Posts Tagged ‘speaker


Interview with Dr. Kaye Sweetser


I want to go to Mars too!

If you wonder why Elizabeth Albrycht is talking about going to Mars someday or about the large hadron collider (It’s the largest particle accelerator in the world. Don’t worry I had no idea either), it’s because she loves “big science” (and has the science fiction novels to prove it).

She started in management consulting (after she and an aptitude test she took in high school decided PR was a good route for her) but has spent most of her career in technology, hence the love of “big science.”

Her reason for speaking at conferences is to create more discussions about the changes social media technology is bringing to the profession. It wasn’t easy for her to start speaking at conferences, she had to co-launch a conference (New Communications Forum) to “break in.”

Elizabeth is so fascinated by the changes in PR that she has moved from day-to-day PR implementation to studying some of the big issues that she thinks PR will have to deal with such as digital identity and the emergence of decisions in online environments. She is currently researching this topic while living in Versailles, walking the same paths that Marie Antoinette did.


Quantum physics at Connect… Hey, if you’re interested.

Dr. Mihaela Vorvoreanu enjoyed being a part of last year’s Connect, “The sessions were informative, I met some of the stars of social media PR, and best of all, I enjoyed the conversation about the conference going on in real time on Twitter, blog posts and comments. I can’t wait for Connect ’08!”

Fortunately for us, the assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University, also known as Dr. V, joins the panel of experts this year. She plans to discuss organizational branding on Facebook and intends to address “the unexpected and uncontrollable aspects of branding, so people can prepare for the unexpected.” She hopes to stimulate attendees to think about familiar things in new ways.

Since advances in social media and PR are made almost daily, Dr. V keeps her reader full with relevant blogs. Her favorites include Read Write Web, Digital Influence Mapping Project and even the Digital Photography School blog for new tips & techniques. Of course, she has a blog of her own, PR Connection, about public relations research, practice and education.

Plan to chat with Dr. V during the conference — you’ll learn quite a bit. A native Romanian, she loves to read about both Western and Buddhist psychology, is fascinated by neuroscience and would like to better understand quantum physics. It looks like we may not just be talkin’ social media at Connect…!

Twitter image from Josh Hallett (hyku).


Informatics and you: meet Dr. Mia Lustria

Joining Jim Fetig and Kathi Wallace of Georgia Tech on the measurement panel will be Dr. Mia Lustria, assistant professor at Florida State University’s College of Information. She conducts research on consumer health informatics and health communication. “Huh?,” you may ask. Here’s how she explains it.

Dr. Lustria:
Consumer health informatics involves the purposive use of information and communication technologies for health education and promotion. My particular area of research involves the design and evaluation of online, interactive and computer-tailored behavioral interventions focused on helping inform and educate individuals about better health behaviors and equipping them with the skills to make informed decisions regarding their health.

Q. How and where does your work intersect with public relations and marketing?

2. Dr. Lustria: Behaviors, particularly health behaviors, are not easy to change or affect. Knowledge often does not directly translate into behavior change. In a way, health communication involves persuading individuals to engage in desired behaviors. We have learned a lot from PR/marketing field about how best to do this using different media.

Q. Tell us something about you that’s not on your bio.

3. Dr. Lustria: Aside from having a busy career, I have 4 kids, ages 5-16 – I had 3 during my Masters, 1 during my PhD. When people ask me how I do it – I give all the credit to my supportive husband, Yul. I also tell them that my kids are my reason for everything that I strive for – I never make them my excuse for not accomplishing my goals. My family helps me keep everything in the right perspective.


A Few Minutes with Jim Fetig

Jim Fetig is the Associate Vice President of Institute Communications and Public Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In his position, he leads the public relations office, reports directly to the president, as well as serving as spokesperson for the Institute and its chief communications counselor.

Before Georgia Tech, Fetig’s posts included vice president of public relations for Lockheed Martin and vice president for media relations his last governmental position was as director of public affairs for the National Security Council at the White House. Fetig served as a U.S. Army officer, holding positions in the Pentagon as special assistant to the Chief of Staff, directing media strategy.

