New Readers

Welcome How To Submit Enter Online Advertisements & Sponsorships Tickets Volunteer as Judge Merchandise Winners Home
2017 Public Relations Predictions and Directions
PR will require further integration with paid media
Kathy Baird, Managing Director - Ogilvy Public Relations - Washington, DC USA

In the past few years, we have continued to see the rise of paid media in PR. The major social media platforms all now require paid promotion to ensure brand content is seen. Influencers require a value exchange (most often financial) to partner on promotion activities. And top tier media platforms (NYT, WSJ, WaPo) have their own content studios to create branded content, providing both creative skills and third-party credibility for brands. With the evolution of these paid strategies in PR, we will continue to see disruption in the earned and organic space.

Brief Biography
Innovative and creative marketing communications leader with 20 years of experience in the integration of digital communications, public relations, branding, advertising and social media for leading corporate brands, cultural institutions, government and nonprofits. Currently serving as the group head of Content + Social at Ogilvy. Areas of expertise include digital and social media marketing (paid, earned and owned), traditional paid media, strategic planning, research and insights development, corporate reputation management, content strategy, and integrated account leadership.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Talent will require experience across paid, earned and owned.
  • Cultural shifts are required to adapt / understanding that this is the new operating system.
Artificial intelligence will remove the grunt work of PR
Curits Sparrer, Principal - Bospar - San Francisco, California, USA

PR is about to adopt the same artificial intelligence technology that sales has been using to close deals. Consider the example of Conversica: the applied artificial intelligence company is the only provider of AI-based lead engagement software for sales and marketing. It’s used by over 16,000 salespeople, who report that they get a response for one out of three leads. To put that in perspective, that’s eight times more than the traditional email outreach campaign. Conversica’s AI has had more success over human sales people because the company discovered that it takes 5 to 11 attempts to contact a lead to get a response - but humans give up after one or two attempts. Conversica’s AI chatbots, however, will keep contacting the leads, politely, until they’re ready for more information. In 2017, PR will adopt similar strategies - from identifying the right journalist to following up with him or her to ensure a pitch gets read. AI can help keep company messaging on point by effectively matching the message with the ideal and appropriate audience. Ultimately, AI will free PR from the grunt work, making agencies more productive and more successful.

Brief Biography
Curtis Sparrer is a principal at Bospar. He was one of Business Insider’s “50 Best Public Relations People In The Tech Industry,” and has led PR campaigns for startups and big names including 1010data, Apigee, Ebates and PayPal. Curtis was previously an Emmy-award winning Executive Producer of KRON-TV, the nation’s largest independent television station. His writing has appeared in a variety of outlets, including the Dallas Morning News. His behind-the-scenes experience helps his clients attract the attention of the most coveted journalists.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • President Trump’s “alternative facts”
  • Changing pitching tactics to accommodate audiences increasingly interested in emojis and pictures
  • Leveraging AI for PR ROI
Bospar is a boutique PR firm featuring a team of highly seasoned professionals who exist to put companies on the map. Bospar isorganized for the toughest jobs and the most spectacular results. More than half of Bospar's staff has 10+ years of standout track record and includes experts in both social and traditional media as well as recognized influencer, financial, and government relations gurus.

Bospar's principals reside in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the staff is based across the country, covering all continental US time zones and reaching easily into Europe and Asia.
The lines between PR and Marketing will get even blurrier
Sara Nash, PR Manager, North America - Vistaprint - Waltham, Massachusetts, USA

PR has been traditionally looked at as a free channel, but this is changing rapidly as the media landscape evolves. This is largely due to the rise in content marketing and sponsorships. The more well-versed a PR professional can be in marketing will result in much more integrated, successful campaigns that will benefit everyone, from PR, to content marketing, to SEO, and owned channels like email and site.

