PRSA Pittsburgh Annual PR Summit

Failing Forward

Why Failing Forward?

Success wouldn’t be possible without learning from one’s mistakes. But to learn from mistakes, we not only have to make mistakes, we have to be willing to talk about them. And that’s what this year’s PR Summit is all about.

Join PRSA Pittsburgh at the Ace Hotel on October 1 from 5:30PM to 9:00PM for an evening of networking, learning, and failing forward. For one night, we’re ignoring those award-winning ideas, and we’re going to instead talk about the presentations we bombed, the campaigns we created that met exactly 0 of our KPIs, and the jobs we lost.

Join us as we discuss how past failures, and learning from those failures, shape us as professionals—and how overcoming obstacles has helped advance our careers.

PR Summit Sessions:

  • 5:30PM-6:00PM – Networking, Registration & Food
  • 6:00PM-6:30PM – Finding Your Passion Through Failure
    • Jason Clark, Actor, Comedian, General Manager, Arcade Comedy Theater
      • After years of building a successful career in business, a few setbacks led Jason to find his passion in the entertainment industry – an industry filled with failures, judgement and excitement. Finding ways to harness your failures to fuel your passion is critical in any industry – especially in the world of comedy.
  • 6:30PM-7:30PM – Live and Learn: Putting Failure to Work for Us
    • Dr. John Hull, Professor of Psychology, Bethany College
      • More important than avoiding failure – because we can’t, really – is learning from failure. We’ll discuss the psychological impact of failing, and how we can respond positively to failure.
  • 7:30PM-7:45PM – Break
  • 7:45PM-8:30PM – Panel Discussion: The PR Career Path Involves a Lot of Wrong Turns
    • Dan Sprumont, Lead Digital Experience Owner, Highmark Health
    • Lily Whorl, Fellow, Red Havas
    • Stacey Federoff, Communicator and Public Relations Graduate Student, Point Park University
    • Moderated by Steve Radick, SVP, BCW Global
      • PR professionals from very different backgrounds in and very different points in their careers will discuss the trials and tribulations they’ve faced as they climb, fall down, and go around the PR career ladder.
  • 8:30PM-9:00PM – Good Intention, Bad Result: How Saving a Holiday Tradition Earned Me the Title ‘Scrooge’
    • Hollie Geitner, Vice President, Culture & Brand Ambassador, WordWrite 
      • Learning the lesson, “not everyone cares,” is a tough one when your job as a communicator is to help others understand WHY they should care. But saving a beloved holiday tradition proved to be harder than Hollie thought. After being publicly called a “Scrooge,” she learned valuable lessons in message preparation and consistency as well as emotionally detaching yourself from a story so you can better anticipate and prepare for challenges.
  • 9:00PM-9:05PM – Closing Remarks

Tickets Available Now!

Thanks to Our 2019 Sponsor!

Researchscape International is an agile survey-research consultancy and SaaS firm delivering PR surveys, omnibus surveys, automated reporting tools and other research-related services to marketers and agencies. Its surveys are frequently used to drive thought leadership, support content creation and help grow organizations’ public profiles. Custom surveys support product launches, crisis communications, customer satisfaction and more.

Parking Near the Ace Hotel

Valet parking is also available at the entrance.

What is PRSA PGH’s PR Summit?

PR Summit is an annual conference, and the second largest event, hosted by PRSA Pittsburgh and geared toward professionals and students in the field. It’s a professional development opportunity for individuals to learn more about how trends in the industry are influencing the work and experts in the Pittsburgh area.

Why Should You Attend PR Summit?

We’ve all attended conferences and presentations where we hear about best practices and case studies, but what we don’t often hear about are the failed campaigns that came before. Or the thousands of social posts that were created before that one went viral. Or the dozens of failed pitches before that one the client finally accepted. We can learn just as much, if not more, from each other’s failures as our successes.

Countdown to PR Summit


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“It’s incredible to hear stories and insight straight from the source of the local brands you admire. At PR Summit, you don’t just get the ‘who’ and the ‘what.’ You get the ‘why?'”

Ashley JonesCopywriter & Social Media Specialist, Beyond Spots & Dots