Three reasons to attend Counselors Academy Conference

Since 2005, as many of you know, PRSA Counselors Academy has been my annual must-attend PR event. In fact, I get so much out of the conference I volunteered to be its 2012 conference chair.

This year #CAPRSA is being held in Austin, Texas June 9 to 13, and in addition to the programming and people, it’s a chance to experience Austin without all the hullabaloo of SXSW.

My good friend Dana Hughens, who was last year’s co-chair, steps into the CEO role – that’s Chair Extra-Ordinaire :) – and, along with the team of volunteers, has assembled a W.E.I.R.D.* and wonderful line-up of content that’s bound to be thought-provoking, creative and fun. 

Among this year’s keynotes are SXSWi director Hugh Forrest and digital thought-leader Richard Binhammer. The opening night program is a creative combination of collaboration and karaoke (and alliteration), there will be lots of informative breakout sessions and an opportunity to get to know and learn from your peers.

I was thinking about the reasons I always attend and really it comes down to three things:

Business – Most of us aren’t business majors and fall on the creative side of the business-creative spectrum. Counselors has been likened to getting an MBA with a specialty in PR agency life. It covers everything from legal liability, billing and cash flow, negotiating a lease, HR and motivating your team, strategies for growing your agency and more.

Trends – I’ve said before that I learned about social media from a breakfast roundtable Giovanni Rodriguez conducted at my first conference. I left there with my head spinning and it hasn’t stopped since. That one session helped open my mind and set me on a new course for my career. At Counselors you’ll hear about emerging trends, what’s around the corner and the associated opportunities and risks for the industry and your business.

Relationships – That’s the second part of PR and it’s probably the most important part of Counselors. You’ll meet a remarkable group of people – smart, warm, open, fun and yes W.E.I.R.D. If you have a problem, they’ll help you solve it, they’ll talk candidly about their successes and challenges and you’ll come away with a group of close and trusted friends you know you can count on.

Still not sure? Check out Dana’s blog for interviews with past Counselors attendees.

Here’s where you go to register for the event. And, if you’re interested, I recorded a short video talking about the reasons I always attend. Hope to see you there.

*W.E.I.R.D. – wired, entrepreneurial, imaginative, results-driven.



About Martin Waxman

Martin Waxman is a digital, social media and communications strategist, content marketer, social media trainer and instructor and co-founder of three PR agencies. He blogs at myPALETTE and hosts the Inside PR podcast.