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA, a longtime PRSA member, former Chicago Chapter president, former Midwest District chair and former PRSA National president, who gave her views on the importance and role of leadership in work, volunteerism and personal lives. The balance of the session gave the dozen Chapter leaders and others thinking about leadership insights into a range of topics:

  • Resources available at National and District levels;
  • Best-practices relating to programming, membership, and professional; and
  • Strategic planning and implementation.

The next day and a half was packed with general sessions, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Thursday’s highlights included a candid conversation with Al Golin, founder of GolinHarris; a fast-paced, tag-team discussion of crisis communication case studies; break-out sessions on reputation management, branding, mentoring, entrepreneurship and measurement; and a panel discussion on working with the media. And that was just Day One! The after-session Tweet-ups were welcome breaks.

Friday brought additional insights on a range of topics: Global Brands and Social Media at General Motors; Understanding how “mobile” influences communication; Social media and emerging professionals; Ethics and transparency in social media; Employee communications that engage and build trust; Working with Chicago media; How brands engage with bloggers; and a general discussion with reps from Twitter, Facebook and Google. Talk about a power-packed panel!

Conferees adjourned after lunch and headed their various directions: Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Texas and Kentucky. To a person, they voiced great satisfaction with the conference and an anticipation of what might be in store for 2013. But that’s another story for another time.

Want more detail? See the summary from Brant Skogrand, APR (and MW District Chair-elect) on the Minnesota Chapter’s Perspectives blog.

Kudos to the Chicago Chapter and Midwest District planning teams on this fantastic event!