Event Recap: Lightning Round Session

PRSA/SENE Lightning Round Event  PRSA/SENE Lightning Round Event - Paul Grimaldi - RI DORPRSA/SENE Lightning Round Event - Melanie Coon BCBSRI

On April 10th, we welcomed our PRSA community to a second of our “Lightning Round” sessions.

Our seasoned professionals spoke about what they’ve learned along the way in their careers and offered a few pieces of advice for our audience. Each 10-minute presentation covered content in internal communications, media relations, and programmatic display.

PRSA/SENE President, Kim Fraser welcomed the group to the beautiful Red DWG Library, and we were inspired as their team discussed the passion and guidance behind all of their efforts. Our speakers then took the stage – Paul Grimaldi, Melanie Coon, and Jess Bachman – and left us wanting more until the very end!

Here’s a look at what folks were talking about:

  • @gailcarvelli – “Discretion is your brand” .. words of wisdom for communications professionals from @mcoonri at the @prsasene Lightning Round Event held @reddwglibrary @BCBSRI
  • @prsasene – .@mcoonri “The basics are critical. We shouldn’t make mistakes with the basics. [ex.] Proofread everything you write.”
  • @prsasene – .@mcoonri “Public trust is probably the most important prize we can win. It takes years to build up, but it can disappear in a minute.”
  • @prsasene – .@PaulEGrimaldi‘s social media principles: – it’s not the end all, be all – have a protocol – choose channel to fit your audience – be consistent with messages, topics and tone – engage your communities

Special Thanks to our attendees, Red DWG, and our Lightning Round Speakers!

  • Melanie Coon – Managing Director, Internal Communications, Corporate Affairs Division, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (internal communications)
  • Paul Grimaldi – Chief of Information and Public Relations, Rhode Island Department of Revenue (media relations)
  • Jess Bachman – Strategist, NAIL Communications, LLC (programmatic display)

Successful Annual Excellence Awards & Summer Social

PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017    PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017    PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017PRSASENE Excellence Awards 2017        

We were excited to celebrate our annual Excellence Awards event at the Hotel Providence on June 13. Congratulations to all of our award winners and honorees! Each year, we are continually inspired by the work of our peers, and so proud to showcase some of the impactful work being done right here in Rhode Island. Also a big thank you to our presenting sponsor, Providence Business News and thier PBN Connect service!

Excellence Award Winners:

Excellence Awards Honorees:

Learn more about our PRSA SENE 2017 Excellence Award winners and their campaigns, and check out our event photos on Facebook.

Event Re-Cap: Ethical PR during a period of “Alternative Facts”


PRSA/SENE Alternative Facts Event Panel

We were proud to kick off our first event of the year with an impressive panel and great attendees! Our conversation dove into the ethics of public communications; credibility; effectiveness; and the sometimes fine line between transparency and legality.

And in between some friendly banter, our moderator and panelists also shared industry best practices for PR/communications professionals and journalists alike. Here were some of our key takeaways:

On Ethics

  • “We are entitled to our own opinions but not our own facts.” – Mike Raia
  • There is a need to balance transparency and legalities. – Laura Meade Kirk
  • Social media should be used by political offices to complement communication channels. – Mike Raia
  • Social media offers an intimate connection to your audience. – Emily Crowell
  • “It’s good that you have more ways to get your message out, but you now have less control.” – Laura Meade Kirk

Best Practice

  • Building relationships between PR professionals and journalists is key to honest and comprehensive reporting. – Panel
  • Press releases are not a place for feature writing. Be efficient, get to the point. – Tim White
  • The old approach to a “Friday News Dump” is no longer an effective practice to avoid sharing bad news. – Emily Crowell

“Thank you” also to our moderator and panelists!

  • Tim White (moderator) – Target 12 Investigative Reporter, WPRI
  • Emily Crowell – Director of Communications, Office of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza
  • Laura Meade Kirk – Public Information Officer, RI State Police and RI Department of Public Safety
  • Michael Raia – Communications Director, Office of Governor Gina Raimondo