Brief Biography
Sara Nash has been with Vistaprint since 2012 where she manages Public Relations in North America for the nearly $2 billion brand. Her love of small business is what keeps her at Vistaprint, a brand more passionate about small business than any other. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Public Relations.
Issue most important in 2017 to in-house PR
  • Crisis communications - social media brings everything more visibility and something small can turn into a crisis very quickly.
  • Content marketing - Customers want content, as do journalists.
Direction for in-house PR
  • Don’t get stuck in your ways. Research, learn, evolve.
  • Act fast. The faster you can react, the easier you can cut through the media clutter.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a growing impact on PR
Richard Levick, Chairman and CEO - LEVICK - Washington, DC USA

AI, facial recognition and similar technologies will have a growing impact on PR and marketing communications, in terms of how brands and organizations collect and analyze information about customers and prospects, how they communicate with their employees, partners and other stakeholders and how they use AI for content creation purposes. AI also raises a lot of privacy issues. PR execs prepare to help boards of directors and C-level executives navigate the AI terrain and make sure the company is being transparent with stakeholders regarding how its deploying AI and similar technologies.

Brief Biography
Richard is one of the communications industry’s most important spokespersons and thought leaders. A powerful advocate for the strategic initiatives that companies must pursue in today’s perilous environment, he regularly addresses corporate boards as well as industry and government leaders around the world, providing guidance on their most complex communications and reputation management challenges. Richard has co-authored five books including, The Communicators: Leadership in the Age of Crisis; Stop the Presses; The Crisis and Litigation PR Desk Reference; 365 Marketing Meditations; and Lessons for Absent Children.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • PR professionals will need to improve their analytical skills.
  • PR professionals will need to improve their interpersonal skills.
  • PR professionals will need to work more closely with IT professionals.
Issue most important in 2017 to in-house PR
  • Bigger onus to speak in financial language understood by the board, C-suite.
  • Responsibility of handling crisis via social channels will change.
  • The ability to think about the unthinkable in an increasingly unpredictable world.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Use of social channels as customer service channel.
  • Cultivate relationships with online influencers.
  • Double-down on content creation/original content.
Direction for in-house PR
  • Break down (or reduce) silos to promote integrated communications.
  • Work closely with both CIO and head of IT to meld marketing with lead-gen tools.
  • Developing more visual brand communications to distribute.
More emphasis on Reputation Management
Janitha Sukumaran, Founder & Consulting Director - Rantau - Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Reputation management will be a key emphasis esp in light of the many politically related scandals within the corporate scene and false claims by brands.

We will see more solid and newsworthy news, less fluff and fake news. PR practitioners will need to be more thoughtful and thorough in developing messages and preparing clients in their communications when dealing with the media. PR will have a more prominent seat in the board room to mitigate negative publicity and steer corporate communications towards a more ethical approach.

Brief Biography

Janitha Sukumaran has been in the communications line for almost 30 years and is currently the Founder & Consulting Director of Rantau PR Sdn Bhd, a leading local consultancy that regards itself as a creative and result driven outfit delivering real value for its clients. Janitha originally worked as a journalist and then ventured into the PR field before co-founding Rantau in 1992.

She firmly believes in the necessary independence of the PR industry and that the new generation of practitioners must find passion in continuously regenerating the PR model and reinventing methods of effective communications.

Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Consultants will need to be more knowledgable and skilled in strategy.
  • Higher confidence to gain that seat in the board room.
  • More quick and astute to respond to issues especially with social media playing a more important role as a news/ communications conduit.
Issue most important in 2017 to in-house PR
  • A better understanding of corporate directions and brand promise.
  • Higher participation in message development and delivery internally.
  • Importance to be more open to internal feedback without prejudice and to safe guard the reputation and identity of informants.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Harness better communications strategists.
  • Create better communication tools to attract higher believability and trust such as live video content.
  • Higher multi talented/ skilled people.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Appreciate the importance of qualitative PR measurement against quantitative measurement, as communications becomes more controlled to handle reputation management.
  • Be more ready to deal with viral communications via social media.
  • Develop bandwidth for higher content such as video.
Fake news forces real PR to work harder for credibility
Marianne O'Connor, Chief Executive Officer - Sterling Communications - Los Gatos, California, USA

With the White House pitching "alternative facts," public relations agencies and departments will have to work that much harder and smarter to earn credibility with the press and their audiences.

