A call to action: Get revved up for #PRSAICON in Indy

Chris Kemper, APR, is   ‎Director of External Communications at FirstGroup America.

Chris Kemper, APR, is  ‎Director of External Communications at FirstGroup America.

By Chris Kemper, APR

A dynamic business environment.

Constantly evolving communications channels.

New tools that may – or may not – be worthwhile.

The changing media landscape. 

The convergence of paid, owned and earned.

With the expectations, demands and priorities that we collectively face, how are we supposed to get ahead of the game? How can we foster better ideas, more developed strategies and creative solutions to problems?


This is the fourth year I’ve attended PRSA’s International Conference – it was in Atlanta this year. It’s become my go-to solution to many of these challenges. Each year I walk away with ideas, perspective, contacts and new tools that help me up my game. 

For info about this year’s Conference, here are a number of recaps from PRSA.  Also, Dr. Karen Freberg wrote a reflection about this year’s Conference that conveys the energy of the event. And I produced a word cloud here and here based on notes from the 18 sessions I attended.

I’m surprised, and somewhat disappointed, that I don’t see more Cincinnati Chapter members each year. The chapter from Charlotte, a market similar in size to Cincinnati, had 20 members attend this year. I believe was the only member from Cincinnati this year. Last year, I saw one other member of our chapter in D.C.

Why does it matter? It collectively increases the quality of the work being done in the city, particularly when you consider that each of those attendees share insights with co-workers.

Now, I get it.

It’s expensive. It’s difficult to get approval … and even more difficult to get away. And it’s a leap of faith: what if I waste my time and my company’s money?

But the barrier of entry is lower next year. The Conference will take place in Indianapolis on October 22-25, 2016. One short drive away up I-74 and you’re hobnobbing with 2,000 other PR pros at more than 100 events.

And if you need a testimonial that the Conference is time well spent, just let me know. I’ll be happy to talk you, or your manager, about the value of attending.

I saw a picture of all 20 members of the Charlotte chapter at dinner during the Conference, and I must admit that it made me a bit jealous.

Next year, let’s have 20 of us from Cincinnati gathering to break bread in the Hoosier State.