Alicia Thompson, APR, serves as managing director of Porter Novelli and has over two decades of experience in public relations and communications.
Alicia’s expertise falls squarely in consumer products and services. Throughout her career, she has worked with such brands as Arby’s Restaurant Group, Interface, Teavana, Nestle/Gerber, Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Coca-Cola, BellSouth, Fletcher Martin Ewing and Cohn & Wolfe. She has deep experience in food and beverage, QSR, casual dining, franchising and crisis/issues management in this category.
Join us for an opportunity to meet Alicia, and other world-class speakers, at the 2017 PRSA International Conference in Boston October 8-10.
1) What, in your view, is the biggest challenge facing the PR industry today and why?
The consolidation of communications marketing disciplines. As the lines between PR/Advertising/Digital/Social continue to blur, the “traditional” tenets of PR and the work product of PR agencies blurs as well. And as other marketing discipline agencies add PR offerings, PR agencies have had to offer other services. One has to ask if any of them are doing a phenomenal job with offerings outside their core competency.
2) What industry trend is hot now? Do you think the trend is here to stay?
The continued role of influencers as key content contributors. Yes, it is here to stay. The research is clear – people trust their peers and people with whom they have things in common. With this data point in mind, agencies and companies are going to leverage influencers more in the future as ongoing contributors. The key will be finding authentic advocates who truly connect with the target audience.
3) If you could go back in time and meet yourself 10 years ago, what advice would you offer her?
Begin with good leaders! The best job experience can be completely unraveled by a poor leader. Ten years ago, I was fortunate to work for a great leader, but it certainly was not on my list of criteria. My best advice to myself 10 years ago, or anyone today, is to put good leadership at the top of your criteria list.
4) Please tell us a little about your ICON session.
Our session – Becoming a PR Leader: The Art and Science of Mentorship – draws upon research from the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and personal experiences to discuss the importance and impact of mentorship on leadership and long-term professional success. The content is intended for young professionals embarking on their career journey.
5) What are you reading?
I’ve got several books that I’m reading right now. At the top of the stack is Patrick Lencioni’s “Death by Meeting: A Leadership Fable.” Oddly enough, my favorite book is Spencer Johnson’s “Who Moved My Cheese.” It is a simple tale about dealing with change.