When a new college graduate can earn $1,000 an hour on ads by writing a fake story about missing ballots, when the official White House website publishes crime statistics have no basis in reality, ethical news media and PR professionals have a problem: credibility.

Time was people could learn a basic set of commonly understood facts from news reports and then interpret them. In 2016, though, we saw personal publishing turbocharge confirmation biases through self-selecting social networks. Clickbait headlines worked their neurological charms until facts themselves began to wither under the assault.

Rather than elevating the stature and credibility of responsible news organizations and communications agencies, institutionalized lying has turned everything upside down. Credibility appears to have an inverse relationship with influence, at least as far as mainstream media was concerned in 2016.

It will take more than reorganizing American newsrooms for truth to survive in 2017. The New York Times, for example, is engineering a new digital environment, as are many others. PR agencies would do well to re-evaluate their roles in the changing climate.

Brief Biography
Marianne is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience driving internal and external communications programs for emerging and established technology companies. She has designed high-impact communications programs for venture-funded startups and Fortune 500 leaders. Marianne has specific expertise in corporate transformations, executive platform development, crisis communications, and M&A activity. While at Sterling she also led the communications team for BT’s 6,000-person IT division and served as CMO at Juniper Networks. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and skeet shooting.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Brands will be more confident in associating with social causes.
  • The public will hold governments and security companies more accountable.
  • News outlets will rely more on video to combat fake news.
Press Releases will become automated by software
Chuong Thai, Chief Executive Officer - Janus Software - Los Angeles California, USA

Software is making it easier and faster for the world to be efficient. There will be services available that will have a form to fill out, fact check and then distribute to appropriate outlets.

Brief Biography
Chuong Thai has founded and grown over 6 companies in the last two decades and is know for his prolific work on software in niche industires.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Social media touches will increase.
  • Having fun with your audience will be important.
  • You will need to spend more on actual press pickups.
Content writing and specialized writers will be in high demand
Eric Fischgrund, Founder - FischTank Marketing and PR - New York, NY USA

It's no secret - traditional media outlets like newspapers and magazines are cost cutting, utilizing syndicated content to publish news on their websites. While this may present a difficulty in attaining coverage, with space to fill, the opportunity grows for contributed content provided by "thought leaders" – executives from individuals, businesses, and organizations.

In addition to media in general, public relations has been forever changed by the Internet. Google and online search made online content important not only to control, but to continue adding to. Then social media changed everything when social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn began ranking high on online search. Now, it is equally important to maintain content on a social page as it is your own website!

These changes to the media itself and the increased importance placed on content is why content writing, and more specifically, specialized content writers, are about to be a premium. With smart companies everywhere committing to public relations strategies that incorporate social media, thought leadership, e-mail marketing, press releases and more, the need for content has grown exponentially. Now the very same writers who five years ago were writing for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are transitioning to the business side and driving smart content for brands. PR agencies have taken note, acquiring content firms and those who know how to execute on the digital side.

This is why 2017 and moving forward, will be a big year for those talented with a pen.

Brief Biography
As Founder of FischTank, Eric Fischgrund believes a true public relations agency should do more than just media outreach, but support its clients' marketing needs spanning digital, content, media, web design, and more. The public's appetite for information, previously fed by traditional media or one another, has been changed by the Internet and telecommunications in general. Thus, public relations as we knew it has fundamentally changed in the way audiences review a company, product, individual, or organization. It's important that agencies and firms learn to address this now, and not be left behind.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Finding strong writers.
  • Training professionals to execute digital/social media practices with traditional PR services.
  • As always, focusing on culture and making sure employees are happy each day.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Hire great writers.
  • Think "big picture" marketing.
  • Put your employees first.
Finely Targeted, Pitch-perfect Pitches Will be Crucial in 2017
Elizabeth Zaborowska, Founder and CEO - Bhava Communications - Emeryville, California, USA

Pitches that are only marginally personalized and targeted won’t suffice in 2017’s increasingly fractured and constrained media landscape. Both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times joined other news organizations in 2016 in offering buyouts to journalists. Staff reductions continue, even in the tech beat, an arena once thought impervious to larger economic trends. In the face of this still-evolving backdrop, PR professionals must research their media targets even more thoroughly. Knowing exactly the right reporter to pitch for your story, taking into account their recent coverage and extrapolating to what they might write about next, and getting straight to the point will be key in securing media interest this year. Reporters are doing less with more yet again, so serving them all of the assets that make a great story on a single platter will go a long way toward your pitches getting traction in 2017.

