The Source


Networking, Digital Marketing, and the Latest Media Trends – Oh My!


By Stephanie Metzinger and Patty Conover, OCPRSA Programs Co-Chairs

It’s only July and already OCPRSA delivered half a dozen cutting edge programs revolving on PR trends, tactics and tools to use in your everyday craft– and there is even more to come!

Just halfway through 2018, and it has been a whirlwind so far! As the Programs Co-Chairs of Orange County’s Public Relations Society of America, we are excited and honored to provide the PR community with well-attended, robust and fun events that delve into the cutting edge trends and share practices that work. The best part is, there is still plenty of time to take advantage of your OCPRSA membership by attending the remaining 2018 events at a discounted rate. Come and network, share ideas and leave with some tangible tips and tactics that you can use in the field!

In case you missed an event, here’s a recap of what’s happened so far in 2018:

PR Trends: The Future of Digital in 2018: A panel of public relations gurus from Disneyland Resort, Experian, Porter Novelli, Social Intelligence Agency and Reveille shared personal experiences of success in the digital space. Panelists spoke of specific platforms and apps they use to engage audiences and share news about their respective organizations. They also provided their thoughts on where the industry is headed and the new digital tools worthy of public relations pros and communicators’ investment. More than 100 attendees left the event learning the best, most innovative ways to cut through the clutter.

Succeeding in Today’s Crazed Media Environment: OCPRSA partnered with the OC National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) to share exactly how to get those placements that make clients and company leadership happy. Public relations and investor relations professionals from TogoRun (a FleishmanHillard company), Banc of California, Inc. and Beach House PR each shared a case study on how they stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to pitching and placing major stories, how they responded in a crisis and utilized social media to avert and manage a crisis. Additionally, OCBJ Financial Editor Peter Brennan shared how to connect with journalists via social media.

A View from the Front Line of Public Affairs: In response to membership’s request, this event focused on how public affairs and government affairs get their messages out and spread the word in OC’s shrinking media environment. Hosted at Orange County Business Council, a leading advocacy nonprofit, the event featured a panel comprised of OC industry gurus Byron de Arakal, OCBC, Larry Labrado, Southern California Edison, Lisa Telles, The Toll Roads, and Scott Kaufman, The Orange County Register. Each guest shared how they’ve adapted to a tougher media environment by becoming their own media channel via blogs, social media and targeted industry newsletters, as Kaufman expressed his desire to diversify the editorial section of The Register.

Angels Game with Meet and Greet with Tim Mead: OCPRSA’s Angels Game/Meet & Greet was especially informative this year, as Angels VP of Communications Tim Mead shared all the secrets behind the PR blitz of Shohei Ohtani (an all-star pitcher AND pro hitter), who had just been drafted by the Angels. Upon arriving to the stadium, Mead took the crew to the press briefing room where he spoke about the media buzz around Ohtani’s recruitment, PR/communications campaigns surrounding the new team and the media relations strategy leading up to him coming on board. Mead also shared his personal public relations career journey.

OCPRSA Senior Roundtable: Cocktails and Conversation: The room buzzed with the energy of long-time colleagues and camaraderie as 25 PR practitioners with more than 10 years of experience gathered for the revival of the much anticipated Senior Roundtable event, hosted at Reveille. After attendees networked and enjoyed cocktails and appetizers, Westbound Communications’ Scott Smith guided a discussion on the high-level issues, strategy, and trends in the world of communications – primarily focusing on the importance of client trust and ethics in the age of “fake news.” Participants shared what they needed from their PR community, such as training on evolving trends geared toward experienced practitioners and more networking opportunities. We heard you loud and clear, stay tuned for future Senior Roundtable events. If you are interested in getting involved in Senior Roundtable, just email us!

How to Create Public Relations Campaigns That Win: Understanding that OC’s PR community is busy at work preparing submissions for the coveted PROTOS Awards, your local PRSA chapter held an event with three industry leaders to share an inside look at their successful campaigns that won PROTOS awards in past years. This sold out event, hosted by The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce and deftly moderated by Board Member Charla Batey of UC Irvine, featured case study overviews from Kristin Daher on how she and her team at Powerhouse Communications helped Del Taco successfully launch their signature menu item — The Del Taco; Brenda Velasco shared Biola University’s successful Spring Commencement Social Media Campaign, which served to enhance student engagement; and Debs Choi of Westbound Communications shared how they took home a PROTOS for their work on the Scheckler Foundation’s Skate for a Cause campaign. The diverse cross-section of campaigns discussed provided takeaways for PR pros from every industry and background.

And there’s more to come!! This Thursday, OCPRSA invites you to the 6th Annual Summer Media Mixer. This event is a great opportunity to cultivate relationships with members of Orange County’s top media at the beautiful Island Hotel. Other events for the second half of 2018 include:

• OCPRSA’s first ever Hike with the Pros social event on August 18, as well as our Annual Diversity Luncheon on August 29.

• On September 27, OCPRSA will host the #INSPIRED PROTOS Gala

• We’ll have a Writing for the Digital Space Half-Day Workshop on November 9 – where you’ll learn how to successfully launch a podcast, leverage your news cycle from Foodbeast experts, tie social back to sales, and create impactful live videos!

• Stay tuned for the Meet the Influencers Panel to learn how to find and work with social media influencers during on October 26.

• And of course, save the date for OCPRSA’s Annual Holiday Party on December 6 at The Social.

If you are looking to get some community service in, look out for OCPRSA’s PR Gives Back events, which help pros give back to the community. If you’re just starting out in your career, look out for OCPRSA’s YoPro events dedicated toward developing young professionals.

If you have a question or comment about any of OCPRSA’s events, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at or

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