ICON 2020 Full Schedule

icon2020

Monday, Oct. 26

Day One

General Sessions

9 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT
Expo Hall

virtual exhibit hall

Experience the ICON 2020 Expo Hall and meet PRSA Strategic Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors. The Expo Hall is a fully interactive exhibit hall with private meeting rooms, video displays, exhibit booths packed with information on important business solutions to help move your business forward.

Meet representatives from the most important brands serving the communication and public relations professions. PRSA means business and is here to help you succeed in your professional life.

PRSA’s Jobcenter, a member benefit, will be present in the Expo Hall to help you make critical connections for yourself or your organization. Attendees will learn about the best career resource for jobseekers and employers in the public relations and communications industry, with more than 1,200 job openings available, and more than 23,000 employers using the job board. Gain tips and tools for career advancement and find out about the complimentary resume review service.

Plan to visit the Military Pavilion on Wednesday, Oct. 28 during Expo Hall hours. Connect with other service members and learn how PRSA is supporting our veterans, in transitioning to civilian life, equipped for success.

Enjoy networking opportunities in the Expo Hall throughout the four days.

10 a.m.-10:50 a.m. EDT

ICON Orientation

Welcome to an all new ICON virtual experience as we gather for the first-ever fully online ICON, and learn how to use the virtual environment for optimal learning, engagement and networking. Hear practical insights and informed advice designed to help you make the most of your virtual Conference experience.

Presenters: Mary Deming BarberMargaret Ann HennenMichael G. Benoit

PRSSA Welcome Address

Hear from PRSSA National President Carolyn Lok, the PRSSA National Committee and the University of Memphis Conference Committee on the status of the Society and what you can expect throughout ICON 2020. National President’s Citation and Star Chapter Award recipients will also be announced. Make sure to watch until the end for a special National Committee greeting.

 

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. EDT
Opening General Session with Keynote Speaker Jon Meacham

Chelsea Crowell head shot

Join us for the opening celebration of ICON 2020, with a performance by Music City Royalty, Chelsea Crowell. Chelsea will transport you to Music Row in Nashville with a selection of traditional favorites that will be familiar but presented in a new voice for a new age. 

An amazing performer in her own right, Nashville civic leader and working artist, Chelsea has a country music pedigree sure to impress. Chelsea is Johnny Cash's granddaughter, and the daughter of Rosanne Cash and Rodney Crowell.

 

head shot of Justin Green at podium

PRSA is a member of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management extending the global reach and connectedness of our members.

Justin Green, President of the Global Alliance, will deliver a welcome address and introduce attendees to the Global Alliance through a must-see video showcasing the global network of professional communicators comprising the alliance. Don't miss this international presentation designed to delight and inspire.

 

headshot of Jon Meacham

Presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author Jon Meacham is one of America's most prominent public intellectuals. A contributor to TIME and The New York Times Book Review, Meacham is a highly sought-after commentator, regularly appearing on CNN and MSNBC.

Known as a skilled orator with a depth of knowledge about politics, religion, and current affairs, Meacham brings historical context to the issues and events impacting our daily lives.His latest #1 New York Times bestseller, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, examines the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in U.S. history when hope overcame division and fear. Meacham is a co-author of the recently released book, Impeachment: An American History, which reveals the complicated motives behind the three impeachments in U.S. history.

Breakout Sessions

12:30-1:20 p.m. EDT

12:30-1:30 p.m. EDT

Your Society at Work


2:30-3:20 p.m. EDT

3:30-4:20 p.m. EDT

PRSSA Sessions

3 - 4:15 p.m. EDT
Champions for PRSSA Chat

Join the Champions for PRSSA for a virtual chat. Learn from the best of the industry and perhaps get a mentor while you are at it. Look forward to different tables with professionals from different sections of the industry. Remember, this is a unique opportunity for time with experienced professionals. Sponsored by the Champions for PRSSA.

4:30 - 5:45 p.m. EDT
PRSSA Living Legends

You are invited to join The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations as it presents A Conversation With Living Legends: Tony Cervone and Joanne Bischmann.

Moderator: Emma Finkbeiner | Panelists: Tony CervoneJoanne Bischmann

Opening Night Reception

6 - 7 p.m. EDT

You are invited to experience a very special evening with your friends and colleagues from PRSA and PRSSA. While we may not be physically in Nashville, our hearts and our spirits are there and we thank our Host Committee for their incredible support in preparing an opening night reception that will transport you to Nashville in the most welcoming of ways. Explore three different events without leaving your seat as we explore Music City.

Join us as we stroll the “Streets of Nashville”  with our friends from Jack Daniel's of Lynchburg, Tennessee. Hear authentic sounds of Nashville while learning new cocktail recipes and fun facts from the Jack Daniel's historian. (Attendees must be 21 years of age or older.) 

