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Fall Professional Development Conference: About the Pitch

October 16, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

In the world of public relations today, you have to know how to get yourself noticed.  PRSA-WV will present “About the Pitch” on October 16 at Fairmont State University’s Falcon Center.  This educational program will include a series of speakers that will inspire those in attendance on the various facets of the pitch – from interacting with the media to positioning and pitching, and from ethics to making your own pitch through effective content generation or follow-through.  In addition to this strong lineup of speakers, you’ll get lunch and unlimited camaraderie with your fellow practitioners.

Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness:  Positioning and Pitching Your Business in 2019
Presenter: Stephen Brent May, Cofounder, One Foot Over
With easier access to information and more communications platforms than we know what to do with, it’s actually harder to stand out in 2019 than ever before.
HINT: The answer isn’t what you tell people your business can do for them, but it’s about you showing them how your business can help them.
You will walk away with actionable tactics for positioning and pitching your business or services differently than your competitors–unless they also attend this session.

Staying the Course: Insights for Effective Media Engagement and Outreach in Transition
Presenter: Jessica Sharps, Director of Communications, Fairmont State University
2013 PRSA-WV Young Practitioner of the Year
2017 PRSA-WV Chapter Service Award
Maintaining effective media engagement and outreach in a time of transition is not always an easy task. In this session you will learn how to successfully communicate in challenging situations by approaching each situation with thoughtful strategy and tactics that work.

Pitching & Partnering – Being credible and effective for your media counterparts
Moderated Q&A with Abigail Pesta, Author & Journalist
Being a credible and effective complement to your media counterparts is critical in your day-to-day practice. Through this moderated discussion, you will hear the perspective of this award-winning journalist who has lived and worked around the world including New York, London, and Hong Kong, and also authored numerous books.

The Media Is Coming! Managing Expectations on All Sides
Presenters:    Kara Dense and Valerie Pritt
Executive Director and Communications Manager
Greenbrier County Convention & Visitors Bureau
You made an excellent pitch, and the media is coming! Now, you have to manage expectations while putting your best foot forward. In this session, you will learn about the necessary balancing act required for taking your story from pitch to publication! This will require balancing the pitch versus the reality, so you don’t end up promising access to an incredible individual who it turns out doesn’t like to do interviews. Or you dedicate time and resources to what you think is sure to be a BIG magazine cover story, but instead get a two-paragraph blurb in the back of the publication. It’s your story, and you have to balance your universe.

Ethics in an Evolving Communication Landscape
Presenter:     Geah Pressgrove, PhD
Associate Professor & AD+PR Program Chair, Reed College of Media, WVU
PRSA-WV PRSSA Chapter of the Year (Advisor) 2017, 2018, 2019
PRSA-WV Educator of the Year 2019
Digital technologies have advanced the pace at which we do business. Organizations of all types are expected to take action on societal issues. This communication landscape creates new potential ethical challenges for public relations practitioners. In this presentation, participants will revisit our roots in ethics and discuss what this means amidst the changes taking place in our field.

“Why your story trumps your brand: Finding your Capital S Story”
Presenter:  Paul Furiga
President and Chief Storyteller

Every organization has at least one great story to tell: its own. Find out why your Capital S Story matters when it comes to running a successful organization – no matter which industry you’re in.  Paul’s talk with illustrate how science, our 21st-century “always on” communications culture and the ageless power of storytelling can be combined to deliver PR success for you and your organization.  Drawing from his firm’s ten years of applying storytelling principles, and his soon-to-be published book, Finding Your Capital S StoryPaul will show how some of the world’s best-known companies have used the Capital S storytelling framework to create success.


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October 16, 2019
10:00 am - 4:00 pm




Fairmont State University
Fairmont, WV 26554 + Google Map