Returning to the office after a Public Relations Society of America Counselors Academy spring conference is invigorating. Pages of notes in-hand, fresh ideas in my mind and dozens of LinkedIn invites later, I feel ready to grapple with the second half of the year, check back in with my business plan (yes, I have one and hopefully, you do too) and reaffirm my commitment to my chosen profession.
For the second consecutive year, I’ve ventured to this conference for public relations agency owners and C-suite managers whose intent is to help them become smarter, better, kinder business leaders. This year, the event was held in Seattle and I had the honor of moderating the conference’s “best of” pre-conference session, alongside three experts who put the “best” in “best of”, including Ken Jacobs, ACC, CPC, of Jacobs Consulting & Executive Coaching; Darryl Salerno, CEO, Second Quadrant Solutions; and Michael Lasky, Esq., partner at the law firm of Davis & Gilbert LLP, who spoke about growing, running and protecting your agency, respectively. There were insights, along with laughs, and attendees walked away with so much knowledge, they told me that the four hours they spent in this session made the entire investment of attending worthwhile.
Really, the learning had just begun.
While it’s impossible to share 60-plus hours of wow with you, the next two-and-a-half days offered many pearls of wisdom (and, yes, more laughs with my fellow counselors). Here are a few snapshots for you to share in a thin slice of what I brought back with me, no matter what type of business you’re in:
“We live stories way more often than we tell them.” – Cindy Atlee, principal of The Storybranding Group.
“Count that metric!” – Serena Ehrlich, director of social media, BusinessWire.
“The client has the only vote on the value of the work done with them.” – Patrick Lamb, attorney and founder, Valorem Law Group.
“People embrace other people. They don’t embrace buildings.” – Tom Garrity, president, The Garrity Group.
“Continually affirm who you are and commit to your own goals and dreams.” – Patrice Tanaka, CEO of Joyful Planet LLC.
“Your power emanates from your people. If you abuse that power, trust erodes.” – Ken Jacobs, ACC, PCC, Jacobs Consulting & Executive Coaching.
“Vision without execution is hallucination.” – George Rosenberg, CEO, The Rosenberg Group.
“Find your complement, not your duplicate.” – Elise Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, CEO of Mitchell Communications and Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network.
And, shared with attendees during the closing keynote, a reminder that what you leave behind is the most important and lasting gift of all.
“Legacy will be determined by what you gave, not by what you gained.” – Tom Hoog, Fellow PRSA, vice chairman, H+K Strategies.
To all those whose words stirred my mind and heart, thank you. I hope you too took away what you needed and brought it back to share with others. As for me, I’m revved up and ready to spread stories and smiles.