And take your writing skills to Music City when you meet and hear from Alice Randall, bestselling novelist, award-winning country music songwriter, award-winning cookbook writer and professor at Vanderbilt University. She is widely recognized as being one of the most significant voices in 21st-century African American fiction. Alice will share her musical journey to becoming a country songwriter and a peek behind the scenes of the country songwriting business from the perspective of the first African American woman to write a number one country music song.

Then jump out of your seat, put your boots on and get ready for some line dancing with our hosts from PRSSA. It’s time to learn how to side step, heel step and two step with virtual instruction and nothing but fun on the line!

Tuesday, Oct. 27

Day Two

General Sessions

9 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT
Expo Hall

virtual exhibit hall

Experience the ICON 2020 Expo Hall and meet PRSA Strategic Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors. The Expo Hall is a fully interactive exhibit hall with private meeting rooms, video displays, exhibit booths packed with information on important business solutions to help move your business forward.

Meet representatives from the most important brands serving the communication and public relations professions. PRSA means business and is here to help you succeed in your professional life.

PRSA’s Jobcenter, a member benefit, will be present in the Expo Hall to help you make critical connections for yourself or your organization. Attendees will learn about the best career resource for jobseekers and employers in the public relations and communications industry, with more than 1,200 job openings available, and more than 23,000 employers using the job board. Gain tips and tools for career advancement and find out about the complimentary resume review service.

Plan to visit the Military Pavilion on Wednesday, Oct. 28 during Expo Hall hours. Connect with other service members and learn how PRSA is supporting our veterans, in transitioning to civilian life, equipped for success.

Enjoy networking opportunities in the Expo Hall throughout the four days.

11 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. EDT
General Session with Keynote Speaker Carolynn Johnson

head shot of Alice RandallBe a part of our celebration of diversity as we launch Day Two of ICON 2020, as one of the most influential voices in American fiction, Alice Randall, New York Times bestselling novelist, award-winning songwriter, educator, and food activist, offers an informative and thought-provoking presentation on the influence of African-Americans in country music and introduces us to the history of the Fisk University Jubilee Singers®. 

The Fisk Jubilee Singers® are an American a cappella ensemble that performs Negro spirituals as one of the most famous Black vocal groups elevating the artistry of spirituals.

 

Allison Russell performing onstage with clarinet and banjoPrepare to be wowed by the a cappella performance of Nashville-based recording artist Alison Russell. Russell has emerged as a singer-songwriter to watch. Recent highlights include her critically acclaimed collaboration: Songs of Our Native Daughters.

Alison Russell’s winding musical path — from her first work in Canadian roots band, Po’ Girl, to Birds of Chicago, her current band with husband JT Nero — has seen her break through as a writer whose depth and scope is only now beginning to be fully appreciated. Russell's song, Barley — showcasing defiant strength and love in the face of overwhelming darkness — has been covered by Lizz Wright, Rhiannon Giddens and Abigail Washburn, among others.

 

Carolyn Johnson HeadshotCarolynn Johnson will deliver a keynote address and lead a panel discussion on Diversity and Inclusion, with a top-notch panel of thought leaders including Adriênne Bolden, CEO, Leverage Miami; Anu Saxena, Business Unit President and Global Head, Hilton, Supply Chain Management; Bill Imada, Chairman, IW Group and Esther Aguilera, President & CEO, The Latino Corporate Directors Association.

Carolynn Johnson is the Chief Executive Officer of DiversityInc Media LLC. She previously served as the company’s COO and Chief Revenue Officer for the past 16 years during which she was responsible for operations, all major corporate partnerships, web properties and events.

She was also responsible for sales management, information technology, circulation, business development and the development and execution of the annual DiversityInc Top 50 competition. Prior to joining DiversityInc in 2003, Ms. Johnson was the marketing coordinator, pharmaceutical and science groups, for Advanstar Communications. Prior to Advanstar, she was an account manager at Correct Communications, a full-service marketing and communications agency.

 

Breakout Sessions

12:45-1:35 p.m. EDT

1:45-3 p.m. EDT
Silver Anvil Awards

For the first time ever, the renowned Silver Anvil Awards ceremony will take place during ICON 2020. Get a virtual front-row seat to see the exceptional work being done by your peers. More than 110 campaigns, across 18 different entry categories and subcategories, were named Silver Anvil finalists. Join us at ICON 2020 to see what captures top honors. You will be inspired by this work!

3:30-4:15 p.m. EDT
PRSSA Keynote Address with Candace Steele Flippin, DM, MBA, APR

Dr. Candace Steele Flippin headshotCandace Steele Flippin, DM, MBA, APR is a nationally recognized communications executive, TEDx Speaker, and multigenerational workplace scholar. Candace is currently an executive research fellow at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

She has published two books — “Generation Z in the Workplace” and “Millennials in the Workplace” — that serve as practical career guides for the younger generations. She has been featured on TODAY, CBS, CNBC, Authority Magazine, and Forbes. 

 

4:30-5:15 p.m. EDT
PRSSA Awards Ceremony

Celebrate as we honor the Society’s top members and Chapters for their hard work and dedication. Help us showcase these recipients and motivate you to apply for a PRSSA award in the near future.

5-6:15 p.m. EDT
Sections Social

PRSA Professional Interest Sections provide critical networking and community opportunities to communications professionals working in 14 specific industries. Come meet members of the Sections and learn about their personal experiences, Section resources, programs and unique perspectives on industry trends. If you don’t belong to a Section, join us and learn about the benefits of membership, and if you do, come meet your colleagues and share your thoughts with potential members. All are welcome. Visit the Sections Lounge to join this networking event.

6:30-7 p.m. EDT
Diversity & Inclusion Celebration:
Transforming the Landscape

2020 has become a year of incredible moments that continue to have impact on our daily lives, personally and professionally. Our awareness of the importance of organizations embracing diversity and inclusion initiatives has never been more relevant or more critical. PRSA is proud to honor our commitment to diversity and inclusion in our organization and in the profession at large.

Join us for a very special Diversity & Inclusion Celebration: Transforming the Landscape. This event launches with a brief program on our diversity and inclusion activities and the announcement and recognition of Chapter Diversity & Inclusion Award recipients.

7-8 p.m. EDT
Transforming the Landscape Fundraising Concert

head shot of Barbara Morrison Photo by Tony Maddox

singing duo Everette
Fisk Jubiliee Singers


Starting at 7 p.m. EDT, PRSA presents a very special fundraising concert featuring musical performances by passionate, soulful and talented performing artists lifting their voices for the inclusion of new and diverse voices in the public relations and communication profession.

We are thrilled to announce the featured performers: Barbara Morrison, Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, and Everette, rising contemporary country duo who will entertain and amaze with their special brand of musical stylings, storytelling and sheer talent, while we come together to raise money to support scholarships for diverse students in communications and build a more inclusive profession. 

The Fisk Jubilee Singers®, an a capella ensemble that performs Negro spirituals will close our concert with a moving performance to inspire and lift our spirits.

Proceeds of this concert will go to the PRSA Multicultural Scholarship Endowment and furthering scholarships for diverse students in public relations and communications.

Concert Info

Wednesday, Oct. 28

Day Three

General Sessions

9 a.m.-7 p.m. EDT
Expo Hall

virtual exhibit hall

Experience the ICON 2020 Expo Hall and meet PRSA Strategic Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors. The Expo Hall is a fully interactive exhibit hall with private meeting rooms, video displays, exhibit booths packed with information on important business solutions to help move your business forward.

Meet representatives from the most important brands serving the communication and public relations professions. PRSA means business and is here to help you succeed in your professional life.

PRSA’s Military Pavilion, underwritten by Bell and supported by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) , is open all day and invites our men and women in active duty or retired military service to gather, share information and advice and make valuable connections. Learn about our programs and resources to support military personnel as they transition into civilian life and take their military experience into the public affairs, government communications and public relations professions.

PRSA’s Jobcenter will also be open on Wednesday. Stop by and learn how PRSA can help you land your next great job!

Enjoy networking opportunities in the Expo Hall throughout the four days.

11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. EDT
General Session with Keynote Speaker Nina Jankowicz

Jankowitz-655Join Nina Jankowicz for her keynote address on the Information War, followed by a panel discussion with Marianna Spring, Specialist Disinformation and Social Media Reporter, BBC; Neil Brown, President, The Poynter Institute and Sander van der Linden, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Social Psychology in Society, Director, Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab in the Dept. of Pyschology, The University of Cambridge.

Nina Jankowicz, the author of How to Lose the Information War, studies the intersection of democracy and technology in Central and Eastern Europe as the Wilson Center's Disinformation Fellow. Ms. Jankowicz has advised the Ukrainian government on strategic communications under the auspices of a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy Fellowship.

Her writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and others. She is a frequent TV and radio commentator on disinformation and Russian and Eastern European affairs, and has been interviewed by CNN's Christiane Amanpour and PBS's Judy Woodruff.

Breakout Sessions

12:30-1:20 p.m. EDT

1:30-2:30 p.m. EDT
General Session with Keynote Speaker Lata Nott

Lata-Nott-655Lata Nott is an attorney with expertise in the intersection of law, technology, and expression. Her work focuses on effectively communicating complex issues to the public through digital content, programs, podcasts, lectures, and strategic initiatives.

