Saturday, May 17, 2008

My PR industry highlight of the year

...is Counselors Academy's annual conference.

I'm here now, in Naples, Florida, anticipating tomorrow's official start.

And I have to say that if you're running an agency, this is one of the top resources around. It's an annual gathering of agency principals who come together for three days of professional development, honest and open dialogue, camaraderie and fun.

This is my fourth conference and so far I've had the good fortune to learn about ethical persuasion from Robert Cialdini and hear about the world according to Robert Scoble. I've also taken part in informative and provocative sessions on topics ranging from PR industry trends and running a successful business to creating and nurturing an agency culture, developing leaders, managing for profitability, building client relationships, hiring (and firing) staff. The list could go on and on.

Not only that, I was introduced to social media first-hand by several Blogi-masters, including Giovanni Rodriguez, Josh Hallett and Joel Postman. They planted the seeds (the blog is strong in this one) and really helped me develop a strategic approach to and understanding of the new online landscape.

Plus I met PR agency consultant Darryl Salerno, who, with his seminar on English language usage and grammar helped me accept that I may not be 'smarter than a fifth grader'. He is also working with us to position our agency for new opportunities and growth.

And best of all, Counselors is a chance to connect with and get to know some of the most talented people who work in PR, have similar challenges and issues and are willing to share their experience and expertise.

I always come away from these meetings with energy to spare. Pat McNamara introduced me to the organization and I'd like pass along the favour. If you're running an agency (of one, five or 50) I urge you to check out CA. You can probably get some 'as it happens' info on the blog.

In any event, if you run into me in the next couple of weeks, and notice my unabashed enthusiasm for PR, my excitement and ideas for the future...well, now you'll know the source.

2 comments:

Joel said...

Martin,

You've done a great job with Palette PR. The agency's growth is a result of your intuition, creativity and drive to stay ahead of the game by learning. I really enjoyed Counselors when I attended last year. (I won't mention where it was held. Don't want the folks in Naples to feel bad.)

Thanks for mentioning me in the post. I've learned a lot from you and your blog.

Joel

Josh Hallett said...

Thanks for the shout-out. I'm in Naples as well (just arrived) we'll have to meet-up at some point.