Connect attendees can look forward to learning about developing new media metrics from Fetig, which he cites as the most important achievement in his new media career. Fetig lists Katie Paine as his biggest influence on his new media career.

When asked about 3 facts about his career not found in his biography, Fetig listed “1) I once beat Johnnie Cochran at PR. 2) I enjoy working with lawyers. 3) I have mentored dozens of successful protégés.”

His advice to PR educators and professionals is “It’s about the audience, stupid! It’s not about you.”

For more about Jim Fetig, see his LinkedIn profile


Video introduction to Dr. Kaye Sweetser

Kaye Sweetser, assistant professor at the University of Georgia, will be paired with Kami Huyse for a discussion on relationship building. We sent Kaye a few questions, and she chose to answer via video from San Diego. Here’s Kaye’s take on the chance for academics and professionals to meet, her biggest takeaway from Connect ’07, and what she’s looking forward to most about Connect ’08.


social media marketing strategy with Bert DuMars

As Vice President of E-Business and Interactive Marketing for Newell Rubbermaid, Bert DuMars has his hands full directing and coordinating eMarketing, Interactive Marketing, Social Media Marketing and eCommerce initiatives, and we are excited to have him as Connect’s Saturday lunch speaker.

Conference attendees can look forward to him discussing Newell Rubbermaid’s experimentation and implementation of social media marketing strategies and tactics. How does one coordinate interactive marketing efforts for more than 30 brands? He will also talk about the role of the corporate interactive marketing function vs. the global business unit or brand.

DuMars has had quite a career. Before joining Newell Rubbermaid in 2007, he was director of electronic tax administration for the Internal Revenue Service where he contributed to the substantial growth of its eFile program and led the redesign of its Web site. Prior to working with the IRS, he led a full redesign and content management system implementation at Trend Micro, a content security and anti-virus company. The redesign led to a 42 percent year-over-year growth in eCommerce sales. Dumars has done marketing work with Intel and Dell and gained start-up experience as founder and CEO of an eCommerce business.

Perhaps a little-known fact about DuMars: He played four years of NCAA Division III varsity basketball at Pomona College where he earned his bachelors degree. He received an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Of course, you’ll want to brush up before the conference, so add his blog, Exploring the Social Media Ecosystem, to your “must reads,” follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his Friend Feed.


Meet Peter Himler: Connect’s keynote speaker

Peter Himler, founder and principal of Flatiron Communications in New York, is this year’s Connect keynote speaker. He has extensive agency experience, having previously worked for Edelman, Burson-Marsteller, Cohn and Wolfe, and Hill and Knowlton.

We asked Peter a few questions to help you get to know him before the conference. Here’s what he had to say:

Q. What are three things that someone considering attending Connect should know about you?

  1.  I don’t consider myself a social media guru, but rather a public relations professional who knows a little something about social media.
  2. After nearly 30 years in the business, I still enjoy the practice of PR in all its incarnations — traditional, digital, social….
  3. Having worked across so many industries in my career, I happen to be a good person to sit next to on an airplane.
Q. What single piece of advice would you give to a PR educator? A PR pro?
PR educators: Advise your students to keep fresh on the tools of the trade with time on the Internet, book reading (what a concept!), industry meet-ups, and most importantly, experimenting. Also, teach through case studies — good and bad.
PR pros: Try to choose a job (or client) in which you also have a strong interest or are passionate about. Since the practice of PR is applicable to pretty much anything, the possibilities are endless.
Q. Can you reveal any information about your keynote speech?
A. I hope to talk about the (digital) forces that have changed the modern practice of PR, and the core competencies that remain valid, in spite of these changes.
A few more things you should know about Peter:
  • His blog, The Flack, won a 2006 PR News Platinum Award as the year’s best blog
  • He was named the PR Professional/Media Relations Executive of the Year by PR News in 2005
  • PR Week awarded the PR program he led to build the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.  as its Public Sector Campaign of the Year in 2005
  • He is president of the Publicity Club of New York
Happily, you don’t have to try to find the seat next to Peter on airplane, you can just register for Connect to hear what he has to say about PR and social media.

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