Digital PR & Marketing Conference Agenda

The annual gathering of communicators and digital ideas, strategies + tactics

Prepare yourself for the future of brand communications and put your PR/marketing career on a faster track by joining PR and marketing experts from leading brands, nonprofits and agencies at PR News’ annual Digital PR & Marketing Conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Miami, June 6-8, 2016.

See coverage of PR News’ Digital PR & Marketing Conference in Forbes’ Marketing Conferences to Check Out in 2016.

This three-day event will provide you with practical knowledge to increase the visibility of your brand, expand its reach on social media, put data at the heart of all your communications programs, work with influencers and manage crises—and tie digital communications efforts back to the bottom line.

This annual gathering encompasses networking opportunities, a hands-on clinic, a morning workshop on using Google’s technology for brand communications (June 6) and PR News’ Social Media Awards luncheon (June 6)—all in the Ritz-Carlton’s sumptuous setting in Miami’s South Beach.

You’ll take away practical knowledge in how to:

  • Make customers and employees your content stars
  • Develop KPIs with the C-suite in mind
  • Use Facebook and Twitter’s paid options
  • Pull the right social media data that ties to your PR and marketing goals
  • Use free and paid technology tools to find and recruit the influencers that matter in your market
  • Develop an editorial strategy and storytelling skills that fit Facebook’s growing emphasis on video
  • Use Twitter Analytics to monitor your brand’s activity on the platform
  • Find your brand’s voice on Snapchat
  • Make Instagram your most potent social media force

Attendee Bonuses

  • Executive Summary
  • Access to Speaker Presentations
  • $199/night room block (Expires May 20)
  • Checklists
    • Digital Influencer Vetting
    • Creating Games and Contests on Snapchat
  • Tip Sheets
    • 5 Steps Communicators Can Take to Generate and Measure Leads
    • Where Does PR Stand on Paid Social Media?
    • Top Free Instagram Tools to Measure Your Campaigns
    • How to Make the Marriage of PR & Marketing Work

June 6 Detailed Schedule

8:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

Google for Communicators Workshop*

Attend PR News’ Workshop: Google for Communicators in the morning before the start of the conference and learn how to make Google’s vast and growing suite of tools and applications work for you. At this PR News workshop, you will get the best tips and case studies in how to use Google’s technology to meet their communications goals—and then go far beyond them.

*This workshop is not included in with the conference registration. Pre-registration is required. Attend both the Digital PR & Marketing Conference and the Google for Communicators Workshop with a Full Access Pass.

11:45 a.m. 12:30 p.m.

Registration & Networking

12:30 p.m. 2:30 p.m.

Conference Kickoff: PR News’ Social Media Awards Luncheon

At PR News’ Social Media Awards luncheon you’ll find out which companies, nonprofit organizations and agencies launched the best social media campaigns in the last year. You’ll have the opportunity to hear about the campaigns themselves and get insight into the strategies and tactics behind the campaigns from the creators themselves. And you’ll have ample opportunity to network with the Social Media Award finalists.

2:30 p.m. 2:45 p.m.

Networking Break

2:45 p.m. 3:15 p.m.

Opening Keynote Presentation: How to Make Customers and Employees Your Content Stars

Every seat has a story, and each passenger who sets foot on a plane has one to tell, whether it’s the beginning of a chapter, or an adventure drawing to a close. In his opening keynote session, Southwest Airlines’ Brooks Thomas—who’s responsible for overseeing content strategy across Southwest’s social spaces and building social media training across the company—will talk about how to build a content engine that turns stories from customers and employees into marketing campaigns and media sensations.


Brooks Thomas
Social Business Advisor
Southwest Airlines
3:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.

