Second Connect Conference 8/21/08

The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication will host its second Connect: Social Media and Public Relations Conference, Friday and Saturday, September 19-20, 2008. The conference, sponsored by Porter Novelli and the Grady College, is designed to bring together public relations professionals and educators to explore how social media is being used in public relations.

Peter Himler, founder and principal of Flatiron Communications in New York, will provide the keynote speech on Friday evening, addressing the digital forces that have changed the modern practice of PR, as well as the core competencies that remain valid in spite of these changes. He has extensive agency experience, having worked for Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Cohn and Wolfe, and Hill and Knowlton.

Panel discussions on Saturday will pair professionals and academics discussing important issues and practices within public relations. Discussion topics will include measurement, law, branding, and relationship building. Speakers include Kami Watson Huyse, principal from My PR Pro; Jim Fetig and Kathi Wallace of Institute Communications and Public Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology; and Paul Vogelzang, senior vice president at Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C.

Saturday's luncheon features Bert DuMars, vice president of e-business and interactive marketing for Newell Rubbermaid, who is responsible for directing and coordinating e-marketing, interactive marketing, social media marketing and e-commerce initiatives. He plans to discuss Newell Rubbermaid's experimentation and implementation of social media marketing strategies and tactics.

2007 Connect Conference

The 2007 conference received rave reviews from participants. "Connect 2007 really changed my approach to public relations," said Melissa Libby of Atlanta’s Melissa Libby and Associates. "I learned it all at the conference. Facebook, YouTube, Yelp and Flickr are now all in a day's work at our company."

The conference will also include a half-day boot camp on Friday for participants new to social media. These sessions will focus on arming participants with the tools necessary to explore more in-depth discussion and implications during Saturday’s sessions. Topics will include tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and RSS, as well as social media ethics and etiquette.

"The most exciting thing to me is that several of last year's speakers are coming back this year as attendees because they don’t want to miss out on the conversation," said Dr. Karen Russell.

Conference registration is $150 with a registration deadline of Friday, September 12. A VERY LIMITED NUMBER OF SPACES REMAIN.

For more information and to register, visit www.grady.uga.edu/connect

Author: Kristen English and Sherrie Whaley

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