PRSA: What Would You Do in a Social Media Crisis?



I am looking forward to speaking at the PRSA Suburban Chicago Chapter‘s event on Tuesday April 14 in Schaumburg. This will be a very interactive discussion on using social media to handle a crisis. Please join us for some conversation, networking, and great food!

Tuesday, April 14


Uno Pizzeria, Schaumburg

$25 Members, $35 Non-Members, $20 Students.

Register Here!


PRSA Chicago – October Political Panel


PRSA Chicago October   
Wow, last night was an exciting presidential debate and I‘m looking forward the continuing discussions – and maybe some arguments – as the season heats up! Locally I am pleased to share with you an event organized by Chicago PR executives David Rudd and Glenn Eden with an all-star line-up of Chicago political leaders.

On October 16 – the day of the next presidential debate – PRSA Chicago teams with Weber Shandwick and The Axis Agency to fire up a discussion with political experts who will offer their perspectives on the changing face of voter opinion.    

Our panel includes:

Laura Washington, Sun-Times columnist and ABC-7 Chicago political analyst

Ann Liston, Political strategist

Chris Robling, Principal, Jayne Thompson & Associates

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno, 1st Ward, Chicago

Moderated by Armando Azarloza, President, The Axis Agency


Issues to be discussed and debated include social, political, economic, and cultural trends affecting voters during the 2012 election, including:

– How candidates battle for top-of-mind messages

- How social media has changed the topic of discussion for voters

– How candidates compete for attention from a diverse population

– Variables that have shaped the race for the White House
– How voters view the election from an online perspective

Click here to register!

When: Tuesday, October 16,
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 North Clark Street, Chicago
Event Registration:
Member, $37.00/Non-Member, $45.00/Student, $37.00

Thank you Weber Shandwick and The Axis Agency for their organization of the event.



HAPPO – PR Jobs Event

If you’re in Chicago and are looking to advance your career in Public Relations or Communications, please check out the PRSA Chicago / Help A PR Pro Out event. From the PRSA website:

The PRSA Chicago luncheon on May 15 will focus on employment and hiring opportunities for our industry in 2012 and beyond.

Attendees will participate in a series of roundtables to network and discuss related topics with Chicago’s communications leaders. Topics will include finding jobs in the PR 2.0 world, resume review and the skills necessary for landing your next position. Register here!

Facebook Privacy and Your Personal Brand

Last week I guest-hosted the monthly Tweet Chat of the Young Professionals Network. This is a very smart and active group of young PR pros affiliated with PRSA Chicago. The topic was career advancement in the PR 2.0 world, which naturally lead to some discussion of privacy on Facebook. I suggested we continue the privacy discussion somewhere … so let’s do it here!

I suggested to the YPN crowd that as PR, Communications, and Marketing professionals that their social channels should be public, transparent, and open to communicate with anyone.

To be very clear, I am not suggesting that your profiles and passwords be turned over to your employer. There’s a big difference between posting publicly and letting an employer access your private messages! If an employer asks for your passwords, run fast! You don’t want to work there.

So what do I mean by being transparent on your social channels? Think of yourself as your own brand. Keep your Facebook profile open and tell your story in a way that clients, employers, and business connections would find appealing.

But what about those drunken college photos that you want to post? Get over it. No one cares. If you must share old pictures with your friends, send them via email or text. To whom, as your own personal brand, are you trying to appeal? Potential clients and employers? Or someone you partied with a few years ago? 

Facebook is currently your most valuable way to connect with any business contacts. I’ve heard many young PR pros argue that they don’t want to Friend their boss, a client, or even a journalist / blogger on Facebook. If that’s your bottom line, I would suggest a career outside of Communications.

And, go all the way with transparency. Don’t rely on “friends of friends”-only posts, or trusting Facebook privacy settings, which fail more often than you know.

So let’s hear it! Are you marketing yourself publicly or staying private?


The State of Video in the Social Media World

PRSA Video

Think about how Communicators and PR professionals used video ten years ago…Video News Releases…B-Roll provided to broadcasters, Satellite Media Tours…Those tactics were as effective as possible at the time in telling your brand’s or organization’s story but still hit-and-miss in nature and a demanded huge resources.

Now think about the changes in communications in the past ten years. Not only has new technology forced us to change, but also forced a major shift in how people (not targets!) want to see your story.

We’ve moved from audiences to communities, from broadcasting to engaging, and from telling to sharing.

Video is arguably the most powerful way to share, engage, and be a part of any community. How are you using it to tell your story?

