Do you ever feel that you spend so much time trying to keep up with the latest PR trends that you neglect the tried and true basics? Technology has made communication faster and more accessible, but the all-important content remains the same. It’s our job to make sure that our message is communicated in the way that our intended audiences and shareholders understand it. Professional development and networking opportunities are crucial to becoming the best public relations practitioner you can be.

Each year, Toolkit attempts to provide information about trending PR strategies, while also offering you the opportunity to increase your basic skills. This year’s Toolkit is a balance of the basics and trending topics that will ensure your organization’s success. There will also be plenty of opportunities for networking with other area PR professionals.

Mark Barry will be presenting “Pitch, Please! Tips, Tricks and Strategies for Selling Great Ideas.” Sometimes having a great idea isn’t enough. The real goal is having others believe in you and buy into your idea. Mark will be sharing tips, tricks and strategies for selling great ideas. Mark is the Director of Minerva, the Creative Advertising Specialization in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Alabama. He’s now an Assistant Professor and spends his days (and many nights) working with creative students to identify, execute and pitch big ideas.

Amy Collins and Sara Centorino with Gamble Communications created the first ever Beignet Fest in New Orleans in 2016. They brought together the tremendous need for programs to serve children with autism and their idea about a food festival centered around beignets. Now in its fourth year, Beignet Fest will take place on October 5, 2019, at the Festival Grounds at City Park and expects to attract 50,000 people for the one-day extravaganza! Amy and her colleague Sarah Hugg Centorino will dive into the world of the festival, offering advice on planning, PR and social media.

Niki Lim, Director of Business Development at Big Communications will share her experiences in integrated communication and the successful Gulf Seafood Campaign. Big Communications developed a public relations campaign that utilized traditional advertising avenues, print, tv, outdoor and online, to drive consumers to the website for the Alabama Seafood Marketing Commission’s new website, eatalabamaseafood.com. In addition, the Commission partnered with local and national events, such as the Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores and the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party in New York City to promote Alabama’s seafood industry.

Donna Ritchey, APR will be presenting “Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing: Leveraging the Fundamentals of PR for a Fast-paced, Chaotic World”. Ritchey is a Senior Partner and the Chief Strategy Officer of Godwin Group. She is considered one of the Southeast’s premier strategists in issues management, crisis communication and public relations marketing. Her expert counsel is frequently called upon by clients such as Chevron, State Farm, Georgia-Pacific and Time Warner.

Finally, I hope you plan to join us at Haint Blue Brewery for a special networking event after Toolkit from 2:45 until 5:00. This event is included in your registration and will include a half pour and refreshments.

Click Here to Register today to secure your seat at Toolkit 2019 and Go Back To Basics With The Building Blocks For Successful PR Strategies.

 Thank you to our 2019 Toolkit sponsors: JJRP, Alabama State Port Authority, The Learning Tree, Springhill Medical Center, 3 Echoes Production, Accordia Health & Wellness, Austal, Focus Women’s Conference, Calagaz Printing, Ad Venture Specialties, Mobile Rundown, Mobile Chamber of Commerce and Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce.