(Banner graphic of PRSA 2017 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit logo)

PRSA 2017 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit

The Forum for Leaders in Higher Education Communications

April 5–7 | Washington, D.C. | Georgetown Marriott

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The Call for Presentations for the PRSA 2017 Counselors To Higher Education Senior Summit will be available until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sept. 13, 2016.


PRSA 2017 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit

April 5–7 | Washington, D.C.

Proposal Deadline: 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

Be a part of the PRSA 2017 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit, a widely attended event recognized for outstanding networking opportunities and targeted programming that addresses issues facing higher education public relations counselors.

Read through these guidelines carefully to ensure that your proposal meets the presentation criteria. Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016.

About the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education Section

The PRSA Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Section is a group of more than 600 public relations officers who are affiliated with higher education, as well as professionals from national associations and public relations firms serving higher education. We’re focused on engaging higher education public relations counselors in dialogue about the trends and tools that will impact communications work in colleges and universities today and in the future. We provide in-person programs, publications and virtual networks to help you enhance the value and impact of public relations at your institution.

About the 2017 Senior Summit

The senior summit offers networking opportunities and professional development sessions on topics impacting higher education communities, such as crisis and issues management, branding and Web communications.

The summit attracts approximately 150 public relations practitioners, with the majority of attendees servicing universities and colleges.

  • 90 percent of attendees are mid- to senior-level public relations professionals.
  • 38.9 percent have 20 or more years of public relations experience.
  • Past attendees hail from institutions, including Tuskegee University; American Public University System; University of Pennsylvania; Dartmouth College; DePaul University; Vanderbilt University; Georgia Institute of Technology; Duke University; Yale University; University of Virginia; The Council of Independent Colleges; Hope College; Lehigh University; The United States Military Academy at West Point; Florida State University; The University of Kansas; The Johns Hopkins University; University of Guam; Drexel University; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Cambridge; Tufts University; University of British Columbia; Harvard Law School; The University of Nottingham; Boston University; and Kent State University.
  • Past media include U.S. News and World Report, Vox.com, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, The Associated Press and National Public Radio (NPR).

Proposal Guidelines

To participate in the summit, please submit an innovative and compelling presentation proposal focusing on higher education communications. Presentations must be relevant to the field of higher education communications and public relations, as well as targeted to mid- to senior-level professionals.

The practical strategies in your proposal can focus on both traditional and new forms of communication outreach as they pertain to higher education, such as media relations, social media, public policy, traditional public relations and integrated marketing. Feedback has shown that conference attendees are very interested in the integration of traditional and social media, as well as professional best practices, such as how to recruit students in a challenging economy, maximize media relations and apply social media strategy.

Who Is Permitted to Present?

Proposals may be submitted by public relations/communications professionals and educators, including individuals from nonprofit institutions and government agencies. Submissions also will be accepted from other field-related experts, such as management consultants, journalists, graphic designers, interactive communications researchers, and social media and communications measurement consultants or practitioners. For public relations agencies and organizations that provide services in higher education communications, proposals must be noncommercial and submitted with a case study. The client must also co-present.

Presentations from vendors will be considered only if they are unbiased, educational, informative and innovative. Pitches for a specific commercial service or product will not be considered. 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 (212) 460-1456.

What Kind of Presentation Should I Propose?

Summit attendees represent public relations practitioners, with the majority of attendees servicing universities and colleges. Presentations should be targeted to this demographic.

You can share your expertise and experience on topics such as the integration of public policy and communications programs, managing the new marketing mix, or communicating with and to different audiences, such as students, faculty, alumni, prospects, media or other stakeholders.

Topics of interest for presentations include:

  • Best practices in media relations, social media and crisis communications.
  • Ethical challenges.
  • Effective measurement strategies.
  • Impact of virtual agencies.
  • New roles for public relations pros.

How Should I Structure My Presentation?

Proposals should be 50–60-minute sessions (which can be presented by an individual or panel of experts; no more than three presenters) and are most effective when interactive. Presentations should combine focus on current theory, strategy and practice. In preparation, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What can summit attendees take home from my session to use in their own institution’s settings?
  • How can I clearly convey what does and doesn’t work when it comes to navigating higher education communication?

What Do You Need From Me?

This year, submit your innovative and compelling presentation proposal online here.

Speaker Expenses and Compensation

PRSA does not pay for expenses, such as hotel and airfare, nor offer speaker stipends. Speakers will receive a complimentary conference registration, which includes access to all general sessions and basic meal functions — a $930 value.

Accepted Speakers and Proposals: Potential Actions

The Counselors to Higher Education Senior Summit Committee reserves the right to request potential speakers’ participation in general panel sessions in lieu of their proposed session. Some sessions may be recorded.

Presented Sessions Following Conference

Speaker presentations will be collected and made available to conference attendees and Counselors to Higher Education members after the conference. Handouts are appreciated and will be posted online.

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 (212) 460-1456, or Richard Spector, PRSA director of corporate development and industry partnerships, via email or (212) 460-0301.

Content Questions?

Email CHE members Michael Hemmesch or Jim Katsaounis.

Logistical Questions?

Email PRSA Senior Manager of Special Events and Programs Don Bill, or call (212) 460-1456.

Get Started!