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PRSA 2017 Counselors Academy Conference

May 7–9 | Seattle

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The Call for Presentations for the PRSA 2017 Counselors Academy Conference will be available until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Nov. 4, 2016.


PRSA 2017 Counselors Academy Conference

May 7–9 | Seattle

Proposal Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016

About the PRSA Counselors Academy

Founded in 1960, PRSA Counselors Academy is dedicated to providing principals and senior leaders of small and mid-size public relations firms in the United States and Canada with the business insights and tools they need to grow successful businesses. The more than 350 members of Counselors Academy are passionately committed to maintaining an open and honest peer network that energizes and motivates them, provides a sounding board for questions and ideas and fosters mutually beneficial relationships. More information about Counselors Academy and its programs can be found at www.counselorsacademy.org.

About the 2017 Spring Conference

The annual spring conference is Counselors Academy’s largest event and attracts up to 200 senior agency executives. In addition to agency principals and other leaders, attendees at the annual conference include sole practitioners as well as principals and senior executives of firms in allied industries such as advertising, event planning, digital communications and marketing. Attendees come to the conference to connect with peers and share ideas and insights that they can immediately put into practice.

Speaker Proposals

Priority will be given to proven presenters whose proposals are forward-thinking and deliver fresh, business-focused content that is directly relevant to today’s agency leaders and principals. Presentations that are interactive and/or provide an output that participants can act on immediately are also strongly encouraged.

Counselors Academy conference attendees are particularly interested in the following subject areas:

  • People: Recruiting and retention strategies, compensation approaches, professional development, HR policies and practices, changing regulations, employee benefits, workplace environment, agency culture, leading effective teams, executive development and training.
  • Finances: Agency compensation, alternative fee arrangements, profitability and utilization, expense management, tax and financial planning, employee compensation, stock ownership and incentive compensation plans, mergers and acquisitions, exit strategies and economic trends affecting the industry.
  • Growth: Marketing and business development, driving organic growth, business planning, prospecting, mergers and acquisitions, strategic alliances, developing new service lines and sources of income, identifying new niche markets, proposal/pitch development, marketing tools and technology and emerging trends.
  • Operations: Agency systems and technology, business information and analytics, CRM technology, accounting systems, streamlining administrative functions, outsourcing, insurance and risk management, real estate and innovative business and operating structures.
  • Practice Evolution: Advances in communications and marketing practice, particularly as they relate to the evolution of client needs and expectations. Presentations in this category should focus specifically on what agency principals need to know to capitalize on emerging trends and grow their businesses through new lines of service, products and counseling opportunities.
  • Responsibility: Business and professional ethics, social responsibility, pro bono activities and advocacy of the public relations profession and entrepreneurship.

Presentation Guidelines

Counselors Academy welcomes proposals from public relations firm principals and senior leaders as well as experts in relevant disciplines including, but not limited to: accounting, law, consulting, human resources, benefits and compensation, insurance and risk management and agency technology.

This Call for Presentations includes requests for:

  • Expert breakout presentations (60 to 75-minute presentations)
  • Roundtables (45-minute facilitated discussions)

The most successful Counselors Academy presenters:

  • Deliver fresh, innovative thinking in a way that is interactive and engaging.
  • Understand and are sensitive to the challenges faced by small- to mid-sized public relations firms.
  • Provide clear takeaways that attendees can implement the day they return to their offices.
  • Are passionate about their subject matter, and can inspire audiences to see their business challenges in new ways and take action.
  • Must supply a copy of their presentation at least one month prior to the conference for promotional purposes.
  • Avoid sales pitches, however subtle they may be, for their own products or services.

Preference will be given to those who can demonstrate strong speaking and audience motivation skills by providing videos of past presentations to similar audiences.

Submission Process

Submit your innovative and compelling presentation proposal online here.

Note: PRSA and Counselors Academy do not reimburse presenters for out-of-pocket expenses, such as hotel and airfare. PRSA and Counselors Academy do not provide speaker stipends. Presenters who are selected for expert breakout presentations will receive one complimentary registration, which does not include meals or networking events. Presenters will have the option to purchase a meal package. Roundtable leaders wishing to attend the conference will be required to pay the members-only rate.


Proposals are due no later than Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Earlier submissions are encouraged. Submit your proposal online here.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We have several targeted sponsorship opportunities available. Prospective sponsors should connect with Don Bill, PRSA senior manager of special events and programs, via email or at (212) 460-1456, or Richard Spector, PRSA director of corporate development and industry partnerships, via email or at (212) 460-0301.


Contact Don Bill, PRSA senior manager of special events and programs, via email or at (212) 460-1456, or Jon Goldberg, PRSA 2017 Counselors Academy Conference chair, via email or at (973) 241-1010.

Get Started!