What to Do When It All Falls Apart...

August 12, 2020

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
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Learning points of this session:

  1. As "strategists" we PREDICT AND MANAGE change, so we certainly must know how to predict that in our world - TIPS and TRUTHS
  2. Continuous self-assessment is the best form of preparation - Where is your organization? Where are you professionally? What about the "team"? - NOW is the right time for continuing ed. What is free
  3. You May Love the Job, but the Job will NEVER love you - mental, spiritual, and financial advice for people in the volatile world of PR - WE INVENTED THE PIVOT
  4. As the "what's next" people- show true leadership without being sanctimonious or a martyr. Asking yourself "when will I leave here" is the first thing you should do after being hired.



Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR

Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR’s experience in Government and Corporate PR includes running more than 20 Joint Information Centers (JIC), as her career took a decided turn in the direction of emergency/crisis communication. It began with Super Bowl XXXIX (39) where she served as the appointed spokesperson for the event's Safety and Security. She has participated in more than 30 Incident or Unified Commands, ranging from hurricanes to H1N1 virus to several high-profile murder trials and a campus shooting, during her 14-year tenure as the appointed press secretary to two elected Sheriffs in Florida. She led the PIO unit at this 14th- largest law enforcement agency in the country and served as their lead spokesperson.

Today, Smith is a crisis/risk communications strategist and media trainer for C-Suite members and subject matter experts, having relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2018 from Florida. She also spent 10 years as the PR/Marketing Director for a large health system, serving as their government affairs director and lobbying at the state and federal level.

Her consulting business assists clients (governments, agencies, healthcare professionals and private corporations) with their integrated marketing/communications and public affairs programming including: policy development and legislative strategies; analyzing/supporting PIO staffs' functionality and JIC skills; training spokespersons; social media performance matrices and social media policies; and advising clients on risk/reputation management.

Smith serves on the Board and Executive Committee of PRSA's Public Affairs and Government Section, which she has twice chaired. She is the 2015 recipient of the Lloyd B. Dennis Distinguished Service Award in Public Affairs, PRSA’s highest honor for PAO’s and PIOs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the nationally ranked PR program at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. She is a graduate of FEMA’s Advanced PIO class and is a member of the 2020 Master’s PIO cohort.