In October, Linhart PR attended the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Colorado Chapter’s 2023 Summit. This year, PRSA Colorado’s annual summit brought together seasoned PR veterans, growing practitioners and students to learn and discuss the importance of AI and innovation, crisis communications, social media and communications ethics.

Here are our four takeaways from the event, which center around the importance of storytelling, transparency and building trust.

1. Develop compelling stories that capture the attention of humans: Personal development coach and keynote speaker Imari Tuakli, kicked off the summit with an engaging and inspiring session on the art of storytelling. Imari reminded us that if you tell a compelling story, your ability to influence others becomes much more powerful. With storytelling at the core of our profession, PR practitioners wield great power and responsibility in the stories we tell on behalf of our clients. Imari’s session was a great reminder to tell stories rooted in empathy, relatability, vulnerability and honesty. When you incorporate human-centric storytelling elements, reporters will be more inclined to cover your press release or respond to your pitch.

2. Integrate contributed content into your communications planning: Linhart PR was thrilled to have our managing partner, Paul Raab, present a breakout session on contributed content. During the session, Paul outlined what contributed content is, differences from other media forms, a checklist for creating contributed content and how to make the case for contributed content to your clients or teams. There are several benefits to integrating contributed content within your communications mix, including

  • Greater ability to control your message
  • The opportunity to share your point of view to inform and influence others
  • Building and maintaining your brand’s media presence when there’s little or no news to share
  • Relatively low cost to implement, compared to advertising, and a higher ROI

Resource-constrained newsrooms appreciate high-quality and informative contributed content. Most outlets publish contributed content for free, but at times there will be associated costs, depending on the topic. When thinking through your contributed content strategy, consider who you want to reach and why, if the topic is relevant to the outlet, your differentiated POV and the overall tone. Check out some of the great contributed content work the Linhart PR team has accomplished below:

3. Successful preparation for navigating a crisis: The crisis communication breakout session was led by Pilar de Jesus, consultant/owner of Integrated Marketing Communications Solutions, and Wyatt Hornsby, vice present of marketing and communications for the U.S. Air Force Academy Foundation and Association of Graduates. Pilar and Wyatt discussed the fundamentals of effective crisis communications, which included how to craft a strong holding statement, knowing when to respond and having a well-practiced crisis team. Many brands fear the word “crisis”, but in today’s digital age, experiencing a crisis – big or small - is almost inevitable. It’s critical to be prepared and know what to do when one takes place. In fact, a crisis can be an opportunity for a brand to dig into its values and build stakeholder engagement and trust, by keeping audiences informed and taking action when needed. As communicators, we want to show empathy, but it’s important to seek guidance from your legal team. When in a crisis, we must help our clients strike a balance between what’s important in the court of law and what’s important in the court of public opinion.

4. Reframe your mindset to supercharge your storytelling and creativity: Matt West, executive vice president of client coaching and facilitation for Golin, wrapped up the summit with a session on how to cultivate and maintain a growth mindset. A growth mindset means believing that your interests, knowledge and abilities are malleable and can grow over time. For PR professionals, a growth mindset can help you embrace challenges and persist in the face of obstacles, seek opportunities to keep improving, acknowledge failures and learn from criticism and be inspired by the success of others. Your mindset matters, and when you reframe the way you approach client work, you can unlock creativity and take your storytelling to the next level. Matt showcased campaigns from Skittles, Chipotle and Adidas as examples of results that can be achieved with a growth mindset.

Linhart PR enjoyed meeting industry peers and learning from PR experts at the summit, and we're looking forward to integrating these insights into our work.