Case Studies: Digital Content Strategies That Senior Leaders Love

No trend has dissolved the borders between PR and marketing more than content marketing on digital platforms. PR pros and marketers will tell you that content is king, but the most honest among them will say that only content that aligns with the goals of senior leaders is king. In this session Kimberly Jaindl of Lockheed Martin, Alex Kepnes of Humana and Britt Klontz of agency Distilled will share case studies that encompass the major social media platforms and include measurement strategies that tie into senior leaders’ business goals

You’ll hear case studies that will include:

  • How Lockheed Martin’s experimental debut on Periscope led to CNN coverage
  • How Instagram is transforming Lockheed Martin’s visual storytelling around ship manufacturing
  • How a simple quiz skyrocketed conversation around an annual naval systems trade show
  • How Humana’s focus on blogs and LinkedIn has paid off for the brand
  • A look at Humana’s overall content direction
  • A B2B case study that features tactics more commonly associated with B2C brands

BONUS TIP SHEET: How to Make the Marriage of PR & Marketing Work


Kimberly Jaindl
Head of Digital Marketing and Advertising, Mission Systems and Training
Lockheed Martin
Alex Kepnes
Director, Corporate Communications
Britt Klontz
Digital PR Consultant, Marketing Team Lead
Schwartz_Diane copy
Moderator: Diane Schwartz
SVP & Group Publisher, Media & Communications Group
PR News/Access Intelligence
4:15 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Mobilizing Influencers to Mitigate a Brand Crisis in Real Time

Without the right strategy in place, crises can devastate your brand. But when every crisis presents new challenges, how can you be prepared? Your crisis mitigation strategy can only get you so far. You need to be ready to leverage real-time tactics when an issue arises that puts your brand on the ropes. Enter influencer relations. Partnering with an influencer who is credible, has experience within the industry and a sizable following provides a trifecta of credibility factors, making it difficult for detractors to make their case. In this 15-minute session, Stacey Miller, senior communications manager with Cision, will show you how to build targeted relationships with influencers and mobilize them to help mitigate a brand-damaging event.


Stacey Miller
Senior Manager, Communications
6 p.m. 7 p.m.

Sunset Reception

June 7 Schedule At–A–Glance

June 7 Detailed Schedule

6:45 a.m. 7:30 a.m.

Sunrise Walk

8:15 a.m. 8:50 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:50 a.m. 9:00 a.m.

Welcome from PR News

9:00 a.m. 9:55 a.m.

Use Data to Spark Business-Minded Creativity on Social Media

How do you, as a brand and reputation manager, ensure that your engagement with your audience on social media actually reflects what that audience needs and wants from you? If your social analytics methods aren’t up to date, then odds are that there’s a disconnect between your creativity on social media and your audience’s desires.

In this session you’ll learn how to:

  • Choose the analytics tools that are right for your needs
  • Create an effective social listening stream
  • Pull the right social media data that ties to your PR and marketing goals
  • Listen to, engage with and convert potential business leads
  • Take practical steps to turn dissenters into ambassadors
  • Focus on small wins to gain traction within your organization

BONUS TIP SHEET: 5 Steps Communicators Can Take to Generate and Measure Leads


Greg Kunkel
Senior Marketing Communications Program Manager
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Version 2
Kevin Kautzky
Communications Group Manager – Energy and Environment
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Knox_Mike copy
Moderator: Mike Knox
Head of North American Sales, Media Intelligence
10:15 a.m. 10:30 a.m.

Networking Break

10:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

Track A: Influencer Campaigns on a Tight Budget

Communicators are under intense pressure to share brand-building content, and in response the most resourceful among them are working with external bloggers and other market influencers. In this session we’ll explore the gray areas of working with external influencers and take stock of the potential rewards and hazards.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Take a bird’s-eye view of the evolution of the influencer relationship, from the beginning to the stage where mutual endorsements are exchanged and trust is established
  • Work with your marketing team to integrate influencers into campaigns
  • Use free and paid technology tools to find and recruit the influencers that matter in your market, and apply insights gleaned from those influencers
  • Establish a work structure and payment with influencers
  • Build trust with influencers
  • Maintain transparency with your audience regarding the nature of your relationships with influencers
  • Follow FTC recommendations in your external blogger relationships
  • Be clear with members of your influencer network about what they can and can’t say about your products or services

