WMPRSA Program - Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5 (11/15/12)

WMPRSA Program – Lights in the Night: How PR launched lanterns into the ArtPrize Top 5 (11/15/12) Lights in the Night, a PR story from concept to ArtPrize Top 5 as the first community organized and executed performance piece to make the Top 10 in ArtPrize history.

On September 28, 2012, thousands of paper lanterns were lit and took flight over the Grand Rapids skyline, representing the hopes, dreams and wishes of our community.

PR efforts netted over 75,000 participant volunteers and spectators, 200,000+ crowdsourced photographs and unique video, and over 5,000 earned multi-media mentions both domestically and internationally on a shoestring budget.

Register Here

WHEN: Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

WHERE: University Club of Grand Rapids (111 Lyon Street NW, 10th Floor of Fifth Third Bank Building, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503)


  • Event Registration
  • Member $25.00
  • Non-Member $35.00
  • Student $20.00
  • Please note: Day-of registrations and walk-ins will be assessed an additional $5 surcharge.

RSVP by Wednesday, November 14, 2012 by Registering Here

PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference - Detroit

It’s a PRSA conference like you’ve never experienced before. It’s CommLab 2012: Where the Art and Science of Communication Meet. And it’s where you’ll gain insights from exciting keynote speakers, attend interactive breakout sessions, and network with professionals from across the state at the afterglow event. Register today to reserve your spot at the PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference scheduled for Thursday, May 17 at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi. The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — with an Afterglow from 5 to 7 p.m.The cost is $150 for members and $200 for nonmembers.

  • Registration fee gets you 5 professional development sessions, 2 meals and an afterglow party.
  • Gain insight from exciting keynote speakers.
  • Attend interactive breakout sessions.
  • Network with professionals from across the state.
  • Registration fee is tax deductible if you are paying it on your own (employer doesn’t fund).
  • APRs earn 2 maintenance points for attending.
  • Conference is in your own backyard, no travel required.

Full conference details are available below.  Register here.


Mike Bonifer, author of GameChangers – Improvisation for Business in the Networked World, and the co-founder of GGameChangers, LLC, will open the conference with a keynote address that explores how we can draw upon the techniques of improvisation theater to build more compelling, memorable brand narratives through real-time conversations, especially within social media channels.

Anne Hubert of Scratch at Viacom Media Networks will join us at lunch. She’ll show you how brands can connect, collaborate and create the future with the Millennials, the biggest generation in American history. Scratch is a creative swat team that channels the reach, connection and creative force of Viacom in new ways to drive culture and commerce. Leveraging the power of MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and all of Viacom’s more than 170 channels and 500 digital media properties worldwide – their places in culture, creative talent, and audience connections – Scratch partners with brands on consulting, creative and consumer insights to create transformational results.


Customer Engagement in Healthcare Panelists: Tiffany Baker, Public Relations Specialist at Health Alliance Plan; Judith McNeeley, Manager of Public Relations for Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.; Debbie Babcock, Director of System Communications for Henry Ford Health System

Engaging customers is not an easy task for any industry, especially healthcare. How many people LIKE to go see a doctor or deal with an insurance company? As healthcare changes at a rapid pace, organizations are finding themselves working with customers before, during and after their experience. And, it's not just about engaging that one customer or patient, it's the employees of the organization, family members, community and physicians. During this session, panelists from Oakwood Healthcare, Inc., Health Alliance Plan and Henry Ford Health System will discuss how each finds its customers and audiences, and the tactics taken to engage those customers through traditional and nontraditional tools.

Crisis Planning with a Reputation Lens Andrew Gilman, President and CEO of CommCore Consulting Group

When a crisis happens, will you be ready? Recognizing a crisis and knowing how to prepare and respond before a crisis happens are key. Andrew Gilman, communications strategist and crisis counselor for more than twenty-five years, co-author of the best-selling book Get To The Point, lawyer and award-winning journalist, will lead this hands-on workshop that will explore:

  • Understanding the difference between an emergency and a crisis
  • The role of Check Lists in crisis response
  • Understanding the different types of crisis: Flash, Predictable and Chronic
  • In a crisis you are one of the 3 V’s
  • Social Media and crisis: Tales from the front lines

Kicking into High Gear: How PR Played a Role in the Comeback of the Auto Industry Moderated by Jeff Gilbert, Auto Beat Reporter at WWJ

Panelists: Ed Garsten - Head of Electronic Communications at Chrysler, Pat Morrissey - Director of Product and Brand Communications at General Motors, and Curt McAllister - Midwest Public Relations Manager at Toyota

It is no secret over the past few years the auto industry has faced several great challenges - from the bailouts to mass recalls and natural disasters, every auto maker was impacted. During this session, panelists from Chrysler, General Motors and Toyota will examine communications strategies that enabled them to overcome adversity and reconnect with their customers, and they will give you insight into how you can apply similar strategies in your organization or for your clients.

Developing a Best Practices Approach to Social Media Measurement Chuck Hemann, Digital Analytics Director for WCG

For years, communicators have struggled to understand what metrics they should use to define the success of their programs. That struggle has now made its way into social media. In this session, Chuck Hemann will explore how, as social programs achieve higher levels of sophistication, measurement will become even more critical in order to understand what has or hasn’t worked and how program tactics can be altered. You'll walk away with knowledge of how to come up with the right metrics to measure success and how to build an index to measure your communications programs more holistically.

Closing the Ethnic Diversity Gap in Metro Detroit’s PR Community Presented by Weber Shandwick Detroit (Panelists TBA)

Maintaining a diverse workforce is a challenge that the PR industry is still facing, especially in metro Detroit and across the state of Michigan. According to a study conducted in 2011, by Weber Shandwick Detroit with the support of PRSA-Detroit, 78% of respondents indicated that their employers do not actively recruit and retain ethnically diverse talent. While agencies and corporations are devoting more resources to expanding their multicultural employee base, there is still much that needs to be done. During this engaging panel discussion, the results of the 2012 PR diversity study will be presented and addressed by a panel of PR practitioners, with varying professional experiences and backgrounds. The panelists will discuss challenges, offer insight on how to address ethnic diversity disparity in the PR community, share best practices, and provide key take-aways on what PR professionals and leaders can do to move the needle to reflect a more diverse and inclusive working team.

Difficult Talks for PR ProsSM: Finding Your Mojo in Delicate Discussions Alan Cohen, President of Acts of Balance Coaching

PR people are some of the most extroverted people in the world – they are also some of the most conflict avoidant on earth. How you handle difficult conversations can often make or break relationships, and set the course of your business for years to come. This interactive workshop will include practical skills to survive dreaded conversations. The session will include philosophy, assessment, role-play, methods and resources to aid you in preparing for those high-stake conversations.

Why Mobile is Essential to Your Marketing Mix Sara Kowal, Vice President of Innovation at ePrize

What's the future of mobile in the marketing space? The fact is, the future is actually here. Stats on mobile usage are staggering, yet 79 percent of brands don't have a mobile-optimized site. It's time to pay attention. If you don't have a mobile app or mobile-optimized site, learn how to use mobile to reach consumers who are in market, ready for special offers, and could become your best brand advocates.