Brief Biography
Elizabeth founded Bhava Communications in 2009 to bring brilliant communications pros together with the most promising up-and-coming and established tech companies. An award-winning operator with more than 16 years of experience in communications strategy and services on both the vendor and agency sides, she has a track record of building high-octane organizations that deliver standout messaging, positioning, marketing, public relations, social media, and design services. With an emphasis on data-related technologies, she has worked with enterprise and consumer technology companies, ecommerce businesses, nonprofit organizations, and companies across industries including food and hospitality, transportation, health and wellness, education and the arts.
Will rely on new technologies, continue to combat "fake news"
David Landis, President and CEO - Landis Communications Inc. - San Francisco, California, USA

Technology is the driver for PR in 2017. The integration of public relations with digital strategies, online marketing, traditional marketing and social media will continue - and PR pros will need to understand and be able to better combat fake news thru a variety of communications channels. The trick will be - as always - how to break through the clutter. In the end, transparency will win, but be on the lookout for such radical new technologies as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and more that will transform all business and business communication.

Brief Biography
A 30+ year veteran in public relations, marketing and digital strategies, David Landis has headed San Francisco-based Landis Communications Inc. (LCI) since 1990. Ragan's Ace Awards named LCI America's #1 PR Firm and Mr. Landis has led this award-winning agency which specializes in PR for healthcare, consumer products, consumer technology, B2B, retail and real estate, financial services and more. Major clients include: Walmart, MetLife, California Bank & Trust, UCSF, Stanford Children's Hospital,, Whole Foods Market and Old Navy. Mr. Landis has been an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University and guest lecturer at Stanford University & UC Berkeley.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Technology
  • Fake News
  • Virtual Reality and artificial intelligence
Direction for external PR agencies
  • New technologies
  • Expansion of digital needs for clients
  • Integration of all services
The PR Agency's new lead role: SEO
Erin Wigglesworth, Account Executive - BOTTLE PR - Oxford, United Kingdom

SEO is an excellent way to drive traffic towards media outlets by optimising their content for search engines. It consistently tops the list of important marketing skills to master, and understandably so. Increasingly people reach for Google and other search engines to solve everything from arguments about obscure facts to what they’ll be eating – and creating a brand presence which sits at the top of those search engines can generate an enormous range of benefits.

The challenge for PR agencies, and an emerging trend in 2017, will be to hone in on this key skill and generate content for both journalists and brands which will consistently drive the content they are supplying to the top of search engines. Engaging and interesting content which can keep both journalist and brand a like at the top of the results list keeps everyone happy by driving brand awareness and reinforcing PR’s value to journalists who don’t have time to scrabble for keywords.

Traditionally, the role of SEO fell outside of the PR agency’s remit and ownership was automatically dismissed by client and agency. However, as PR agencies are the experts in creating engaging content that website owners want to publish, surely we - the masters in storytelling - should be owning the SEO role as we not only know the stories that engage consumers, but we also have the publishing contacts.

Brief Biography
Erin Wigglesworth is an Account Executive at BOTTLE, working mostly across Business to Business clients.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • PR professionals will need to bring SEO into their content.
  • PR professionals will need to utilise data to provide personalised experiences.
  • PR professionals will need to understand the growing landscape of live-streaming and virtual reality.
Public relations will need to incorporate content creation
Janet Vasquez, Founder - JV Public Relations - New York, NY USA

Dwindling newspapers and paper driven productions and news hubs.