BONUS CHECKLIST: Digital Influencer Vetting


Joshua Habursky
Senior Manager of Grassroots Advocacy
American Diabetes Association
Helm_Clay copy
Clay Helm
Public Relations Director
Konstanze Alex-Brown
Corporate Social Influencer Relations Manager
10:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

Track B: How to Make Video Work for Your Brand

You’ll learn how to develop the kinds of videos that will be watched and shared, repurpose existing content, research and use the production and editing tools you need, optimize your videos for search, distribute your video content on YouTube and other video players, develop video ideas for Instagram.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Develop a video strategy that’s integrated with your overall communications goals and organizational objectives
  • Look at the overarching viewpoint of the production process, including budgets, timelines, creative elements (voiceover, color correction, motion graphics, etc.)
  • Develop videos for your brand whether you’re a one-person band or have a budget to hire video professionals
  • Develop and execute ideas for Instagram video
  • Highlight customer testimonials in videos
  • Use videos for rebranding campaigns
  • Measure, optimize and distribute your video content


Tod Plotkin
Founder and Principal
Green Buzz Agency
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Patricia Garofalo
Communications Strategy Leader
11:30 a.m. Noon

Mix & Mingle Networking Break

Noon 12:45 p.m.


12:45 p.m. 1:00 p.m.

Networking Break

1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

Track A : How to Be a Brand Communications Champion on Twitter

PR News’ own Millennial Advisory Board has made it clear to us what their preferred social media platform is in the workplace—Twitter, by a long shot. They praise Twitter’s analytics, timeliness and relevance for journalists. Under pressure from its competitors, Twitter keeps adding new features, which we’ll cover in this session.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Make Twitter a distinct part of your overall social media strategy
  • Create Twitter campaigns that engage existing followers and generate new ones
  • Set measurable goals that align with your business plan
  • Use Twitter’s video sharing capabilities to tell your brand’s story
  • Explore Twitter’s paid media options, including promoted tweets and trends
  • Use Twitter Analytics to monitor your brand’s activity on the platform
  • Consider the applications of Twitter’s live-streaming Periscope app for your organization


Thompson_Kirsch_Alexandra copy
Alexandra Kirsch Thompson
Vice President, Social Strategy and Content Marketing
Finn Partners
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Patrick Riccards
Chief Communications and Strategy Officer
Woodrow Wilson Foundation
1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

Track B: Is Snapchat Right for Your Organization?

Snapchat is a major player in the social media content game. What started out as a fun disappearing message service for young audiences has grown into a social media powerhouse: Snapchat is more popular among American teens than Facebook, and it gets 4 billion video views per day. In this session you’ll learn if it’s time to launch on the platform—and how to do it.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Determine if Snapchat makes sense for your organization
  • Find your voice on the platform
  • Make your snaps interactive
  • Make your audience feel special on Snapchat
  • Use various Snapchat tools to create original and attractive messages
  • Measure the success of your Snapchat efforts
  • Use Snapchat’s on-demand geofilters for specific physical spaces whether or not your organization is active on Snapchat

BONUS CHECKLIST: Creating Games and Contests on Snapchat


Laura Wilson
Director of Digital Engagement & Social Media
Georgetown University
Gavin Donovan
Digital Strategy Lead
Mission Foods
3:00 p.m. 3:15 p.m.

