Morning Sessions: Show


8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration Opens, Networking, Continental Breakfast Provided


9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks


9:10 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Sponsor Driven Case-Study


9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Panel Discussion: “Misguided PR: The Industry’s Internal Crisis”

Description: In this panel session we take a look at one of the biggest issues facing our rapidly evolving PR industry – bad leadership. PR leaders are operating off playbooks with invalid precedents, outdated policies and misguided principles. With the evolution of the Internet, technology and social media, PR does not function today the same way it did 5-10 years ago, let alone 20-30 years ago.


Work lives and personal lives are blending. Twitter acts as a real-time news feed; big companies are leveraging their blogs to make news announcements; and Medium is an acceptable place for people to announce job changes. Gone are the days of the “Tuesday Newsday” formal press release distribution lists and awkward cold calls.

Moderator: Johna Burke (Executive Vice President, BurrellesLuce)


  1. Colin Jordan (Director of Media Relations, Egnyte)

  2. Joey Hodges (Founder, Demonstrate PR)

  3. Janine Just (Founder, Janine Just, Inc)

10:05 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Keynote: “PR: Public Relations or Proving ROI? Elevating PR to a Strategic Business Function”

Speaker: Johnny Vance (Director of Strategic Programs, Meltwater)

Description: Any PR professional knows the value that a public relations department brings to a business, but how can that value and contribution be made known to stakeholders? Learn how advancements in PRTech, artificial intelligence, automated reporting, and real-time alerts can provide insights that inform and drive business strategy in the mobile age.


10:35 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Keynote: “Technology Trends Changing the Face of Communication: How AR, VR and AI are impacting the way we communicate”

Speaker: Barbara Bates (CEO North America, Hotwire PR)


11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. Sponsored Coffee Break


11:15 a.m. – 11:55 p.m.

Panel Discussion: “Media Hacks For B2B: Attract Press! Creative Ways to Bring Sexy Back to B2B”

Moderator: Kym McNicholas (EMMY AWARD Winning Journalist)


  1. Susan Thomas (CEO & Founder, 10Fold Communications)

  2. Benjamin Hindman (Founder & CEO, Splash)

  3. Joe Lazauskas (Editor-in-Chief, Director of Content, Contently)


12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Lunch, Offsite  


Afternoon Sessions: Reveal

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Keynote & Fireside Chat: “What the @#$% Is Going On With the Media?” (Special Segment 1-hour time-slot)

Description: There’s no way to put this nicely: The media industry is imploding. Shrinking newspaper staffs, declining ad revenues, small publications getting absorbed by bigger ones, business model shifts, less and less VC investment–no matter how you look at it, the business of journalism is going from bad to worse. Meanwhile, the media gets blamed for everything from Theranos to Donald Trump.

What does that mean for the PR profession? For one thing, PR pros now outnumber working journalists by almost 6:1, so if you have a hard time getting a reporter on the phone–and if reporters tell you they’re getting bombarded with more pitches than ever–well, that’s just mathematics. But there are opportunities as well, for PR firms and for their clients, to help close the information gap. In this session, we’ll talk about the state of the media, its outlook, and what that means for PR, content, and communicating your clients’ messages.


  1. Introduction and moderation: Dylan Tweney, Tweney Media

  2. Fireside chat 1: Josh Jones-Dilworth, Jones Dilworth Inc.

  3. Fireside chat 2: Conrad Egusa,


2:05 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.

Panel Discussion: “What is the new communication strategy in the age of Trump and Twitter?”

Moderator: David Burrows (President & Co-Founder, Martin Michael Agency)


  1. Rob Pegoraro (Writer, USA Today)

  2. Gregory Galant (CEO, Muck Rack)

  3. Justin Adu (Creative Director, Carol H. Williams)

  4. Todd Wasserman (Veteran Journalist & Associate, WIT Strategy)


2:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Panel Discussion:Prove your worth: Choose analytics that measure and show PR’s value”  

Description: PR teams grapple with reporting meaningful results in a way that influences and persuades clients, executives and the C-suite. Data has become critical to understand audiences and ensure PR tactics produce the desired results. Panelist will explore, as well as explain how PR people can become more strategic in their analyses and how they can tackle increasingly complex measurement.

