PRIA National Conference: #PRIAConf15 Day three round up

Wed, Oct 28 2015

#PRIAConf15 Day Three Highlights

David Hearn from Dentsu Mitchell opened day two of the main conference - the final day - by discussing Bob Dylan’s transformation from folk singer to rock star. Hearn suggested we must also, as media professionals, adapt and progress. However, take care not to info overload and unshackle yourself from the usual way of thinking.

'We ain’t seen nothing yet' was Alisa Bowen from Newscorp’s key message in discussing the changing face of digital media. Although the necessity to keep up with tech-savvy, rent-ready, tap-happy millennials is pressing down, Bowen said print media is still popular, despite the constant death knells.

Ogilvy’s Susan Redden Makatoa’s main message of communicating with heart was delivered with a good dose of wisdom and plenty of entertainment. Susan used the Lindt Café Siege as an example of how to communicate during crisis: put and keep people at the centre of your campaign. Ensure you tell your message first, tell it truthfully and tell it often. And above all, employ the CAP strategy: concern, action, perspective.

ALP VIC Assistant State Secretary, Stephen Donnelly discussed last year’s hugely successful community-driven election campaign. By mobilising an army of volunteers, the campaign steered away from the digital and back to grass roots. The brigade took to the streets, armed with strategy detail and a firm goal, to door-knock and engage. Donnelly says this empowered group of individuals was more powerful than tweeters.

Mike Verhoeven may have just scared everyone into buying a copyright licence. The expert told the crowd how necessary it is to watch what you’re using and how you’re using it. He said the copyright around social media is blurred, but be safe and seek permission, seek permission, seek permission!

Warren Kirby, CEO of Wieck delivered the third and latest findings from the 2015 PR Perceptions vs. Media Relations survey results with some very interesting findings. If your media releases don’t pop you probably have to go back to the drawing board, with survey results revealing 75 per cent of journalists read only 10 media releases a day and decide within 10 seconds of looking at a release if they will continue reading. Believe it or not, the results are in; if you want your story to get run, think of the news angle, not your client.

Chris Savage finished off #PRIAConf15 with a bang, He gave a lively account of the 'brand you pizza' and recounted how he was always ‘the youngest person in the room’ until he became the oldest in the room, in his career. He told a very engaged audience at the final stage of the conference, that when you move jobs, your brand drops, and you have to start all over. He ask how do you drive success in the PR industry and gave four key suggestions:

  1. Keep working on your core competency, get better at what you do. Get better and better and better;
  2. Push yourself to the front, put your hand up;
  3. Work on your likeability; and
  4. You got to work harder than anyone else.

He finished with asking guest how happy are you in your job today? "Health checks are a necessity and you should be doing them every few months," he said.

  • Do I make a powerful and positive difference to my company? 
  • Can I continue to learn and grow? 
  • Is it fun? 
  • Is it good for my life and my family?
  • Are the rewards fair 

Give yourself a mark out of 10 for each of the above and if you score lower than 35 when to total the scores, then you have some work to do. Wherever you are today, see what you can do to improve those scores. He challenged people to see are you up for change? He passionately expresed how important it is to word harder than everyone else and told how he lives by the mantra, EBNE, excellent but not enough. Careers are marathons, you'll need ambition, a plan, preparation, pacing, nourishment, drive vs. pain, and you need fans."How many years do you have left before you hit 65? Think about that," he concluded - a scary question indeed.

The final session included a panel Q&A with Dr Melanie Irons, Anne Leadbeater and Chris Savage. The experts urged people to push themselves, "If you are not scared you are not thriving to towards what you can be."

This was one of our favourite quotes of the whole day, "You are either disrupting, being disrupted or just asleep." We need to adapt to this fast change and more change is going to happen in the next three years than the past 30 years. In David Chalke’s earlier presentation, he called it the ‘Me now’ generation and we need to harness social media to use it better and how to be clever when targeted.

Don't be afraid to set "A great big hairy-arsed goal" said Paul Jans earlier in the day, which was #PRIAConf15's Master of Ceremonies, Michael Rowland's favourite quote of the conference. Rowland also personally acknowledge the powerful story of the release of Peter Greste, told by Heidi Ross. Greste's story didn't end there as Ogivly PR also picked up the International Campaign of the Year at the 39th Annual Golden Target Awards Nationals Finals for the same campaign.

Authors: Claire Todd and Neil O'Sullivan, PRIA.

​For photos from day three of the conference, click here. 

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