Strategic communications conference set for Reno

The Public Relations Society of America’s North Pacific District is bringing its strategic communications conference, “Reboot and Retool in Reno,” to the area June 23-25 at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino in Reno.

Having the conference in Reno will generate positive publicity about this entertaining city and beautiful region, say conference organizers.

“The conference will attract a group of very socially active people who are professionals at promoting organizations as well as themselves,” said Ben McDonald, communications manager for the RSCVA, the presenting sponsor for the conference. “This means added exposure for Reno-Tahoe primarily on the various social media channels that potential travelers use regarding their personal and professional travel decisions.”

Agreeing with McDonald is Amanda Horn, director of communications at the Nevada Museum of Art, Sierra Nevada PRSA Chapter president and co-chair for the North Pacific District Conference. “We anticipate about 250 strategic communications professionals to attend the North Pacific District Conference, the first in almost a decade,” Horn said. “When the opportunity arose to vie for host, I knew Reno was the best candidate. This is our time. Winning the bid to host professionals from Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Oregon, Utah, and other areas across the West was an enormous thrill. We have the opportunity to showcase the budding economy and vibrant energy that resonates in the Biggest Little City right now. It seemed apropos that Reno kickstart the resurgence of the district conference.

“The impact of these attendees will resonate far beyond the couple of days in June they are here. Seeing and feeling what’s happening here will bring them back again and again. These are candidates that would potentially set up shop here in the future.”

PRSA national conferences often are held in distant parts of the country, so this district conference involves much less travel time and expense, “so more individuals can access practitioner information, learn and network with one another — all things PRSA conferences are known for,” said Pete Codella, APR, director of marketing and communications for the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and PRSA North Pacific District 2016 chair.

The North Pacific District includes chapters in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, northern California, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Nevada.

“Reboot and Retool in Reno” will be headlined by keynote speakers Michael Smart of Michael Smart PR, actor and author Rob Beisenbach, Bonnie Harris of Wax Marketing, and political journalist and commentator Jon Ralston. The inaugural District PR Practitioner of the Year will also be unveiled.

A panel discussion, “The Case for PR,” moderated by Codella, will feature Ronele Dotson, APR, and PRSA North Pacific District director on the PRSA National Board, Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, and PRSA 2016 chair-elect; and Mickey Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, and PRSA 2013 chairmain.

“We’re excited to offer excellent professional development content to communications professionals in 15 PRSA chapters and eight states,” Codella said about the skill-building sessions.

The The opening reception will take place at the Nevada Museum of Art, Nevada’s only accredited museum, in its newly erected Sky Room.

“Reno is experiencing a resurgence in many areas, including food, culture and technology,” said Amanda Horn. “The growth and energy here makes it ideal for playing host to professionals looking for career growth and revitalization. We’re confident this conference will provide content that transcends traditional communications roles.”

The registration prices are $325 for PRSA members, $425 for non-members and $150 for students. For the conference schedule and additional details on pricing and lodging, visit

PRSA is the largest organization for public relations professionals. Its nearly 21,000 members, organized into more than 100 chapters, represent business and industry, technology, counseling firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations.

The Sierra Nevada Chapter of PRSA consists of public relations practitioners from northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area. Communications professionals are invited to attend the chapter’s monthly luncheons on the second Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m., at the Nevada Museum of Art. The chapter often holds mixers on the fourth Thursday of the month, at 5:30 p.m., at various locations. For more details, visit


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