Postcards From San Diego

December 2019
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In this issue, you’ll find our coverage from the PRSA 2019 International Conference, which took place on Oct. 20-22 in San Diego. Features include summaries of the General Sessions, Q&As with selected speakers and photo highlights from throughout the event.

The Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, with its bay views, was an inspiring setting for the Conference, which featured an impressive array of content, from keynote speakers and panels to workshops and breakout sessions. 

As always, I returned home energized, with more story ideas for upcoming issues and new connections with PRSA members. Here are highlights from the trip. 

While waiting at JFK for my flight out West, the Delta crew arrived at the gate — with one of the pilots carrying a surfboard. Yes — we’re going to San Diego! (And I’m not sure how he placed that board in an overhead bin!)

Our editorial team had on-site interviews in the community. First, Managing Editor Amy Jacques met with PRSA member Lauren Fimbres-Wood, director of strategic communications at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 

• Later, Amy and Editorial Assistant Dean Essner visited the San Diego Zoo to talk with Marketing Director Debra Erickson and Spokesperson Rick Schwartz. There, they learned more about San Diego Zoo Kids — a children’s TV network dedicated to sharing the healing power of animals. (Erickson and Schwartz, toting an assortment of zoo animals, were also keynote speakers at the Conference.) Look for interviews with these San Diego communicators in upcoming issues of Strategies & Tactics.

We also enjoyed backstage conversations with the keynote speakers. It provided us with the chance to ask follow-up questions from their speeches. The interviews also sharpened our reporting skills — in one situation, we asked questions while hustling alongside a speaker who was rushing to catch a flight.

I had dinner with Erik Battenberg, a San Diego resident and longtime friend, dating back to our time on The Lantern, the school paper at The Ohio State University. After graduation, Erik and I both worked as reporters for Columbus, Ohio-based CM Media. Our paths continue to cross as Erik recently joined PRSA!

On the return flight to New York, I was fortunate enough to be sitting on the side of the plane with Grand Canyon views. I’m always on the opposite aisle when there’s bonus scenery. (Also, I did not spot anyone on this Delta crew carrying a surfboard.)

I hope that you enjoyed the San Diego experience as much as I did, learning from the speakers and networking with colleagues from around the world. We’ll be doing it again at the PRSA 2020 International Conference on Oct. 25-27 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. 

See you there!

photo credit: john elsasser

Return to Current Issue #PRSAICON Recap | December 2019
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