Conference refresh: shakin’ up my mental

2016 has been another monumental year for the City of Fishers. By the time Mayor Fadness presented his State of the City address last February, we had already topped our jobs announcements for 2015, in entirety. My first indication that 2016 was not going to be a coast year for our organization.

Outside of major economic development deals (perhaps you heard about IKEA), 2016 has been a year that’s kept our PR team, myself specifically quite busy. Deadlines occur weekly, in some cases daily as I manage or co-manage 11 social media accounts, am the primary gatekeeper for our city website (including our email marketing campaigns), am solely responsible for both of our mobile apps (the Nickel Plate District mobile app to support local businesses and Team Fishers, our employee engagement app), and various other event/pitching/media relations/project tasks that occur in both an ongoing fashion and as needed. So it’s no wonder by October I’m feeling a bit fried.

My biggest fear in the workplace is that my work or my attitude towards work will get stale, and I learned last year one of the best ways for me to shake up my mental is by attending a conference, specifically the PRSA International Conference. Last year I hopped a flight down to ATL to hear from speakers such as:

  • Congressman John Lewis who spoke about the historic roots in Atlanta and walked us down memory lane with stories of marching for justice and equality.
  • Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO of KIND Snacks, who shared a touching story about lessons learned from failure used to achieve success.
  • Sheryl Connelly, Head of Global Consumer Trends and Futuring with Ford Motor Company, who painted a picture of future impacts and implications from choices we’re making today, and
  • Brilliant PR professionals like Michael Smart, Ann Wylie and many more!


I left the 2015 conference with a notebook full of insights, and almost the entire flight home was spent highlighting what was relevant, posing questions to myself and planning how I could apply some of these techniques and/or tools in my current role. I was able to reflect, learn and grow from expert advice last year, and I look forward to doing it all over again at the 2016 PRSA International Conference in my great state of Indiana! [Read my reaction as a first time attendee or what I learned about the power of ‘and’   – written during the pre-blog days!]

PRSA ICON 2016I’ve eluded to this in previous posts, but I tend to be a type A personality when I approach learning. So, it should come as no surprise I’ve already highlighted the sessions I’d like to attend in the print brochure, downloaded the 2016 conference mobile app (pictured left) and added those sessions to my agenda so I can start making cuts (too bad we can’t attend all sessions, right?!) But, I’m confident no matter where I end up, I’m going to soak information up like a sponge. Conferences, or any kind of big think tank learning opportunity like this, are a great way to shake up my mental approach and attitude towards work. I remember learning from experts in industries that ran the gamut, spurring some really great and also some rather not great ideas – but that’s the whole point!

It’s nice to network with professionals of all levels, to connect, learn, network and grow. I was even lucky enough to make a few awesome friends that I plan to see during the 2016 conference in Indy.

PRSA Friends

So PR pro’s, what are you waiting for?! Head online and register today!

[Additional posts about the 2016 PRSA International Conference to follow at a later date. Subscribe to Casey’s Canvas via email for a notification when they’re posted and available to read.]

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