Posts tagged with ‘PRxNE’


    First Speech in Boston Since GE Relocated

    GE's Deirdre LatourPRSA Boston chose the PRXNE16 Northeast District Conference to announce that GE’s Chief Communications Officer Deirdre Latour will be the keynote on Nov. 9, 2016 at the organization’s 66th Annual Meeting, themed ‘Communications for Innovation.’ The relocation of GE’s World Corporate Headquarters to Boston’s Seaport District is the year’s biggest business story for Massachusetts, with implications to public relations professionals from higher education, STEM and technology development, chamber and civic groups, infrastructure and commercial construction.

    “GE’s new leadership footprint is emblematic in how public relations advances the innovation economy, said PRSA Boston President Loring Barnes, APR. “To have the lead communications architect Deirdre Latour share how GE is collaborating with start-ups and stalwart brands will be both timely and insightful. This will be her first speech in Boston since GE relocated and we are thrilled.” While relocating from one place to another make sure that you are contacting experts from Big T Moving & Delivery as they can move your belongings carefully.

    Latour’s career journey from agency giant Edelman to GE underscores the range of professional opportunities that the corporate and agency duality allows. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and has been recognized by PR Week and PR News.

    “GE is grateful for the enthusiastic reception we’ve received from the Massachusetts business community and legislative delegation,” said Latour, who will be returning to her home state. “As we move our headquarters, we understand how essential communications is to connecting with the Boston community.”

    GE’s decision to centralize its global headquarters in the burgeoning Seaport District has turbocharged Boston’s-related building, public works and highway construction. Latour will speak about how ‘adaptive communications’ is essential for innovation industries to accelerate business plans.

    About GE ( @ge)

    GE (NYSE:GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the “GE Store,” through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

    About Deirdre Latour, CCO GE (@deirdrelatour)

    Latour leads the company’s global communications functions, shaping the company’s culture and supports its business growth worldwide. She has worked for GE for over twelve years, having made the shift from respected PR firm Edelman. She is an alumna of College of the Holy Cross and member of the Arthur W. Page Society, a community of senior and chief communications officers, PR agency CEOs and academics.

    About PRSA Boston (, @prsaboston #prsabos)

    The 66-year Boston Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (registered 501c6) connects members to the world’s largest association for public relations professionals. PRSA Boston offers year-round thought leadership, Accreditation certification (APR), educational content and networking programs, which this year included hosting the PRXNE16 Northeast District Conference. PRSA Boston will host the PRSA 2017 International Conference in October 2017.

  • Guinness World Records logo

    FAST 5: Five Things to Know About Guinness World Records and Why They Teamed Up With PRSA

    In Campaign, PRXNE16, Sponsorship on

    Keith Green, APR (@KeithsTweets) is relatively new to his job as VP of Marketing & Commercial Sales at Guinness World Records (@GWR) but that hasn’t stopped him from directing the company’s efforts to jump in feet-first and become involved with PRSA.

    Keith Green PhotoHis background in entertainment and events seems to be a perfect match working for one of the world’s most fun and recognizable brands. He spent six years in the NBA for the Philadelphia 76ers, nine years in the NASCAR field as the Director of Public Relations for two different racetracks and eight years for Synergy, an award-winning events agency in New Jersey. Keith’s experience also includes several adjunct faculty positions, where he’s shared his sports marketing and PR experience with undergraduate and graduate students.

    We caught up with Keith in advance of PRXNE16, PRSA Northeast District Conference, where Guinness World Records will the Platinum Sponsor.

    Q: Your involvement with PRSA has spanned quite a few years. Tell us about your experience with the organization.

    I’m a big believer in PRSA.  Membership is a great way to interact with like-minded people and learn from the best in the PR business. My career has advanced and my network has grown because of the local chapter events and the international conferences I’ve attended over the years. While it’s like most anything else- you get what you give- (Keith served on the PRSA-NY board for three years and received his APR certification four years ago) PRSA is a terrific organization and I’m bullish on its growth.

    Q: Most everyone knows Guinness World Records through the book. What can you share about your role?

    A: For our U.S. office (headquarters are in London, with offices in Japan, China and Dubai) I oversee our book marketing initiatives, as well as our commercial sales efforts. Our book, which is still a best-seller, launches every September (although it will be August 30 this year), and our marketing efforts are geared toward the readers (the kids) and those who buy it for them or influence them-teachers, moms and grandmothers. Although the 2017 book will be our 61st edition, the commercial side of our business is relatively new. Companies of all types work with us to have a judge oversee a record attempt and use our logo to pre-promote the attempt, post-event if the attempt is successful, as well as in promotional videos. Although our business is more than six decades old, we continue to evolve, which is extremely exciting.

    Q: You started at Guinness World Records about seven months ago. Why do you think it’s a good fit to be involved with PRSA and why are you doing it so quickly?