In this panel, you will learn how to:

  • Establish measurement that includes goals, metrics and targets

  • Use Google Analytics data to answer THE question: Which content drives traffic?

  • Get measurement data that improves your brand’s reach

  • Create measurement reports that accurately and powerfully track your progress

  • Create visually appealing dashboards for stakeholders that spur action

Moderator: John Federico (Co-Founder, Eventhero)


  1. Louis Gray (Analytics Advocate, Google)

  2. Joshua Fechter (Growth Marketer Evangelist, GrowthX Academy)

  3. Christine Perkett (CEO & Founder, SeeDepth Inc.)

  4. Erik Huddleston (CEO at TrendKite)


3:10 p.m. – 3:35 p.m.

Keynote: “Powering your PR campaigns from start to finish”

Speaker: Louis Gray (Analytics Advocate, Google)

Description: PR pros are increasingly tasked with showing tangible results for their efforts—and effective PR campaigns start with meaningful data used right from the start. How can communicators uncover relevant research, set a measurement foundation and successfully benchmark their work? In his talk, Googler Louis Gray will explain how PR people can become more strategic, understand relevant metrics and use data to your advantage.


In this keynote, you will learn how to:

  • Use Google Analytics data to uncover the content that drives traffic

  • Establish effective goals, metrics and targets for your campaigns

  • Get measurement data that improves your brand’s reach

  • Generate reports that accurately and powerfully track your progress

  • Craft visually appealing dashboards that can turn executives’ heads


3:35 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Sponsored Coffee Break


3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Panel Discussion: PR Council Presents: “Diversity In Communications 2017 – How Inclusive Are we?”

Moderator: Renee Wilson (President, PR Council)


  1. Whitney Headen (Head of Digital Marketing, Essence)

  2. Kevin Winston (CEO & Founder, Digital LA)

  3. Jamey Peters (Partner/Director, Ketchum South Dallas)


4:35 p.m. – 5:10 p.m.

Panel Discussion:Can Public Relations be Automated? Meet Emerging Technologies Leading the Way”

Description: Long thought to be more art than science, public relations is one of the last bastions of manual process left in the enterprise. And while other marketing disciplines have benefited from new channels, tools and analytics, the PR industry is largely made up of the same tools that have existed for more than a decade. Demand for modern tools has given birth to the nascent “PR Tech” space, and you’ll get the opportunity to meet some of the players and take part in a lively debate about the future of PR.

Moderator: Stefan Fountain (CEO,


  1. Joel Andren (CEO, Press Friendly)

  2. Hannah Oiknine (CEO & Founder, Babbler)

  3. Chris Hudspeth (Expert in Future Marketing, Chris.the.Eric Events)

  4. Johnny Vance (Director of Strategic Programs, Meltwater)



5:15 p.m. – 5:55 p.m.

Fireside Chat: Media, Millennials and Resistance

Description: The most important generation in terms of size and purchasing power, Millennials have been heavily reported to be resistant to marketing and politics because of a lack of trust. Yet, they are also the most brand loyal and the most civic minded. Thanks to social media, millennials can demand that brands be more transparent and authentic. Also, millennials can more casually discover news from friends they trust and use social media as a tool of activism. They’re also the  main ones on the ground fighting against injustices and isms.

Tech evangelist Lynne d Johnson leads an insightful conversation with Symone Sanders, a former Bernie Sanders spokesperson & current Democratic strategist and CNN Political Commentator, to unpack these ideas and more.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Post Conference cocktail party onsite.

Breakout Session Schedule

11:05 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

How to f%ck up, f#@king up. Or slightly more polite: How to get work / life in balance.

Speaker: Stefan Fountain (CEO,

Description: Faster, better, harder, more productive. That’s pretty much the mantra of any professional these days. However faster, better, harder and longer is also what drives us deeper into an off balance life-style. Most professionals believe that without suffering there is no success. This talk has the thesis that this is a lie, and let’s throw it back to the pits of hell where it belongs.

11:35 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 

How journalists use social media for news sourcing and distribution

Speaker: Gregory Galant (CEO, Muck Rack)

1:05 p.m. –  1:30 p.m. 

