Top 5 Takeaways from FPRA’s 75th Annual Conference

By: Lauren Hyer, APR

As an FPRA member, you’ve already committed to enhancing your career in the public relations profession.

One of the great benefits our association offers is professional development programming. If you’re not already taking advantage of these outstanding opportunities, I strongly encourage you to join us for an upcoming event. By doing so, you not only improve your professional development, but you also build and strengthen relationships with other public relations professionals in Central Florida.

In addition to its unmatched monthly chapter events, FPRA hosts a statewide annual conference, which includes a lineup of first-class speakers, networking events and prestigious awards recognizing outstanding members and stellar public relations programs. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend this year’s 75th Annual FPRA Conference in beautiful St. Petersburg, Florida. It was an exciting four-day celebration of our association’s rich past, strong present and bright future.

After five breakout sessions and seven general sessions, here are my top five takeaways from conference.

  1. Everyone watches videos. If you’re not already, make video production a key element in your next integrated marketing campaign. Aside from creating compelling content, remember to keep the video short – research shows that audience appetite for video is about one minute and 20 seconds.
  2. When developing messaging, keep your audience’s generation in mind. Each generation has unique core values that guide their consumer, career and lifestyle decisions. For example, Baby Boomers (ages 49 to 67) still have a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. If you want to motivate this generation to donate to your cause, tell them their neighbors are giving. Conversely, to stimulate the more traditional Civics (68+), tell them their donation today will make a difference for tomorrow’s generation.
  3. Embrace your inner storyteller. And do it fast … you only have about eight seconds to grab your reader’s attention. “Storying” is so much more impactful than using jargon or spouting off various facts and figures to your readers. Instead, captivate your audience by leading with the most non-traditional, unique part of the story. Additionally, use powerful language and paint a vivid picture to engage your readers and help them visualize your story.
  4. Break your own bad news. Set the tone and define the crisis to the media. By doing so, you can help steer the direction of coverage. Additionally, always keep the media fed with information. Send updates to print, TV and online reporters, as well as bloggers. If you don’t, someone else will.
  5. Powerful communication campaigns emerge from strategic integration. For results that resonate best with your audience, strategically leverage your platforms (Facebook, Twitter, website, micro site, etc.) and blend unified messaging across all channels. It takes an average of three to five times for a person to remember a message, so make every impression count!

Weren’t able to attend this year’s event? For more coverage, read our conference blog, or take advantage of the virtual conference, where you can learn valuable lessons from 12 highly sought after speakers.

Save the date! FPRA’s 76th Annual Conference will be held August 10-13, 2014 at the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek. I hope to see you there!

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