    A:   Relationships are important to me. I know the organization and people well, so that’s critical. Because of those factors, I know that when we attend and activate at a conference that we will have the opportunity to show our creativity and add value for the attendees.  Working with PRSA also gives us the opportunity to connect with our various target audiences-those PR and marketing pros who work at agencies, brands, non-profits and educational institutions. That’s the beauty of record breaking- it works for just about any kind of business.

    Q: How do your marketing and PR teams work together?

    A: Nearly every day, a cool record is being broken somewhere across the globe. Since our PR team oversees our digital efforts, it’s critical that we communicate about what’s happening and how we can leverage some of those record attempts in a timely fashion from a marketing perspective. A great, recent example is Dude Perfect, which broke a series of amazing basketball records last month. The content and resulting video were amazing, and it helps us tell a story to an audience we might not reach as easily.

    We also work together on two major events throughout the year- our Book Launch event in the late summer (August 30 this year) and Guinness World Records Day-where we encourage people all over the world to break records- on November 10.

    Q: You’ve taught marketing and PR at a few universities. What would you tell someone graduating from college or a recent grad about breaking into the PR field?

    A: I always tell my students, “If you can write well, you are ahead of 90% of the people in the workforce.”  It doesn’t matter if you are writing an email to a client, a speech for the president of your company, a blog post or a concise Tweet, writing is still a fundamental skill that many people lack. I believe social media and texting have further eroded that skill for many of us, not just the younger generations.

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is on the fly! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 

  • Wendy Spivak

    FAST 5: Q&A with The Castle Group Principal & Co-Founder, Wendy Spivak: Five Things to Know About Events Management and Integrating Strategic Event Planning into PR campaigns

    In Campaign, Events on

    While public relations is a major piece of the communications puzzle, we don’t often hear how strategic corporate events management plays into the overall marketing plan and strategy.  We sat down with The Castle Group’s Wendy Spivak, to learn more about events management and integrating strategic event planning into PR campaigns.

    Wendy co-founded The Castle Group in 1996 and today leads the events side of the business. Prior to co-founding The Castle Group, Wendy was a senior corporate communications executive at Prism Health Group and the Mediplex Group, two successful healthcare companies. She has previously held communications and events positions at Framingham Union Hospital and Northern Telecomm. She was also an associate producer for WNEV-TV in Boston, which is today’s WHDH-TV Channel 7.

    Here are Wendy’s thoughts on events management and strategic event planning.

    1. What is corporate events management?

    Event management is the process of creating a live, memorable experience that achieves desired business objectives. This could take the form of a product launch, employee celebration, sales or user group conference, executive retreat or educational forum or sales incentive program.

    An event manager is like a general contractor, managing all the necessary components and details that go into the finished product. And like a general contractor, being on budget and on time is extremely important! Event components may include developing collateral for the event– invitation, website, signage, registering guests, securing a venue, negotiating contracts, managing audio visual, handling catering and transportation needs, and providing speaker and/or sponsor support.

    1. How is strategic events management different from PR?

    Over the 20 years that Castle has been in business, the field of event management has grown and evolved into a highly analytical and strategic part of the marketing mix.  While PR works with third parties such as media and social channels to amplify a client message, events management creates an experience that relays a client story. Similar to PR, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the larger communications plan to best see how an event connects to the marketing efforts as a whole.  We look at a client’s needs and objectives and approach its event planning with a holistic lens, so that everything we do comes back to a measurable goal.

    1. How can event and PR teams best work together and what are the strengths in having a PR team and an event team in house?

    Integrating PR and events allows clients to receive focused and tailored deliverables that directly affect their business plans and values. Events and PR teams need to spend time looking at the larger themes, define tasks on each side and support each other. The integration of the teams fosters a greater understanding of client business goals and can help both disciplines reflect key messages, enabling each to showcase and highlight the other’s results. This is invaluable to clients as they receive two different professional skill sets packaged together, which ultimately amplifies their message throughout all relevant channels.

    1. As a client, what are the top considerations when it comes to an event?

    It’s crucial to start with the essentials: WHO (is the audience), WHAT (type of event), WHERE (will be held), WHEN (date and time), WHY (what is the purpose, what are the objectives) and HOW MUCH in terms of budget. Once these parameters are defined, it’s easier to approach other components.

    1. As Castle is celebrating its 20th anniversary, what’s your favorite industry memory from the last 20 years?

    There have been so many memorable moments! Some of these include planning an incentive trip at an ancient castle in Spain, sailing regattas in the Caribbean, working with Boston TED Talks, a private showing of the Sistine Chapel, and more recently, our company retreat this past year in Stowe, VT. All of these memories stand out because they created spectacular moments for each guest.