PRSA Chicago is hosting a panel discussion on March 20 with 3 pros who will share their experience as well as tips and tactics to help you make videos the most effective tools on your workbench.

Our panelists include:

 Gregory Lipman, Senior Vice President, Digital Content Director, Edelman Digital

Ed Lamoureaux, Senior Vice President, WestGlen Communications

Clifton O’Neal, Senior Director of Communications, TransUnion


When: Tuesday, March 20, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Where: Maggiano’s Little Italy, 516 North Clark Street, Chicago

Event Registration: Member, $37.00/NonMember, $45.00/Student, $37.00

Sponsored by MSL Chicago

2012 PR Predictions


I’m honored to be moderating a panel of Chicago’s top media, digital, and PR thought leaders making predictions for 2012. Be sure to join us February 21 at PRSA Chicago!



PRSA Chicago Third Annual “Predictions” Panel

What’s Ahead in 2012 for our industry? What can we learn from last year’s events, issues and PR moments? 2012 is an exciting year filled with new and unique PR and communications opportunities. What can we learn from our panel of diverse experts? Please join us on February 21st as industry leaders convene to talk about the year ahead for communicators around the world. Our leaders will dialogue and take your questions. Don’t miss this special, annual event!


Panelists include:

•       Bill Adee, Vice President/Digital Stuff, Chicago Tribune Media Group

•       Laura Chavoen, Senior VP and Director of Digital Strategy, MSL Chicago

•       Anna Rozenich, Director, Communications, SunCoke Energy

•       Jim Motzer with DePaul University

•       Moderated by Jack Monson, Vice President, Engage121 and Board Member, PRSA Chicago.



“Act Like You Mean Business” Comes to PRSA Chicago Jan 17

The PRSA Chicago Board of Directors kicked off the new year last week with the announcement of a nationally-known and sought after speaker appearing at our January 17th luncheon.

Rob Biesenbach is a former PR counselor, actor, and author of Act Like You Mean Business. The book and Rob’s January 17 presentation teach business people what they can learn from actors, screenwriters, and playwrights, including:

  • Understand and connect with your audience.
  • Find, shape and tell compelling stories that move people.
  • Express your ideas more visually and with greater impact.
  • Tap into the power of emotion to really break through.

Rob is getting some great attention from the media and the PR &  Marketing community:

“It should be required reading for every Fortune 500 CEO.” – Tim Schellhardt, SVP, Edelman Public Relations and former Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal

If you’re looking to change up your typical pitch this year to something that will stand out, please join us for this event. RSVP today via PRSA Chicago.

Social Media Conferences 2012

The number of Social Media conferences continues to grow each quarter. What’s growing even faster is the number of conferences, summits, and conventions that are industry-specific that are now completely social media marketing focused. I am continuing to pull together as many as possible into one compiled social media conference list and have updated it well into 2012.

If you are organizing, speaking at, sponsoring, or attending a show that is not on this list, please comment here or email me at and I will add it!

PRSA Chicago Update

Thanks to all participants in PRSA Chicago’s September luncheon with Chicago agency leaders. I enjoyed moderating this panel of our city’s communications leaders and appreciate the excellent questions asked by attendees and via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and this blog. Edward Bury wrote an excellent summary of the discussion here on his PR Dude Blog.

L-to-R: Jack Monson, Engage121; Rick Murray, Edelman; Maxine Winer, Fleishman-Hillard; Bill Zucker, Ketchum


Public Relations Agency Leaders Roundtable


PRSA Chicago

I’m looking forward to moderating a panel of the Public Relations industry’s top agency leaders. We will address current PR challenges and opportunities in a wide-ranging roundtable discussion. This leadership forum is one of the most popular Chicago Chapter events held each year and is back by popular demand!

Issues to be discussed and debated include social, political, economic, and cultural trends affecting the practice of PR in agencies and companies including:

• Predictions for 2012

• The Communications role within the marketplace and current economy

• Issues that are critical to all in the C-suite, especially in driving economic growth

• New insights, solutions, and strategies under the label of innovation that agencies provide clients

• How do forward-thinking agency leaders stay in front of clients’ needs?

Our panelists for the program are: 

Susan Howe, President – Chicago, Weber Shandwick

Bill Zucker, Midwest Director, Ketchum 

Rick Murray, President, Edelman

Maxine Winer, Senior Partner & GM, Fleishman-Hillard

 • Moderated by Jack Monson, Vice President, Engage121, Inc.

Register Now