PRSA CHE Senior Summit: Demonstrating the Impact of PRPosted: May 7, 2012
The higher ed conference season is in full-swing, and at the end of April Danielle and I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit. Our participation with this event has steadily grown over the past few years, and this year not only was readMedia a presenting sponsor, but I was also fortunate to be asked to present one of the plenary sessions. My topic: “Developing a Social Content Strategy: Finding the right mix of earned, owned and paid media.”
The conference began on Wednesday afternoon with media tours at NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and the Washington Post. I joined the NPR tour (see my quick impression of it in this video) and got to see where NPR Music’s “Tiny Desk” concert series is recorded, as well as look in on Robert Siegel recording promos for that evening’s All Things Considered. On Wednesday evening, Swarthmore president Dr. Rebecca Chopp presented the Patrick Jackson lecture and outlined her views on how liberal arts education, and higher education in general, provides a critical avenue for community discussion and dialogue.
I enjoy the Senior Summit each year mostly because it’s a small and intimate gathering. With about 100 attendees, you never feel overwhelmed and it’s easy to meet and network with others and learn about how they are approaching communications challenges on their respective campuses. Plus, the sessions and speakers are top-notch. The conference started in earnest on Thursday with a presentation from Michael Smart, former national news director at Brigham Young University. Michael’s presentation on innovative ways for pitching media and getting coverage for campus stories was energizing, informative and funny! It’s always great when you can include a BYU Mathletes rap video in your presentation. Michael set the tone for a day filled with solid presentations on branding, building better online newsrooms, the impact of athletics on university reputation, and selling the ROI of communications across campus.
My presentation kicked off the Friday morning sessions: you can view my slides below. The day also included Lori Doyle’s “Habits of Highly Effective PR Professionals” as well as a national media panel of higher education reporters and a presentation from University at Buffalo’s Joe Brennan on campus emergency communication.
If you’re a senior leader in higher education and not currently involved with the PRSA CHE organization, I’d highly recommend getting involved. The group is welcoming, talented and a wealth of knowledge on what’s effective in higher education communications. Click here to learn more about the section.