    Wendy currently serves on the boards of The Family Reach Foundation, USO (United Service Organizations) Council and Courageous Sailing Advisory Council. She is a previous board member of the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown, committed to being involved in the community that is home to The Castle Group.  She is a member of West Point Society of New England, Society for Incentive Travel Excellence and Meeting Professionals International. Aside from leading and growing The Castle Group into a premier Boston public relations and events management firm, Wendy has executed powerful and meaningful events and conferences for companies such as Ocean Spray, Genzyme and TED Talks.

    About The Castle Group

    Celebrating its 20th year in business, The Castle Group leverages its Boston connections and global reach to create communications strategies that deliver business results, with an emphasis on PR, events management, crisis communications and digital. With a client roster that includes Fortune 500, high-growth start-ups, privately held, higher education and health care clients, Castle is supremely skilled at navigating complex organizations and surfacing unique ways to powerfully deliver clients’ messages. A certified women-owned business, the firm is a member of the Public Relations Global Network, 50 exclusively selected affiliates representing the world’s major media markets. Castle, its leadership and teams have won numerous industry, civic and professional awards, are devoted corporate citizens, and pride themselves on infusing an entrepreneurial spirit and scrappy attitude into every endeavor. Find Castle, its clients and their programs online, in person, in their communities and around the world. For more information, please visit

    About Fast 5

    This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos

    Do YOU have a candidate for a FAST 5 interview? Email: Joshua Milne at and pitch your subject expert!

    Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author or the individual being interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRSA Boston, PRSA National, staff or  board of directors of either organization. 

  • crisis communication

    Get in Front of Your Stakeholders During a Crisis

    In Crisis on

    When a crisis hits your organization, with whom do you communicate? How? When? Being proactive with your audiences, before an issue becomes public, will help build trust, create goodwill and, most importantly, articulate clear messages about the issue of the day. In the heat of a crisis, you can leverage and build upon that goodwill by directly communicating with your stakeholders, rather than waiting for them to hear about whatever it is through other external channels.

    It can be challenging to manage all the moving parts. Communications materials need to be developed and countless planning and strategy meetings are taking place. It’s critical not to overlook the importance of communicating directly with the organization’s key internal and external audiences. Direct communications allow for a measure of control—over both content and timing—and can provide a truly authentic avenue for accurate information.

    Key Ambassadors

    Every organization has ambassadors—those that are on the front lines in terms of receiving and conveying messages, whether officially or informally. They need to be armed with the right messages and appropriate level of details. Depending on the organization, ambassadors can be employees, students, board members, customers, Broker ECN investors, business partners, parents, alumni and donors. They need to be considered, prioritized and communicated with, and not necessarily at the same time or through the same channels. Being proactive could bolster their support in weathering the situation at hand. They could be references for the media and advocates on social media, helping to tamp down any criticisms.

    Control the Message

    An organization can and should control the message to its key stakeholders and audiences, rather than have the media tell the story for them. If, for example, an employee learns about a crisis online or through the media for the first time, it’s most likely that employees will feel blindsided and have questions and a certain level of frustration around a lack of communications from the organization. Transparency and openness in communications have become the expectation, and silence from the corner office is counterproductive to those tenets.

    Messages should be simple, relevant to the specific audiences and easy to remember, especially as they will undoubtedly be shared more broadly, through conversations and social media, after they’ve been distributed to stakeholders.

    The Channel

    There are so many avenues for communicating, and it can be tough to determine which to take. A multi-pronged approach is usually the most appropriate. For instance, email may be the quickest, most effective channel, but there may be stakeholders who are not easily reached that way and might require a mailed letter.  There might also be an existing newsletter, blog post or regular meeting to leverage—so that the message comes within an anticipated and “normal” vehicle. Town hall-type meetings, robo-calls, video messages, website updates and social media posts are additional options to consider depending on the severity of the situation and the organization’s structure and culture. Some stakeholders are important enough that they should receive individual phone calls alerting them to the situation.

    The ultimate goals for crisis communications are protecting an organization’s reputation and managing risk. By proactively communicating with key audiences in real time, organizations can effectively reach these goals and further advance relationships with all constituents.

    In addition to designing and implementing innovative PR programs for clients, The Castle Group, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, has extensive experience leading high-profile, high-stakes crises around litigation, sexual assault and misconduct/Title IX, workplace violence, data breaches, discrimination claims, financial and regulatory issues, leadership transitions and other issues that create daily PR challenges. Our crisis, PR and events management expertise is deep on both the consumer and B2B channels and our clients are local, national and international.

    We can discuss your crisis communications and planning needs. Sandy Lish, principal and founder, The Castle Group is a proud sponsor of PRXNE. Castle leverages its Boston connections and global reach to create communications strategies that deliver business results, with an emphasis on PR, events management, crisis communications and digital.

