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The Future of PR: Media Relations Summit 2008

Posted on Apr 6th, 2008
Written by Lee Odden
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    Union Square San Francisco

    Our client visit to San Francisco last week fell right next to the Media Relations Summit conference happening this week at the Westin St. Francis on Union Square. The near crossover meant a weekend in one of my favorite cities.


    As one of the largest conferences dedicated to media relations, this event attracts an array of public relations practitioners including the top PR agencies in the world, large and small corporate PR staff and academics from PR programs at major universities. Overall theme seems to be looking to the future.

    I am joined by media relations specialist, Kevin Sawyer who will be blogging the event over at Media Relations Blog. Today was made up of pre-conference intensives and workshops. Monday and Tuesday sessions are filled with high level and practical how to programming.

    This next one is tough!

    • “Measuring Your Impact in Online Media” – Katie Paine, KDPaine & Partners


    • “Influencing the New Influencers: Blogs, Podcasts, Online Video” – Paul Gillen Communications

    There’s an awards lunch which I’m not sure I’ll go to except they typically have some celebrity speaker. Not sure who it will be this year. Then the afternoon sessions will start:

    Now, another tough one:

    • “Following the Conversation: How to Monitor Reputation in an Online World” – Pete Blackshaw, Nielsen Online and Rob Stokes, Quirk Marketing


    • “Crafting a Powerful, Cost-Effective Social Media Strategy” – Sally Falkow, Expansion Plus and Brian Solis, Future Works PR

    One question I have, is why so many people in the PR industry (client side) are so afraid of putting budget towards social media strategy? Why does it always have to be characterized (by PR practitioners and conferences) as “low cost”? I think it’s because the industry as a whole is scared that it’s ability to change with the times won’t be fast enough and that areas like social media are direct threats to their comfort zone of business as usual.

    I’m looking forward to hearing what Sally and Brian have to say in their session as two of the most respected PR and social media practitioners that I know.

    There are several sessions in the final time slot for Monday, but the one I’m really looking forward to is:

    • “Blogger Relations: Inside the Hearts and Minds of Top Online Pundits” Tom Foremski of Silicon Valley Watcher, Om Malik of Giga Om, Craig Newmark of and Jon Greer of BNET/Media Bridge.

    There’s another great schedule for Tuesday as well. I will be speaking later in the day on the “Secrets of Increasing Traffic to Your Corporate Website” session with Brian Kaminski of iProspect and David Hulme of Vision Media.

    During both days of the conference I’ll be blogging a few sessions and will post those most relevant to the SEO/PR/Social Media mix we typically write about here at Online Marketing Blog. The media relations and PR specific sessions will be blogged by Kevin over on our Media Relations Blog.