Outcome-Based Marketing – John Leavy

If you’re in or near Chicago next Tuesday, July 19, I suggest attending a special presentation by PRSA Chicago: New Rules of Marketing presented by marketing leader John Leavy.

John Leavy

I recently devoured his latest book, Outcome-Based Marketing. It’s a fascinating guide for all communicators and marketers to growing any business via the web.


Date: Tuesday, 7/19
Time: 11:30am

Place: Maggiano’s , 516 North Clark, Chicago


Social Media Trends: What’s Ahead?

I am looking forward to moderating a terrific panel in Chicago on June 21. PRSA Chicago will present some of the city’s top agency leaders working in Social Media discussing “Social Media Trends: What We Know Now and What’s Ahead”.

These agency executives will share what’s hot with their wide variety of b-to-b and b-to-c clients and what all PR professionals should be doing right now to stay on top of the social wave. Speakers include:

Adam Keats, SVP Interactive, Emerging and Social Media Marketing, Weber Shandwick

Mike Pilarz, Manager, Technology Practice, Burson-Marsteller and Co-Founder of Social Media Breakfast Chicago

Glenn Raines, CEO, Social Media Moves

Moderated by Jack Monson, VP, Engage121

If you’re able to join us, please bring questions to the event and be ready to participate in-person, via The PRSA Chicago Fan Page, and on Twitter (hashtag: #prsachicago).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 11:30 AM  –  1:30 PM

Maggiano’s Little Italy
516 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 

Business Attire

Member  $37.00
NonMember  $45.00
Student  $37.00
NOTE: Walk-in registrants will be charged an additional $5 per person.

Sponsored by GolinHarris


PRSA Chicago





Gini Dietrich – Social Media for Senior Executives

Here are some video highlights from last month’s PRSA Chicago program. I had the honor of moderating the discussion and Q & A session with Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich and founder of the new SpinSucksPro. Video edited by Jack Newell. Enjoy!

And, if you haven’t already registered for the best networking event of the year for anyone in PR, Communications, Marketing, and Social Media, do yourself a huge favor and reserve your ticket now for the 2011 PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards Gala. Register here!

PRSA Chicago Skylines

Social Media for Senior Executives

PRSA Chicago Presents: Social Media for Senior Executives with Very Special Guest, Gini Dietrich – April 19


Engagement with consumers via Social Media channels is no longer an option for Public Relations and Communications executives. Whether you’re still getting started with your own personal digital presence or you’re already a top influencer, join PRSA Chicago for a special program for senior-level execs and future senior-level execs! You will learn practical tips and tactics to take your social media game to the next level.

Gini Dietrich


Our guest speaker is Gini Dietrich, founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a digital world.



Gini authors the popular Spin Sucks blog and can be found writing at Crain’s Chicago Business, AllBusiness, and Franchise Times. She delivers numerous keynotes, panel discussions, CEO coaching sessions, and workshops across North America on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR. One of the top rated communications professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person on the channels, according to Klout and TechCrunch, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel.

Sponsored by MSL Chicago and Big Shoes Network

 Register for PRSA Chicago

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM


Maggiano’s Little Italy
516 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 

PR: Step Up and Lead Social Media

A friendly word to all PR practitioners: start LEADING social media within your organization NOW.


Too many PR pros are aware of the opportunities within Social Media, but are not pushing for integration of consumer engagement with their media relations work.


Too many senior leaders at agencies may be creating a path to irrelevance by giving clients what they want or expect (i.e. media relations work, traditional pitching). But, they are not giving them what they need: messages that reach consumers directly along with the traditional intermediaries such as journalists.


Too many corporate communications pros have remained in the shadows and see their Marketing or Advertising counterparts provide the C-Suite strategic guidance through the social media waters.


However, Public Relations professionals are the logical choice within any organization to lead Social Media because they have the skill set to engage in consumer conversation, not just broadcast messages.


If you’re in Chicago, a GREAT place to start is a series of upcoming luncheon programs featuring social media topics for professional communicators and PR pros.


Rod Sierra

 The first is a great starting point for any social media program: Measurement. Panelists include Rodrigo SierraChief Marketing Officer, Johnson Publishing and Johna Burke, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications, BurrellesLuce. 

March 15, 2011
Maggiano’s Little Italy
516 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL

Registration: Click Here
Sponsor: Richard Day Research




The second is a fireside chat with Gini Dietrich discussing Social Media for Senior Executives. Gini is the CEO of Arment Dietrich, Inc., founder of the popular Spin Sucks blog, and a nationally recognized leader and speaker on the subjects of online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR.       

April 19, 2011
Maggiano’s Little Italy
516 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL

Registration: Coming Soon!

Sponsors: MSL Chicago and Big Shoes Network

PRSA Chicago: Jobs and the Economy in 2011

On February 15, Brigid Sweeney of Crain’s Chicago Business will lead a unique discussion with industry leaders, who will share unprecedented tips and insights about how to market yourself and tell your own powerful story in this job market. Gain exposure to the advice and coaching often given to c-level executives about planning your career and leading teams. Also learn more about jobs and opportunities in the PR and Communications fields in the new year.


Mary Herrmann, Managing Director, Executive Coaching, BPI Group, a leading global management and human resources consulting firm

Karen Bloom, Principal of Bloom, Gross & Associates, a leading executive search firm with unique specialties in marketing and communications

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Maggiano’s Little Italy
516 North Clark Street

Sponsored by KemperLesnik




PRSA Chicago

What’s Ahead in PR?

 Chicago PRSA
PRSA Chicago kicked off the 2011 Programs with a packed house and 5 senior PR industry leaders predicting a year of growth in many areas of the PR industry.