  • PRXNE16 on Election 2016: Has The Media Become The Story?

    Four of the region’s leading political journalists will have an in-depth and dynamic conversation during the lunchtime keynote which will provide PRSA members with an editorial insight into the 2016 Presidential Election that will be a highlight of the PRXNE16 Conference.  Boston’s award winning journalist RD Sahl who has been covering the political scene since 1968 will moderate a terrific panel including the Boston Globe’s Political Editor Shira Center; WPRI’s Political Reporter Ted Nesi, and the Union Leader’s Executive Editor Trent Spiner.

    Is the media responsible for creating Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders?  Would the campaign be any different if there weren’t 17 Republican candidates?  From the Boston Globe’s satirical ‘President Trump’ faux front page to the Union Leader’s retraction of its Chris Christie endorsement, how has journalism changed in the face of this most unpredictable Presidential Race, and its coverage of stories it helped to generate?  What is the role of other local politicians including Elizabeth Warren?  What is it like to be the ‘First in the Nation’ primary from the editor and assignment desks? How has all of this impacted the role of PR professionals who represent organizations with legislative interests? With so much coverage being given on a daily basis to the 2016 Election, how would these busy journalists suggest how organizations participate in, or break through this noise? What will the future look like for both journalism and public relations after November? What lessons is the media learning, and teaching, as we head into the climax of this epic roller coaster headline story of 2016?

    This regional media delegation is sure to provoke the political news junkie in all of us with their privileged, ‘behind the curtain’ revelations that are sure to inspire ample water cooler, colleague and dinner conversation to follow. Most importantly, they will inform your daily media relations and social media activity. Bring your questions for an open conversation following this freewheeling moderated discussion during lunch.

    About Amy Riemer, Principal, Riemer Communications @riemercomm, Chair, PRXNE16 Conference Programming + Speaker Management

    From her North Shore, MA office, Amy provides media relations, trade expo and event coordination services to diverse organizations consumer, technology, nonprofit and trade show management sectors. Her experience proved invaluable to the planning of PRXNE16, for which we fielded triple the number of speaker proposals to available presentation slots. Prior to founding her consultancy, she was affiliated with Reed Exhibitions, Edelman and PAN Communications.


  • Region’s Top PR Minds Fill the Program for PRxNE

    In Chapter Events on

    Tickets on sale for the annual PRSA Northeast District Conference, which will convene public relations professionals to discuss key issues facing the industry

    Boston (May 3, 2016) – As the PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) Northeast District’s annual conference draws closer, final programming details are being confirmed and ticket sales are going strong. “Relationships + Reinvention: How PR is Leading the New Marketing Mix” is being designed by and for leaders on the forefront of pressing topics within the profession. The Conference will be held in Boston on June 13, 2016 at University of Massachusetts Boston.

    The conference will host more than 250 distinguished panelists and speakers, and include academics, business leaders, inventors, journalists, and attorneys. Keynote speakers include Carol Cone of ON PURPOSE, and Christopher S. Penn, vice president of Marketing Technology at SHIFT Communications, co-founder of PodCamp New Media Community Conference, co-host of Marketing Over Coffee podcast, and adjunct professor of Internet Marketing and the lead subject matter expert and professor of Advanced Social Media at the University of San Francisco. Conference coordinators are also working to finalize a panel discussion with some of the region’s leading political reporters to talk about the challenges of covering politics and how media coverage has evolved, especially with the growth of digital media.

    “We are very excited about the level of interest we have received from participants and sponsors for this year’s conference. The keynote speakers assembled are a ‘Who’s Who’ in the industry, and our programming is bringing together some of the best in the Northeastern United States,” said Crystal DeStefano, chair of the PRSA Northeast District. “We look forward to bringing together many public relations professionals and those from related industries, as we move towards the future in an ever-changing industry.”

    Panel topics include:

    • Professional to Professor
    • Leadership
    • Organizational Change
    • C-Suite Success: Corporate communications veterans reveal the strategies to get in, and be respected, by the corner office

    Conference panelists include professors from Syracuse University, Ithaca College and SUNY Plattsburgh. Representatives from HubSpot, Dow Chemical, Xerox Corporation, Wayfair, Epson America, Dunkin Donuts, PAN Communications, ESL Federal Credit Union, Chaloner and Saucony will also be presenting.

    Sponsors for the conference, to-date, include Regis College, Western New England University, 360 PR, Aigner Prensky Marketing Group/Food Truck Festivals of America, Canalside Buffalo, Hollywood Public Relations, Howell Liberatore & Associates, March Communications and MSL Group.

    For more information and to register for the conference please visit

    About PRSA Northeast District

    PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) is the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals, representing a community of more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals across the United States. The PRSA Northeast District (NED) is comprised of chapters from eight states. For more information visit