PRSA Adds More Keynote Speakers to ICON 2021

October 2021
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PRSA’s ICON 2021, held virtually from Oct. 4-20, has added more keynote speakers to its lineup.

Randi Zuckerberg, the entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author and Emmy-nominated tech media personality, will address attendees on Oct. 7.

Zuckerberg is founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, with the mission of supporting current and future entrepreneurs through investment, mentorship and media. 

On Oct. 11, a panel of leading executive-level communicators will explore the threats against corporate trust and spotlight solutions to help restore, build and protect company reputation.

The panel features Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of communications, Microsoft; Aaron Sherinian, vice president of global communications transformation, Philip Morris International; and Sally Susman, executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, Pfizer Inc. PRSA CEO Linda Thomas Brooks will moderate the panel.

On Oct. 14, Paula Pedene, APR, Fellow PRSA, leads a discussion featuring top military public affairs professionals who will talk about the importance of crafting clear communications — even under the most trying of circumstances.

The panelists include: Rear Adm. Charlie Brown, APR+M, Navy chief of information; Melissa A. Bryant, deputy assistant secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs; Brig. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder, director of public affairs, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force, the Pentagon; and Col. Cathy Wilkinson, U.S. Army media relations director, Office of the Chief of Public Affairs, the Pentagon.

On Oct. 19, cultural technologist and author Samantha Radocchia will examine blockchain — and more broadly, decentralization — as the future backbone or “operating system” for emergent technologies in every industry.

The General Session “The State of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in PR and Communications” takes place on Oct. 20. The panel of agency executives will include a discussion on what we need to do to better engage Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in the profession. 

Previously announced keynoter Yamiche Alcindor, the “PBS NewsHour” White House correspondent and moderator of “Washington Week,” will speak on Oct. 18.

ICON 2021 offers virtual educational sessions, networking, career fairs and more. Find more details on the PRSA website.

New Online Platform to Amplify Diverse Sources

Sources of Color is a new online resource that offers journalists access to more diverse news sources. In addition, PR professionals can pitch and land placements for clients of color.

KQ Communications, a full-service PR firm with offices in Memphis, Tenn., and Atlanta, developed the platform as a direct response to the lack of representation of people of color in news stories.

Sources of Color is now a resource on PRSA’s Voices4Everyone platform, and part of the organization’s continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. You may find this resource at

PRsay Introduces 2021 Board Nominees

Visit the PRsay blog weekly to read interviews with the officer and director nominees for the 2021 PRSA Board of Directors. 

Delegates of the membership will vote on the nominees and any petitioning candidates at the annual PRSA Leadership Assembly, which will take place virtually on Oct. 16.

“I want to thank everyone who applied for a Board position,” said Debra D. Peterson, APR, PRSA 2021 Nominating Committee chair. “This stellar group of highly qualified professionals, which includes members who have demonstrated their leadership abilities in a variety of roles, volunteered to take on the responsibilities of guiding PRSA as it grows and evolves.”

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