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Call for Presentations


PRSA 2024 Counselors Academy Spring Conference

Oasis in the Desert:
Refreshing Your Agency in 2024 and Beyond

April 9-11, 2024
Palm Springs, California



The Call for Presentations for the PRSA 2024 Counselors Academy Spring Conference will be open until 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.


About PRSA Counselors Academy

Founded in 1960, PRSA Counselors Academy is dedicated to providing owners, principals and senior leaders of small- and mid-size public relations firms in the United States and Canada with the business insights and tools they need to grow, lead and scale successful businesses.

With approximately 300 members, Counselors Academy is passionately committed to maintaining a diverse and collaborative peer network that energizes and motivates, provides a sounding board for questions and ideas, and fosters mutually beneficial relationships. More information about Counselors Academy and its programs can be found HERE


About the 2024 Spring Conference

The annual Spring Conference is Counselors Academy’s largest event. It attracts agency owners and senior agency executives, decision-makers, advisors and partners. In addition, attendees include growth and leadership consultants, industry sponsors, and executives from related businesses and industries.

The majority of attendees run firms that have 10 or less employees, and are working in hybrid or virtual environments.

Year after year, our conference gets rave reviews due to the quality of the content and the willingness of attendees to share experiences, insights and best practices and we’re sure this year will be no exception.

Speaker Proposal Guidelines

Priority will be given to proven presenters whose proposals are forward thinking and deliver fresh, compelling, business-focused content that is directly relevant to today’s agency leaders and principals. Presentations that are interactive and/or provide practical, actionable guidance are also strongly encouraged.

Presentations that seem to be sales-focused or specific to promoting a specific company or organization are strongly discouraged and will be considered by our judging panel accordingly.


Submittal Format

PLEASE NOTE: All submissions will first be shared anonymously with the conference committee to prevent any unintentional bias and to ensure selections are based on the quality of their content and their merit. Only PRSA will retain the names and company names of those submitting proposals during the first phase of submission reviews. Following the first phase of the selection process, the committee may review speaker reels, testimonials and other identifying information to complete the selection process.


This year, our theme is
Oasis in the Desert: Refreshing Your Agency in 2024 and Beyond.

We are looking for dynamic and engaging content that helps agency leaders prepare and focus on key business, leadership, management and personal priorities as we think about our agencies, our clients and our industry. The following subject areas represent the specific tracks that we will offer to our attendees and suggested workshop topics you may consider in developing your submission and determining how best to position it for success. You will have more success in your submission if you pinpoint which track(s) your expertise can address.


Join us in Palm Springs where we will address ALL you need to be an even more successful agency owner and leader.  Workshop tracks will focus on Agency, Leadership and Life topics:

  • Agency - All about Business Development, Growth, Strategies and Tactics, New Tools, HR Issues, Recruitment and Retention, DEI and More
    • Business development: developing new service lines and sources of income, identifying new niche markets, proposal/pitch development
    • Business planning: prospecting, mergers and acquisitions
    • Strategic alliances for your business and/or your clients
    • Marketing tools and technology and emerging trends
    • Recruiting and retention strategies
    • Professional development for your staff
    • HR policies and practices, workplace environment, agency culture
    • Leading effective teams
    • Legal issues and opportunities in building and growing your agency
    • Contractors as the new workforce
    • DEI among agency leadership, how agencies should address diversity, equity and inclusion issues with clients and as community builders and leaders
    • Managing virtual teams and agencies
    • Financial strategies to keep the agency growing over time


  • Leadership - All about Staff Management, Agency #2 Issues and Opportunities, Succession Planning and More
    • Inspirational leadership in and outside your agency. What does that look like?
    • Advocacy for public relations in an ever-changing communications environment
    • The impact of public policy/legislation/regulation on brands and client reputations/activities/expectations
    • PR practitioners as advocates for their clients, for truth and transparency in communications, ethics
    • Succession planning strategies and/or conversations about M&A
    • Sessions that are focused on the “second-in-command”or Agency #2


  • Life - All About the Challenges of Being an Agency Owner and Solutions to Addressing them
    • Maintaining balance in life, health, and business
    • Tools & Innovation - Resources that streamline processes, build collaboration, maximize client experiences and simplify your life
    • Creative ways to energize your team (and yourself)
    • When enough is enough (recognizing burnout and how to recover)
    • Retaining legal counsel before you need legal advice
    • The power of a professional coach
    • How to cope when it’s lonely at the top

Within these categories, we are specifically interested in compelling presentations on the following topics: Agency #2s, Ageism and Ableism, AI, Business Development, DEI How To (not just Why), and Succession Planning.

Presentation Guidelines

Counselors Academy welcomes proposals from public relations firm principals and senior leaders, as well as experts in relevant disciplines including, but not limited to: artificial intelligence, diversity, equity and inclusion, growth strategies, new business strategies & tactics, recruitment and retention, operational efficiencies, and agency technology.


This Call for Presentations includes requests for:

  • Expert breakout presentations (up to 45 minutes in length)
  • Expert panels (limited to up to three participants and totaling 60 minutes in length)

The most successful Counselors Academy presenters:

  • Deliver fresh, innovative thinking in a way that is interactive and engaging
  • Understand that the audience of attendees at Counselors is made up of leaders of independently-owned small- to mid-size public relations firms
  • Consider diversity of thought, presenters and perspective in their presentations
  • Provide clear takeaways that attendees can implement right away
  • Are passionate about their subject matter and can inspire audiences to see their business challenges in new ways and take action

A few “musts” for all accepted presenters:

  • Must supply a copy of their presentation to PRSA Counselors Academy Conference Committee no later than Monday, March 11, 2024 for promotional purposes.
  • Must avoid sales pitches for their own products or services.
  • Must be able to dynamically deliver a presentation in-person. PLEASE NOTE:
    Preference will be given to those who can demonstrate strong speaking and audience motivation skills by providing videos or reviews of past presentations to similar audiences.

Submission Process

Submit your innovative and compelling presentation proposal online here.  Check the box that says Counselors Academy.

Note: PRSA and Counselors Academy do not reimburse presenters for out-of-pocket expenses such as hotel stays and airfare. PRSA and Counselors Academy do not provide speaker stipends. Presenters who are selected for expert breakout presentations will receive one complimentary conference registration, which does not include meals or networking events. Presenters are expected to purchase a meal package.


Proposals are due no later than Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 5 p.m. EST. Earlier submissions are encouraged. Submit your proposal online here.


Submit questions to:

Amy Moore, Events Manager
Email: amy.moore@prsa.org
Phone: (212) 460-0302

Ben Finzel, 2024 Conference Chair
Email: Ben@renewpr.com
Phone: (202) 277-6286

Missy Hurley, 2024 Conference Co-Chair
Email: Missy@B2Communications.com
Phone: (813) 230-7736