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Are Tweets Killing the Press Release?
April 26 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Social media hasn’t just expanded the PR playing field – it has changed the field altogether. In fact, many PR pros now question the value of traditional tools such as the press release. As more and more journalists bypass PR pitches in favor of what’s trending online, PR pros must decide whether the old mainstay tools should be relegated or simply reconsidered.
This special PRSA-LA event will explore what you need to know to use new and traditional PR tools effectively in the world of paid, earned, owned and shared media. Our panel of experts will share insights, case studies and actionable tips to ensure you and your clients don’t get left behind.
Natalie Bering, Director International Strategy, PR Newswire (@NatalieBering)
Natalie Bering, Director of International Sales and Social Strategy for PR Newswire, consults with clients around global communication strategies for both traditional and social media. She has presented at conferences such as Social Media Strategy Summit, Silicon Valley Brand Forum, and Portugal Ventures Business Leadership Summit. In addition she served as lead curator for one of PR Newswire’s social handles, is a regular contributor to Beyond PR, and was part of the official social media teams for TEDxSanJose and Business4Better. In her eight years at PR Newswire she has worked with major brands including Twitter, Facebook, Oracle, and Disney.
Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media, Business Wire (@Serena)
Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media for Business Wire, provides guidance for internal and external content creation and distribution services, ranging from PR programming to mobile marketing to social media updates. Over the last 25 years, Ehrlich has worked to provide guidance on investor relations, public relations and overall consumer behavior relations trends. Ehrlich started her career in advertising where she developed an understanding of branding from a large-scale perspective, but she credits her 18 years in the newswire industry for placing her at the forefront of the technical, sociological and influential revolution changing the face of today’s customer communications.
Prior to rejoining Business Wire in 2013, Ehrlich designed and implemented successful local, national and international social, mobile and traditional marketing campaigns for brands including Kraft, Kohls, Avon, Mattel, Mogreet and more. A ’91 graduate of Brandeis University with a B.A. in History, Ehrlich was named one of the 2013 Top 25 Women in Mobile to Watch by Mobile Marketer.
Heidi Flato, Public Relations Director, Verizon Wireless (@heidiflato)
As public relations director at Verizon Wireless, Heidi Flato leads all public relations activity within the Pacific Market (Alaska, California, Hawaii, northern Idaho, northern Nevada, Oregon, and Washington). At Verizon Heidi serves as the primary company spokesperson for print, broadcast, and social media for her region and as a point of contact for emergency response and disaster relief agencies.
Heidi’s responsibilities include providing guidance, messaging and strategy to the regional leadership team, while ultimately promoting the Verizon brand to current and potential customers across the Western United States. She also manages philanthropic programs and develops relationships with leaders of domestic violence support organizations throughout the region.
The majority of her PR career has focused on the wireless industry, and her category expertise includes wireless network technology, devices, and mobile tech solutions (Internet of Things). She possesses an in-depth understanding of the impact that technology — like Verizon’s 4G LTE — has in every size and type of market. Prior to joining Verizon in 2005, Heidi oversaw product PR for Openwave Systems and held positions in investor relations, external affairs and corporate communications with AirTouch Communications.
Christian Gunning, Associate Vice President, University Communications, USC (@gunman)
Christian is the associate vice president of University Communications for the University of Southern California, where he oversees the university’s central media relations, research communications, social media, editorial, marketing, and creative functions.
His teams are responsible for furthering the strategic priorities of the university president and provost, working to reinforce USC’s reputation as an elite private research university. University Communications works closely with more than 20 academic schools within the university, as well as a host of cross-discipline institutes and research centers, to promote stories that shape the narrative about the university.
Christian was previously vice president of corporate communications for Boingo Wireless, and he has more than 25 years of experience in guiding global programs for leading technology and non-technology companies alike. A graduate of the USC School of Journalism, he has served as an adjunct instructor in USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He was a member of the USC Trojan Marching Band and marched in three consecutive Rose Bowls. His band helmet is on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. #FIGHTON
James Sims, Director of Communications, Center Theatre Group (@SimsJames)
James is the Director of Communications at Center Theatre Group, leading a department that oversees press and public relations, social media and digital communications, content development, brand management, web oversight, and board and staff communications. He has spent the last decade working in the entertainment and cultural landscape with leading institutions including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Nederlander Organization. Originally from Los Angeles, James started his career as a broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, delivering news to the Armed Forces Network in South Korea. Following his military service, he began working as an entertainment reporter in Los Angeles, later relocating to New York City to attend Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Erik Deutsch, Principal, ExcelPR; Past President, PRSA-LA (@ErikDeutsch)
Erik is a media strategist with more than 20 years of experience in public relations, word-of-mouth marketing and content production. Prior to launching ExcelPR Group in 2004, he worked on staff and as a consultant for some of the world’s largest PR agencies, where he managed campaigns for clients ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
An early adopter of digital PR tactics, Erik helped launch Interactive PR News in 1995 as the first national newsletter on new media for public relations professionals. He served as managing editor, and help shepherd its acquisition by Access Intelligence (publisher of PR News). Erik is also devoted to helping educate the next generation of PR professionals, serving on the faculty of UCLA Extension’s Certificate Program in Public Relations. He has taught a range of courses, including “Best Practices in Social Media for Communications Professionals.” He served as 2014 president of the Public Relations Society of America, Los Angeles Chapter (PRSA-LA), and speaks frequently at PR, marketing and new media conferences across the U.S. (recent appearances include SXSWi, Digital Hollywood, Social Media Week L.A. and Internet Week NYC). Erik earned an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA and a masters degree in communication management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.