Gaining Perspective: PRSA Dallas UnSummit Recap

I had the pleasure of emceeing the 3rd Annual UnSummit for the PRSA Dallas chapter at legendary music venue, House of Blues. Touted as “not your typical conference,” UnSummit attracts hundreds of PR and marketing professionals to join in a day of learning and networking. Shortly after our Real Talk event on influencer marketing, I jumped from backstage to center stage to present a diverse group of thought leaders from around the country.

Jade Smith at PRSA UnSummit
JSer Jade Smith emcees PRSA Dallas’s UnSummit at the House of Blues.

This year’s theme was PR Connected, and topics were categorized into three disciplines: Staying Authentic, Driving Innovation and Embracing Change. A step outside the ordinary, presentations were required to be no longer than 10 minutes in length and encouraged to be bold and thought-provoking.

While it was a pleasure to be in front of an audience of peers in the industry (and to workshop my killer jokes) what I enjoyed most was hearing the content. Instead of sharing statistic after statistic, speakers were challenged to deliver compelling stories. Here are a few memorable highlights:

  • In A Dream Job Woke Up the Media, Sunni Goodman, VP of Communications & Customer Experience of Mattress Firm, spoke about the Snoozetern campaign and how brands can benefit from thinking outside the box when it comes to capturing the attention of consumers.
  • Jackson Spalding’s very own Traci Messier educated attendees on media relations, football and the parallels of both “sports” in Super Bowl or Not, Have a Great Media Event – inspired by the role she and the JS team played in working alongside the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee in preparation for Super Bowl LIII.
  • Brandi Boatner, Digital Experience Manager of IBM, wowed the crowd with an eye-opening dive into the wonders of data science and how trends in consumer behavior tell a bigger story.
  • As our co-founder Glen likes to say, remember to slow down to speed up. Brain health expert Dorsey Standish praised the merits of using mindfulness in fast-paced work environments and guided the audience through a heads-down, hands-on stress reduction exercise. In Marketing and PR, it’s good to take a step back to move forward.

The day was filled with poignant, authentic accounts of every topic from embracing self-love to handling unimaginable crisis scenarios.

In our world, it’s important to make time to hear from different perspectives. Learning from each other’s unique experiences can help us develop creative solutions to cut through clutter and conquer day-to-day challenges of connecting with diverse audiences.

Plus, who doesn’t love a good story?