Brief Biography
Janet Vasquez has over 20 years of experience in her market.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Be better prepared for disaster PR managment
Issue most important in 2017 to in-house PR
  • Have crisis plan prepared for each client ahead of any changes.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Be prepared to defend your brand.
Direction for in-house PR
  • Embrace more digital marketing including the use of influencers.
Rate at which Fortune 1000 CEOs join Twitter will accelerate
Drew Mauck, Principal - 3Points Communications - Chicago, Illinois, USA

As PR practitioners, we will need to get very familiar with Regulation FD and continue to improve our personal social media capabilities. With the direct-to-consumer communication channels at the fingertips of influencers, we will need to better understand the implications, both good and bad, of around-the-clock information dissemination. President of USA will likely continue to leverage social media to communicate on a range of topics and, in doing so, make the traditional media less valuable in the eyes of many. President of USA has made Twitter acceptable to executives and his peer group, many of whom hesitated to learn the nuances of the platform. Therefore, we should expect more CEOs and C-level executives following suit.

Brief Biography
Since launching 3Points, Drew has brought his energy and media savvy to clients across a spectrum of industries, including trading, finance, HR and benefits. He has also participated and led panels on social media, communications and business innovation for the Futures Industry Association, Security Traders Association of Chicago and John J. Lothian & Company, Inc. His relentless focus on delivering results is equal with his commitment to integrity in business. Under Drew’s leadership, 3Points promotes thoughtful, customer-centered organizations that solve problems. The end result: credible, expert sources that become more visible and trusted among key audiences, outshining their competition.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • We will need to improve our content creation skills. PR people have traditionally been about “matchmaking” and pitching, but clients are now asking us to tell their stories for them.
  • Our ability to vet and screen information on behalf of our clients will increase in importance. With so many websites and blogs claiming to “report” the news, the preponderance of fake news is shaping how people view many topics.
  • Accommodating a workforce that wants flexible hours and remote working options, while also cultivating a positive and strong company identity, will also be important in 2017.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Even with a heavy focus on client work, PR companies must remain diligent in committing time and energy to tending to and caring for their own PR efforts. Client work always comes first, but a PR company is only as good as its own reputation.
Reporters will be more focused than ever on reliable data
Paul Wilke, Chief Executive Officer - Upright Position Communications - San Francisco, California, USA

As we are seeing post-2016 election, reporters are under a tougher (and sometimes more unfair) scrutiny to be above board in relaying facts. While it may seem this is mostly the case with political reporters in the US, this will have an immediate trickle down effect to reporters in other industries ranging from business and tech to local news and broadcast. With that in mind, as PR professionals, we have to be just as diligent and determined to provide journalists with the information they need to do their job. As PR professionals, we need to ensure that press releases, media briefings and anything we share with reporters is above reproach with regard to quality and accuracy of content. The end result will mean higher quality content and better credibility for the clients we serve and the reporters we provide information for.

Brief Biography

As founder of Silicon Valley's leading IPO PR firm, Paul specializes in PR counsel with a focus on creating solid comms infrastructures.

Prior to starting Upright in 2012, Paul headed PR operations for Splunk, where he led communications around their successful IPO. Before Splunk, he managed global PR at Visa. with a focus on the company’s travel and tourism business. It was here Paul served on President Obama's Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

Prior to moving to the Bay Area in 2007, he lived in Singapore, where he headed Visa's PR operations for South and Southeast Asia.

Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Reliable data from our clients.
  • Moving clients away from leaning too hard on press releases as a communication tool.
  • Teaching clients what's newsworthy.
Issue most important in 2017 to in-house PR
  • Interjecting content into current newscycles.
  • Making sure internal audiences have a better understanding of the power and limitations of PR.
  • Better integration of PR and marketing activities.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Identify ways to best measure results.
  • Use messaging to push the boundaries of content.
  • Bridge knowledge gap between journalists and in-house PR with regard to what's newsworthy.
Direction for in-house PR
  • Work with CMOs and CEO to show effectiveness of PR.
  • Better understand how media outlets source for news.
  • Learn difference between paid and organic-generated content.
Successful PR programs will combine earned, owned and paid channels
Andrew Cross, Vice President - Walker Sands Communications - Chicago, Illinois, USA

As the media landscape continues to evolve, brands will find more opportunities to play the role of content publisher. At the same time, paid will play an increasingly important role to drive audiences to this owned content, while earned media strategies will provide additional credibility and third-party validation.