Ms. Nott frequently speaks, writes, and comments on topics relating to the First Amendment, freedom of expression, media literacy, and internet speech policy. She has been quoted in publications such as The Atlantic, Vox, The Washington Post, and CNN.com, among others, and regularly contributes to "The First Five," a syndicated column that reacts to breaking news around the five freedoms – religion, speech, press, assembly and petition – and examines the effects or import of proposals engaging the First Amendment.

2:30-5 p.m. EDT
PRSSA Career Development Exhibition

The Exhibition provides attendees with a wide exposure to tools, resources, and services for the public relations industry. It is an excellent opportunity for students interested or currently pursuing careers in communications to see what resources are available to them.

Participating Exhibitors

  • PepsiCo
  • Klein College of Media and Communication, Temple University
  • The George Washington University
  • MP&F Strategic Communications
  • University of Memphis
  • Marist College
  • University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
  • Texas Instruments
  • Allison + Partners
  • University of Florida
  • Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications
  • USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism
  • Hirons
  • Kiterocket
  • Emerson College
  • DC Internships
  • DePaul University - College of Communication
  • And more…

3:15-4:00 p.m. EDT

4:15-5 p.m. EDT

Section Symposia

5-6:30 p.m. EDT
Expo Hall Exhibitor Reception and Virtual Happy Hour

Spend some time networking and connecting with our Partners , Sponsors and Exhibitors as we enjoy a fun reception and virtual Happy Hour.  Pour your favorite beverage and don’t forget the munchies as you meet and greet friends, colleagues and potential business partners for a relaxed networking event with both group and private chat rooms available.

headshot of musician Walter ParksWalter Parks, writer, guitarist and vocalist will provide a down home folksy welcome as we come together for a relaxed social break. For 10 years Parks served as the sideman guitarist to Woodstock Festival legend Richie Havens. Walter has recently co-written with Stan Lynch, former Tom Petty drummer and has performed at various venues with R&B drum legend Bernard Purdie and at Lincoln Center with Judy Collins. Walter tours with his own trio Swamp Cabbage, with his solo show Swamp By Chandelier and with an Americana spirituals project called The Unlawful Assembly co-founded by drummer Steven Williams.

Recently, The Library of Congress invited Walter Parks to archive his research on and perform his arrangements of music made by southeast Georgia’s Okefinokee Swamp homesteaders – hollers, hymns and reels.

5:15-6:05 p.m. EDT

Section Symposia

6:15-7 p.m. EDT

Thursday, Oct. 29

Day Four

General Sessions

9 a.m.-3 p.m. EDT
Expo Hall

virtual exhibit hall

Experience the ICON 2020 Expo Hall and meet PRSA Strategic Partners, Sponsors and Exhibitors. The Expo Hall is a fully interactive exhibit hall with private meeting rooms, video displays, exhibit booths packed with information on important business solutions to help move your business forward.

Meet representatives from the most important brands serving the communication and public relations professions. PRSA means business and is here to help you succeed in your professional life.

PRSA’s Jobcenter, a member benefit, will be present in the Expo Hall to help you make critical connections for yourself or your organization. Attendees will learn about the best career resource for jobseekers and employers in the public relations and communications industry, with more than 1,200 job openings available, and more than 23,000 employers using the job board. Gain tips and tools for career advancement and find out about the complimentary resume review service.

Plan to visit the Military Pavilion on Wednesday, Oct. 28 during Expo Hall hours. Connect with other service members and learn how PRSA is supporting our veterans, in transitioning to civilian life, equipped for success.

Enjoy networking opportunities in the Expo Hall throughout the four days.

11-12:15 p.m. EDT
General Session with Keynote Speaker Laurie Garrett

Garrett-655Laurie Garrett is an award-winning science writer and author. She is the only writer to have been awarded all of the “Three P’s” of journalism: The Peabody, Polk (twice), and Pulitzer, for which she was three times a finalist and once a recipient. Garrett wrote her first bestselling book, The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance while splitting her time between the Harvard School of Public Health and the New York newspaper, Newsday. She subsequently authored Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health and I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks.

With decades of experience as a science writer, Garrett speaks with extensive knowledge of emerging diseases and epidemics, and their impact on governments and societies. With the advent of the Coronavirus, she has been dubbed the woman who predicted the Coronavirus pandemic.

Breakout Sessions

12:30-1:20 p.m. EDT

1:30-2:20 p.m. EDT

2:30-3:20 p.m. EDT

Section Symposia

3:30-4:20 p.m. EDT

Section Symposia

4:30-5:20 p.m. EDT

Section Symposia