Value, Vibes, and VIP: PRocon is Back to Ignite! – by Martina Tinong

PRocon 2024 is gearing up to surpass the excitement of previous years, promising even more value, vibes, and VIP experiences. And one thing about me – I’ll be in the front row, so I don’t miss one moment. With a lineup of stellar speakers and dynamic discussions, PRocon 2024 is set to ignite passion and drive among the public relations and marketing professionals in the building.

Let’s start with the visuals – last year you couldn’t escape the kaleidoscope of orange, yellow, and navy blue thanks to the stunning LED screen boards from The O Agency. I can’t wait to see how the visual will elevate the experience this year. And the photo ops! The animated video booth by Hit The Angles 360 Photo Booth Services was a fun moment. 

Also, the pop-up magazine wall set-up made us cover models for Ebony and Vogue magazines. Just small elements that surprised and delighted us.

As a VIP attendee for PRocon 2023, I indulged in the perks. In a separate lounge, I connected with a few other VIPs, sharing our career paths over delicious food and signature drinks. The real MVP was photographer Louis Tinsley who took portrait headshots. I’ve already updated my LinkedIn profile with my headshot. Shoutout to event sponsor Muck Rack for those journal pads in our VIP gift bags. Even in a sea of smartphones, taking notes with pen and paper let’s people know you mean business. A writer can never have enough journals.

The best part – the speakers and discussions. The panel on “Merging Lanes in PR” highlighted how we can forge our own path in our careers. Speaker Ah-Niyah Gold spoke candidly about putting your health first. Ahmad Davis reminded us that you need tough skin in this field, illustrating a story on how he knew this was the field for him when a client yelled at him, and it didn’t bother him. Aba Kwawu of TAA PR told us to do it scared, to be ready and grind and have grit. Speaker Cierra Brooks was amazing as well.

I most enjoyed the fireside chat with Ronne Brown whom I did not know of prior to PRocon 2023. Her message on finding your purpose through servitude came at the right time for me as I am at a point in my life where I am finding my purpose. Ronne tells us to enter new rooms to diversify our network, to be consistent in showing up for our brands, and to build a community beyond platforms we don’t own so we can send value directly to our audience. I eagerly await for the 2024 speakers to be revealed in the coming weeks

But PRocon 2023 didn’t stop there. Several breakout workshops ran simultaneously. “Everything is Content” led by Raven Paris and JLaw showed us how you can use everyday moments as instant content for your brand. To demonstrate, we broke out into small groups to create fully edited, 30-seconds Reels in real-time. For “Marketing for Marketers” workshop led by Jasmine Gibson, we received workbooks to take a deep dive on why we procrastinate on marketing ourselves and the audience we neglect when we don’t. It comes to no surprise that we procrastinate out of fear of perception or not even knowing where to start.

Creative philosopher DonYé Taylor’ wrapped the conference up by speaking about the concept she describes as “Level 2.” In order to flourish in your career, you must pivot away from your place of comfort. Level 2 requires more out of you because it is where you meet your needs, dreams, and opportunities. Don’t stay comfortable, get to Level 2!

What sets PRocon apart from similar conferences? It allowed us to be what we first are in our professions: content creators! Tripods, microphones, and ring lights, OH MY! Almost everyone took to all the corners of PRocon to take photos, film, and conduct interviews on the spot. The communication field has always been content production-based, but it was beautiful and inspiring seeing a room of Black professionals enabled to do what we do best. 

At PRocon, you are either left making new connections or you are left with the lessons, tools, and gems to implement right away to Go Pro in Your Passion. 2024 will be no different.