Brief Biography

Andrew leads the firm’s FinTech, electronics, enterprise software and professional services practice areas.

Andrew develops strategic programs that sit at the intersection of media relations, content development and digital marketing. He works with tech companies to establish credibility, acquire customers and gain market share. Andrew’s integrated programs have earned recognition from the Public Relations Society of America, the Publicity Club of Chicago, PR Daily and the Hermes Awards. Andrew’s client experience includes work with Grubhub, CareerBuilder, Payoneer, Worldpay and Newark element14.

Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Research, data and analytics skills
Consumers will evaluate the source of PR pickups more
Vince Major, Creative Director - Zero Six Media - Los Angeles, California, USA

We will see a stark decline in blanket press release pickups and consumers will pay more attention to where they are receiving their news and information. As the concept of fake news and misleading news becomes more of a household issue, people will study where exactly they get their news from.

Brief Biography
After cutting his teeth in the world of non profit and fine arts marketing, Vince made the jump to the agency side of marketing.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Pitches will become more important
  • Well written releases will be key
  • Knowing you exact demographic will be vital
Companies will have to really stand up for their values
Jennifer Scott PhD, Managing Director - Ogilvy Public Relations - New York, NY USA

Rising populism means that companies will be challenged to take positions on more issues than ever before - from immigration to gender identity. Their response could have a significant impact on their reputations and business success. Companies will rely more on their agencies to anticipate challenges and opportunities, understand the implications of taking a position on various issues, and to develop smart strategies for engaging - or not. At worst, a company could be caught in a hostile tweet-storm with the leader of the free world. At best it could win over millions of people by giving them a voice they didn't think they had. Either way, agencies will have to become highly adept at navigating the new values- and issues-laden waters of PR in 2017.

Brief Biography
Twenty years of experience driving competitive advantage for clients through the design and deployment of strategic communications. This includes reshaping brand identity, designing groundbreaking thought leadership campaigns, managing issue and policy challenges, driving internal and external behavior change and strengthening employee value propositions. Sought after as a communicator with the ability to create consensus among disparate interests and to generate enthusiasm for major global initiatives. Ten years serving in executive leadership positions, including global managing director and president.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Clients will need to be willing to engage agencies in pre-emptive thinking about challenges and opportunities related to politicized issues. Whether we like it or not – it’s now part of everyone's job description.
Direction for in-house PR
  • PR professionals will need to become more adept at using public polling data and at watching for emerging battle-ground areas in the political environment.
Media relations returns to spotlight in response to "fake news"
Bob Decker, Founding Partner - Redpines - San Francisco, California, USA

For the past several years traditional trade and consumer media have been increasingly sidelined as every company in the world tried to become a "media company." But with "fake news" and the social media channels that spread it coming under fire, traditional journalism and journalists are going to make a big comeback as authority figures, as B2C and B2B consumers alike search for information sources they can trust. Established publication brands from The Washington Post to EE Times and the agencies that know how to reach them with compelling stories will all benefit.

Brief Biography
Bob has more than 25 years of experience helping companies and organizations in the microelectronics, broadcast and entertainment, and precision measurement industries to tell their brands’ stories more effectively. As Founding Partner of Redpines, a Dundee Hills Group agency, his clients have ranged from Fortune 1000 corporations to start-ups and have included several industry associations and conference events.
Not Just Any Content, But Compelling Content Will Remain King
Pamela Njissang, Vice President - Bhava Communications - Emeryville, California, USA

In PR and marketing, we’ve collectively been saying this for at least the last 5 years: Content is King. It’s still true. But in today’s environment of fewer and fewer journalists, ever-increasing numbers of niche online publications and a fractured media landscape, it’s compelling content that will be king in 2017. Just producing content for content’s sake isn’t enough. Compelling content offering a clear viewpoint that is cogently presented, well written and distinct from the rote rehashing of the same tired industry trends will help you and your clients stand above the fray. Powerful, well-composed content can be used as a foundation or springboard to pollinate other platforms—portions of that original and compelling content can be used on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Medium, corporate blogs, Snapchat and more.

