KEYNOTE SESSION: Detroit Homecoming: Tapping the Expat Community to Drive Investment, Revitalization

Colleen Robar, APR, President, Robar PR

Detroit’s resurgence has been a boon for business and the community. A catalyst for this investment has been the highly successful annual “Detroit Homecoming,” an experiential three-day event which brings expats back to the city. Detroit Homecoming launched in 2014 and has welcomed 700 former Detroiters back to the Motor City. The result? More than $300 million in direct investment and $500 million in indirect investment. Learn how this landmark program was launched and why other urban cities are now copying this successful model as an innovative economic development tool. Colleen will be joined by Jim Hayes, co-director of Detroit Homecoming and former publisher, FORTUNE Magazine, as well as Keenan Covington, Homecoming expat liaison, Crain’s Detroit Business.


PR on Steroids: How Contributorships are Changing Media Relations

Tony DeFazio, President & CEO, DeFazio Communications, LLC
David Evenson, Principal, David R. Evanson LLC

Contributorships, a non-traditional media relations tactic, establishes clients as regular content contributors at major media outlets. In this manner, clients effectively become the media—the authority of their voices aligned with the credibility of the publishing outlet. In this session, Tony DeFazio explores the benefits and challenges of contributorship programs. He’ll demonstrate how communicators can use five key marketing principles to develop effective contributorship programs: targeting, content strategy development, content creation, media distribution and digital optimization. He’ll also explain how clients, as content owners, can leverage published messaging to deliver high-impact content strategies across owned digital channels.


Gender & Public Relations: Communication Styles, Gender Differences and Their Influence in the Workplace

Amelia Reigstad, Lecturer, Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Minnesota

Have you ever experienced challenges in workplace communication or wondered why men and women communicate differently? Based on the findings of a 2017 study for her PhD, Amelia Reigstad will discuss how gender communication, different communication styles and the personality traits of men and women contribute to workplace communication—and how these differences influence the practice of public relations. Learn about specific findings surrounding gender vs. personality traits, age, work/life balance, how PR practitioners perform in their day-to-day roles and much more.