Three Takeaways from the Out of This World PRSA Southwest District Conference

PRSA Conference Takeaways PR Marketing

PR and marketing professionals across the region recently attended the 2019 PRSA Southwest District Conference in Houston.

The conference featured speakers from NASA, local content creators and PR professionals discussing the industry’s leading trends surrounding PR campaigns, thought leadership and media relations. Here are some key takeaways we observed at the conference.

Takeaway One: Social Media Provides a “Bird’s Eye View” in Outer Space

During the conference, we heard from NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman as he discussed his use of social media to inspire the world during his time aboard the International Space Station. Weisman’s biggest takeaway was that some of his tweets would serve as a “bird’s eye view” of the world. For example, his tweet containing a photo from space of Typhoon Vongfong in the Asia-Pacific region went viral with over 13,000 retweets and was subsequently picked up by news outlets around the world, like NBC.

Takeaway Two: Treat Influencers like Journalists

In the digital age, online influencer-based content is becoming more prevalent across social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and TikTok. These content creators are reaching larger audiences than ever before, and brands are taking notice. During a panel discussion, local influencers discussed best practices PR professionals and brands should follow when working with content creators. Influencers prefer that agencies target them like journalists by researching and knowing what they cover before outreach. And instead of looking at follower count, agencies should look at the influencer’s engagement rate.

Takeaway Three: It’s Time to Pivot Your Approach to Startups

With 40% of Fortune 500 companies estimated to disappear within the next 10 years because of digital disruption, it’s time to analyze how startups will impact the industry. Due to fast growth and time constraints within startups, the traditional PR “agency model” may not produce the desired end result a company is looking for. Instead, startups increasingly prefer a results-driven model when working with agencies. Instead of sitting through discovery meetings and reading through lengthy PR plans, startups prefer agencies to have an overall understanding of their messaging, needs and end goals to hit the ground running right away. In the long run, this proves to be a more successful strategy with startups, as agencies are focused on driving value instead of spending time on planning.