The panel included Scott Farrell, President, GolinHarris; Doug Tillett, Vice President of Public Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Dr. David Kamerer, Asst. Professor, Loyola School of Communications; Steve Wilson, Managing Director – Digital Strategy, Headstand Media; and as moderator, Ann Brinkman, Executive Director, Alpha Phi Foundation.

PRSA Chicago
(L-R:) Ann Brinkman, David Kamerer, Scott Farrell, Steve Wilson, Doug Tillett

My 3 favorite predictions from this panel:

1. Resurgence in the “corporate brand” versus the “product brand” (Farrell)

2. More social media demand for experts, i.e. platforms like Quora (Kamerer)

3. Top-read blogs will continue to grow longer: 1000+ words, as opposed to 400 words (Wilson)


Coming in February from PRSA:

On Tuesday, February 15, Brigid Sweeney of Crain’s Chicago Business will lead a discussion with industry leaders, who will share tips and insights about how to market yourself and tell your own powerful story in this job market. Additional speakers include Mary Herrmann, Managing Director, Executive Coaching, BPI Group, and Karen Bloom, Principal of Bloom, Gross & Associates.

More details and registration here!

PRSA Chicago: What’s Ahead?

This looks like another terrific event from PRSA Chicago! Please check out the description below and I hope to see you there!

PRSA Chicago 
PRSA Chicago presents: “Predictions for 2011 — Senior Leaders Discuss What’s Ahead for our Industry”

Mark your calendars and join PRSA Chicago for our annual predictions panel, which will convene industry leaders to share their thought-provoking views on what’s ahead in 2011 for PR. Once again, we have a diverse, senior-level panel to talk about everything from social media to the economy and what the c-suite wants from communications leadership. Join us … And join the discussion!

Panelists include:
*Ellen Ryan Mardkis, Vice Chair, Golin Harris
*Doug Tillett, Vice President of Public Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
*Dr. David Kamerer, Asst. Professor, Loyola School of Communications
*Steve Wilson, Managing Director – Digital Strategy, Headstand Media
The panel will be moderated by Ann Brinkman, Executive Director, Alpha Phi Foundation


Register Here!

Does PR Own Social Media?

PRSA Chicago 

The Chicago Chapter of PRSA once again wrapped up a year of programs with the city’s agency leaders discussing this year’s trends and next year’s industry forecast. 
Northwestern professor Clarke Caywood moderated panelists Bill Zucker, Midwest Director at Ketchum, Maxine Winer, Senior Partner and General Manager at Fleishman-Hillard, Maril MacDonald, CEO of Gagen MacDonald, and Gary Rudnick, EVP and Managing Director at GolinHarris.

What are agency leaders asked about first? That’s right…Social Media. The discussion quickly turned to the looming question of WHO owns Social Media:  PR? Marketing? Advertising?


The panel made a good case that PR pros should lead Social Media efforts due to a history of (and skills sets that include) relationship-building, content creation, and garnering attention


Bill Zucker cautioned that no one really “owns” social media, but all disciplines should participate. Gary Rudnick added that owning SM is like the outdated thinking that advertising owns TV and PR owns newspapers. 
Maxine Winer sees PR beginning to make a difference when it intersects with customer service. The integration of CRM tools with SM platforms enables companies to engage with their customers faster and more directly. 

It was refreshing to hear Maril MacDonald advise the crowd to align SM engagements to your clients’ or company’s most important business metrics (sales, traffic, etc.) instead of communications metrics. 
I agree! Too often, PR conferences are infiltrated by “Social Media measurement mavens” (the most horrible term in the industry) and their silly equations that make CEOs’ eyes glaze over. In order for PR to participate in bottom-line business discussions, we need to speak the language.


While these PR industry leaders make a good case for PR to lead Social Media, I question if that is really happening currently. Many companies with whom I speak daily have Social Media engagement sitting squarely with Marketing with no contribution from the PR team or outside PR agency.


Please share your thoughts via comment section –

Should SM engagement be led by PR, Marketing, Advertising, or Customer Service? And…WHY?


5 Tips for PR Pros Using Social Media Tools

Thanks to Stephanie Krol and PRSA Chicago for inviting me to participate in the discussion “Making Communications More Effective with Social Media Tools” along with these all-star panelists: 

MJ Tam, ChicagonistaPRSA Chicago
Rick Wion, McDonald’s
Reid Lappin, VOKAL Interactive
Adam Keats, Weber Shandwick
Gini Dietrich, Arment Dietrich
For anyone who couldn’t make it to the event, here are a few of my points regarding social media tools for use specifically by PR professionals:

1. As PR practitioners, it is your duty to learn how existing and new tools can help your clients. No more saying “I just don’t have time to keep up!”

2. Use and learn new Social Media tools before your clients or executives do. What is an expert? Frequently, it’s someone who just has a jump on the information. 

3. As you learn about a new social media platform or tool, sign up and try for a minimum of 30 days. You may find that it has little use for you personally but it may be a useful channel for your brand or clients to engage stakeholders and customers. In any case, 30 days will give you enough of a history to be able to intelligently advise clients about including this new tool in their tool box.

4. Take some time to reevaluate your personal usage of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and any other platforms. I’ve spoken with many PR pros who still think they should a) trust privacy settings and 2) not connect with clients or bosses. I find that to be extremely narrow-minded and misses opportunities.
If posting personal material that your clients should not see is more important than making a deeper business connection, than perhaps you’re in the wrong business. Stop worrying about privacy settings – which need to be changed on Facebook constantly – and be transparent!

5. What’s the Future of Social Media? All of the panelists agree that the future is mobile. I add that the future is mobile and local. Users are flocking to mobile app versions and it’s time for your brand to engage customers at the local level.
Think about how PR can deliver results not by just Tweeting about the brand on a global or national level, but also by keeping friends, fans, and customers informed about events happening at each outlet, store, location, or community.