Content that Converts:  5 Keys for Packing More Punch in Your PR

Speaker: Ken Wincko (Chief Marketing Officer, St. Jacques Marketing)

Description: In today’s hyper-connected digital world, audiences are bombarded with information.  Cutting through the clutter is critical for PR success, yet many PR professionals cling to traditional methods that provide little to no impact.  It is time to rethink your PR strategy and focus on creating compelling content that engages audiences, where, when and how they want it.

Join a discussion with Ken Wincko, CMO of St. Jacques Marketing as he shares his tips for creating and implementing a next-generation PR strategy that will help you take your communications programs to the next level and drive growth for your organization.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to develop an effective PR content strategy that drives impact

  • What key steps you need to take to deliver real-time content in context

  • Why establishing new KPI’s is critical for measuring the impact of your PR programs

Be part of the conversation.  Tweet your questions to #compellingcontent

1:35 p.m. –  2:00 p.m.

How to Pitch Better: We analyzed 100K pitches to get you the inside scoop

Speaker: Joel Andren (CEO, Press Friendly)

Description: Pitching may not be 90% of our job, but sometimes it feels that way. We can all use a leg up and pitch better, so why not make a data-driven decision? We looked at the transactional data of 100,000 pitches to help make your pitching more effective. What time of day should you send your email? Should you send a pitch on Friday? Is that follow-up email a waste of time? Will I be more effective if I have a larger media list? We’ll have answers to these questions and more as get to the data behind the pitches.

2:15 p.m. –  2:40 p.m. 

PR and the Media: How to Manage Your Relationships

Presenter: Colin Jordan (Director of Media Relations, Egnyte)

Description: In this breakout session Colin will examine the often tumultuous relationship between PR professionals and the media. For years now the media and PR pros have battled each other, questioning their ethics, their roles, the quality of their work, and so on and so forth. Rather than taking part in the “battle”, Colin offers a different perspective on how to work with the media – treat them like people partners.

Rather than playing a contentious game that is often hard to win, PR professionals should approach with the understanding that both parties have something to gain. We are not above the media, we are not more important, and we certainly should not act as if we are. Presumably, we work in our respective industries because they pique our interest. The same goes for the media. Therefore we should find commonalities and approach the media as partners, not as foes.

Colin offers expertise on how to tear down the wall of negativity and cultivate relationships, building strong partnerships with the media. Most importantly he takes a look at the value of these partnerships versus many of the superficial interactions that PR Pros have with media this days, which unfortunately don’t hold any long-term value and can proliferate the “bad blood” between the two groups.

2:45 p.m. –  3:10 p.m.

The Event Experience: A look into conceptualizing your brand story to the masses

Speakers: Joey Hodges (Founder, Demonstrate PR), Janine Just (Founder, Janine Just, Inc)

In this session, Joey and Janine will share tips for:

  • Curating a target-right audience

  • Creating a shareable experience

  • Driving earned media coverage

  • Digital and social influencer amplification

3:30 p.m. –  3:55 p.m.

How To Tell Stories With Virtual Reality

Speaker: Lynne Johnson (Content + Community Engagement Strategist, LdJ Communications)

4:00 p.m. –  4:25 p.m.

Data-Driven Communications: From Marketing Expense to Business Driver

Speaker: Nick Bell (VP of Marketing Communications, Cision)

Despite yielding better results than paid and owned, earned media often misses critical budget opportunities. However, brands can no longer simply buy consumer trust and interest. Don’t believe it? Nearly 80 percent of today’s internet users say they almost never click online ads. While the trust in paid and owned media continues to decline, this creates a big opportunity for PR practitioners who can effectively leverage media and influencer communities to drive customer behavior. Learn from Nick Bell, VP of Marketing Communications at Cision, why the art of PR now requires the science of data and how communicators can draw a link between their coverage and buyer behavior.

In this session, Nick will show you:

  • How to rethink the role of earned media in your overall strategy and adopt a more holistic approach

  • Why influencers are key to a successful PR strategy in 2017 and beyond

  • Why Data is the new Black for communications professionals

  • Digital and social influencer amplification