Meeting/Event Information

October 5 Sessions | 2020 Midwest District Conference: OctoPRfest

October 05, 2020
8:15 AM - 11:30 PM
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Virtual Conference


The much anticipated 2020 Midwest District Conference is jam-packed with helpful information for communicators and public relations professionals. Register for the October 5 sessions presented by Drake Unniversity

Sessions will be recorded and available to attendees after the conference. 

October 5: Presented by Drake University

We’re kicking things off strong with a day of digital. Starting with our keynote speaker, we’ll dive into the power of digital and how to optimize your communications. You’ll then participate in an interactive presentation on search engine optimization. Wrap the morning by learning how to take a holistic approach to your communications across all digital platforms.

Cutting Through the Clutter: Building Trust with Modern Digital Consumers

Steve Lerch, President and Founder of Story Arc Consulting

Coronavirus has fundamentally changed every aspect of our lives, but it's also emphasized, to a significant degree, the pre-existing beliefs and behaviors of our culture. From our cultural skepticism to our development of new technologies, to our overwhelming embrace and growing dependence on digital technology and tools. As consumer behavior continues to evolve, our PR, Marketing, and Communications strategies must strive to evolve just as quickly. Steve Lerch will discuss guiding principles to build trust and connection with today's digital-first consumers, who are more unique as individuals and more inundated with content and media than any past generation.

How PR Pros Can Utilize SEO to Increase Exposure

John Kennedy, Technical SEO Analyst at Blue Traffic

PR & SEO have more similarities than just being the most abbreviated job titles in marketing — like the need for high-quality content. We will discuss basic SEO strategies and how to use those principles when creating content.

Influencer Communications with Brandi Boatner

Brandi Boatner, Social and Influencer Communications Lead, Global Markets
Brand Communications Manager, IBM Corporate Communications
Social Justice Communications Lead (Temporary role as of June 15, 2020)

Brandi Boatner is an award-winning digital communications professional and prolific public speaker based in New York City. Due to the current climate around racial discrimination in the US, Brandi has taken a temporary role leading social justice communications both internal and external for IBM globally. In this newly created assignment, Boatner works to develop clear messaging and drive activities for IBM’s response in combating implicit bias, discrimination and racial inequality known as Emb(race).

Prior to this current assignment, Brandi serves as the social and influencer communications lead for Global Markets in IBM corporate communications. Additionally, Boatner has extended responsibilities serving as the Brand Communications Manager for IBM Marketing supporting external engagements including press, events and social media for IBM's Senior Vice President of Digital Sales and Chief Marketing Officer.

In late July 2020, she was named by TopRank Marketing as one of the top 20 B2B Influencer Marketing experts to follow. Boatner is a two-time Hall of Famer having been inducted into the Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communications Hall of Fame known as the Den of Distinction, the youngest member ever inducted. She was also honored and inducted into the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Hall of Fame.

Brandi is a true advocate for diversity and inclusion serving as a member of IBM's Diversity and Inclusion Council and also serves as the former chair and current professional development chair of the IBM Black Network of New York business resource group. Given her efforts around diversity in the public relations industry, she is one of more than 40 PR leaders featured in the book Diverse Voices: Lessons in Leadership published by the Public Relations Society of America Foundation. Boatner is very active in the public relations industry where she holds several leadership positions within PRSA on both the local and national level. She speaks all around the US and the world on a variety of industry and marketplace topics. She enjoys reading, music, traveling, shoe shopping, exploring Manhattan with friends, and spending time with family in her hometown of New Orleans.


Register for the October 5 sessions. If you would prefer to register for the full conference, click here. The conference is free to students. All facing financial hardship are encouraged to apply for a financial hardship scholarship

Presenting Sponsor

Sponsored by Drake’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Learn more about their 100% online Master of Arts in Communication degree program, which can be completed in as little as 12 months and features three specialty tracks—Communication Leadership, Brand Communication, and Public Affairs and Advocacy. In January 2021, the school will also launch an online undergraduate degree completion program for students who have earned at least some college credit previously. Students complete hands-on projects as they prepare to become communication leaders. For more information, contact Kelly Bruhn at [email protected].


$25.00 PRSA Member Ticket | October 5

$30.00 Non-member ticket | October 5

$0.00 Student ticket | October 5

Future Meetings

2021 APR Boot Camp Presented by PRSA Iowa APRs

January 30, 2021
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Webinar (details to be provided 24 hours before event)

This course, presented by accredited PRSA Iowa members, is intended to guide prospective candidates through the process to becoming Accredited in Public Relations. This six-week, online course filled with prep material presented by PRSA Iowa APRs will be

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