Virtually Live From ICON 2020

November-December 2020
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My 25th International Conference at PRSA was certainly memorable as we hosted our first fully virtual gathering this year on Oct. 26-29.

ICON 2020 featured all the elements that you’d like to have: a full slate of events that included keynote speakers, professional development breakout sessions, an exhibit hall and networking and social opportunities. (Somehow, despite being in my living room the whole time, my feet still hurt at the end of the day.)

And all this happened in a virtual environment emulating the physical one that we would have experienced in host city Nashville — complete with skyline views from the lobby and other rooms. (And there was never a line for coffee!) In this setting, attendees, including PRSSA members, could chat, collect contact information and attend social events.

PRSA leaders designed this year’s conference, titled “Strategic Communications: A World Disrupted,” to address the critical issues that we’re all facing during these historic times.

The keynote speakers, including two Pulitzer Prize winners, Jon Meacham, the presidential historian, and Laurie Garrett, the science journalist, discussed timely, top-of-mind topics: pandemic and election-related misinformation, First Amendment freedoms, and diversity, equity and inclusion challenges.

In this issue, we present an overview of the proceedings, including recaps of the General Sessions and other highlights, such as a case study on this year’s Best of Silver Anvil recipient and a Q&A with Alice Randall, whose impressive résumé includes being a New York Times best-selling novelist, an award-winning songwriter and a cookbook author.

My favorite ICON moments included the Opening Night party, which featured a virtual tour of Nashville and Spotify playlists that Randall created for PRSA, as well as the Transforming the Landscape fundraising concert on Oct. 27, with a performance by jazz great Barbara Morrison, who has performed with Ray Charles and Etta James. By the end of that night, PRSA reached its $50,000 goal needed to establish the Multicultural Scholarship Endowment.

Aside from the editorial content in this issue, you can find more coverage on PRsay, including our recap of Garrett’s talk on COVID-19-related communications challenges.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a great first virtual PRSA International Conference. Hopefully we will see you in person next year in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 17-19.

Signing off for 2020

Look for our 2021 editorial calendar online in the weeks ahead. As always, we’d welcome your contributions to Strategies & Tactics and PRsay in the year ahead.

Until then, here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season to you and your families.

Return to Current Issue ICON Recap | November-December 2020
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