Brief Biography
Pamela has 15 years of experience executing and leading public relations programs for B2B companies, with an emphasis in emerging technologies and initiatives. Her deep understanding of the technology industry—including cloud and distributed systems, SaaS and enterprise platforms, software-defined storage, data analytics, streaming video, telecoms, broadband and mobile/wireless sectors—has been instrumental in shaping award-winning campaigns to raise marketplace awareness and drive thought leadership. She started her career at Lois Paul & Partners (a Fleishman-Hillard company) and held account management and senior leadership positions at WE (formerly known as Waggener Edstrom) and Upraise PR (formerly known as Stearns Johnson Communications).
PR and digital will become more intertwined than ever before
Jennifer Adler, Director of Public Relations - The James Agency - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Similar to all other industries, technology has significantly changed PR as a practice. With more and more media bolstering their online presence or moving to an online format completely, it has become necessary to educate clients who still want to see their name in print on the significant value of online coverage. The line between PR and digital is now more blurred than ever and will become even more so in years to come. At The James Agency (TJA), we keep our clients relevant by staying on top of industry trends and integrating new technologies with tried and true traditional strategies.

In addition to utilizing traditional PR tactics such as drafting and distributing press releases, pitching story ideas to the media, planning experiential events and organic social media, capitalizing on emerging social media platforms and features is imperative to reaching a younger and more tech savvy audience. At TJA, we are exploring ways to use Snapchat, Instagram stories and Facebook Live for the brands we represent. We also are strengthening our blogger relationships and doing more influencer marketing in addition to traditional media relations. As PR and digital continue to converge, all of these tactics will gain increased importance along with the need for engaging, high-quality video content that can be distributed across multiple platforms.

Brief Biography
As The James Agency’s Director of Public Relations, Jennifer oversees the PR department, which includes the internal PR team, as well as all PR and social media client deliverables. An accomplished public relations strategist, she has more than a decade of experience representing high profile clients across a variety of industries including hospitality, restaurant, entertainment, gaming, sports, retail, real estate, healthcare, banking and nonprofit. Her expertise includes national, regional and local media relations, event planning, media training, social media and crisis communications. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of California Los Angeles.
Issue most important in 2017 to external PR agencies
  • Keeping up with rapidly changing technology.
  • Quantifying/valuing PR efforts.
  • Increased importance of influencer marketing.
Direction for external PR agencies
  • Be an early adopter of new marketing technologies.
  • Adhere to evolving industry best practices for quantifying PR results.
  • Develop relationships with social media influencers that align with clients’ brands.
Companies will desire more specialists than generalists from PR partners
Stephanie DeViteri, Managing Director - Tonic Life Communications - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

In years past, PR agencies have trained its professionals to do it all – strategize, synthesize, implement. These are certainly important skills for everyone to master, and it will always be important for PR professionals to possess the basic skills of writing, storytelling and relationship-building. However, with the emerging focus areas of social media, influencer engagement, insights and analytics, and content development, agencies will begin to evolve their people into specialists who are able to hone skills in a particular area given the needs of their client base. For example, at Tonic Life Communications, a critical component of our healthcare campaigns is showing the value of PR against traditionally easier to measure marketing tactics. This year, we are building out a department of specialists dedicated to utilizing research and analytics platforms to drive strategic program insights as well as demonstrate the measurable impact of communications campaigns for our clients.

Brief Biography
With nearly 15 years of experience working in healthcare public relations, Stephanie was appointed as Managing Director at Tonic Life Communications, in January 2017. Stephanie manages the Tonic U.S. headquarters, located in Philadelphia, PA, with a focus on building and sustaining strong client partnerships, spearheading staff development and wellness initiatives, ensuring delivery of innovative and effective programming, seeking out opportunities to expand Tonic's global offerings, and driving business development. Stephanie is a dynamic team leader and client partner who has brought considerable skill, insights, and creativity to a variety of accounts and programs across pharmaceutical, biotech and consumer health sectors.