Networking Break

3:15 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

Visual Storytelling With Instagram

A few years back it was unthinkable that Instagram would overtake parent company Facebook in U.S. brands’ social actions (the sum of likes, comments, shares and retweets). Think again. Instagram surpassed Facebook in 2015 and accounted for 52% of brands’ total social actions, according to Shareablee data provided exclusively to PR News. Social actions grew 36% vs. 2014, with 75% of that growth from Instagram, 30% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. Find out how you can make Instagram your most potent social media force and keep pace with the platform’s latest features.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use Instagram video for brand storytelling
  • Measure Instagram’s value for your brand
  • Share your organization’s behind-the-scenes content on Instagram
  • Seed content with influencers to increase engagement
  • Adhere to Instagram users’ aesthetic standards for content

BONUS TIP SHEET: How to Use Top Free Tools to Measure Your Effectiveness on Instagram


Cochran_Lauren copy
Lauren Cochran
Director, Interactive Marketing and New Media
Miami Heat
Lane_John copy
John Lane
Chief Strategy Officer
Centerline Digital
4:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Case Study: Silo-Busting and Collaboration in Digital Communications Success

One organization will open the hood and show you how it overcame concerns and fears about working across silos and created a digital team at the enterprise level comprised of representatives from communications, marketing and customer relations. You’ll see how representatives worked across departments and functions to build a social business roadmap to put social capabilities at the center of the customer experience.


Brandi Boatner
Digital Experience Manager
IBM Global Technology Services

June 8 Schedule At–A–Glance

8:00 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.
8:25 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

June 8 Detailed Schedule

8:00 a.m. 8:25 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

8:25 a.m. 8:30 a.m.

Welcome from PR News

8:30 a.m. 9:15 a.m.

Messaging Apps to Watch—and Maybe Use for Your Brands

Messaging apps have now overtaken social media networks in numbers of users. Yes, the demographics skew younger, but not exclusively. And their international base of users makes them that much more powerful. We’ll look at some of the most popular and fastest-growing messaging apps like Yik Yak, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat, and help you determine how they may be changing the way your audience, customers or members are communicating—and how you might consider plugging them into your communications strategy.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the habits of users of different apps
  • Use apps for group challenges and games
  • Know what your audience is expecting and how often they want to hear from you
  • Watch app trends for your target audience


Brian Weber
Corporate Director of Public Engagement
Bright House Networks
Ingrid Kibler
Social Media Director
HCK2 Partners
9:15 a.m. 11:30 a.m.

The $1,000 Championship for Best Crisis Team

Tables will work in teams to create a media relations and social media strategy around a fictitious brand crisis. Our trainers will assign a scenario to the teams and will ask them to apply takeaways from the Digital PR & Marketing Conference’s previous sessions and draft a comprehensive plan to work with journalists and manage the message on social media. Each team will have the opportunity to present their plans to the workshop trainers, who will select one winning team. The winning team will receive an award from PR News and a $1,000 prize. Plus, we’ll feature the winning team on, in the PR News newsletter and on social media.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Collaborate across silos in a crisis
  • Craft a core message that is communicated across all channels
  • Ensure that internal and external communications are consistent
  • Engage with journalists on social media
  • Engage company employees as well as friends, fans and followers in the crisis communication effort
  • Adapt your messages to specific social media platforms


Steinberg Allison_JetBlue
Allison Steinberg
Communications Strategist
De Lima_Pia copy
Pia De Lima
VP, Corporate Communications, The Americas and European Union
Western Union
Co-Moderator: Tom Gubbins
Senior Newsroom Consultant
11:30 a.m. Noon

25 Great Ideas from this Week’s Conference

Speakers from the Digital PR & Marketing Conference will take us through a rapid-fire rundown of the best ideas they’ve heard during the three days of sessions and networking opportunities—ideas you can put into practice when you get back to the office.


Greg Kunkel
Senior Marketing Communications Program Manager
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Version 2
Kevin Kautzky
Communications Group Manager – Energy and Environment
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Ingrid Kibler
Social Media Director
HCK2 Partners

The PR News Group at Access Intelligence, LLC is a daily intellectual hub that serves the communications and marketing community at corporations, agencies and nonprofits. With the launch of its weekly newsletter over 70 years ago, PR News has remained dedicated to supporting the growth of communicators all while keeping them abreast of the latest news affecting the industry. Visit for more information.