From the President

by Steve Higgins, IABC/Tulsa President

A year ago, many of us were still trying to understand just exactly what social media was and how it worked. That was so 2009.

This year, we want to know how social media can help us advance our business or organizational goals. After all, it’s not enough to jump into social media just because everyone else is. Savvy communications pros are using these new channels to engage stakeholders, connect with customers and build brands.

If you missed last year’s inaugural OkieSMart: The Art of Social Media event, by all means don’t miss it this year. Those of you who did attend last year witnessed a frenetic keynote from Peter Shankman, a stimulating panel discussion, some fun networking and a margarita-fueled post-event party. But I have to say, OkieSMart 2010 Sponsored by Walmart promises to top the original.

For starters, we’ve booked Steve Crescenzo, principal of Crescenzo Communications, who was recently rated as the top speaker at IABC’s World Conference – for the third straight year. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Steve twice in the past year (at the World Conference and at the IABC Social Media conference in New York last fall) and I can assure you he more than lives up to the hype. Expect a lively, enlightening and hilarious (and occasionally raw) afternoon with Steve as talks about bringing “Creative Communication” to social media.

I’m also looking forward to Rick Burnes of Hubspot, an acclaimed expert in inbound marketing for small- and medium-sized businesses. He leads HubSpot’s content marketing team, which uses social media, content and search engine optimization to get HubSpot found by prospective customers. Rick’s background includes NYTimes.com, where he worked on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Nation Challenged section following 9/11. He’s also worked at Google, the Moscow Times and the New Bedford Standard Times.

Yet another great thing about OkieSMart is how it brings together members of IABC, PRSA and the Tulsa Press Club for a shared event. Again this year, we’ll make sure there’s time for networking and fun with our communication colleagues from Tulsa and the surrounding area. And the price is right – still only $40 for members of any of the three host organizations.

See you on Aug. 26 at the Spirit Bank Event Center.