Phoenix SPJ Seeks Volunteers for Annual Publicity Summit

Shed light on how you and your media organizations want to be pitched — and how you
don’t want to be — by participating in the 8th annual Valley Publicity Summit. Once again, the Valley of the Sun SPJ chapter seeks local journalists to volunteer a bit of their time to pay big dividends in building better relationships with public relations professionals. Information on how you can volunteer as one of the journalists giving advice — and get a FREE LUNCH — is below.

Every year since 2005, the Phoenix chapters of SPJ and PRSA have partnered to host the
annual Valley Publicity Summit, offering PR professionals the opportunity to network with peers, meet key Phoenix media and learn the best ways to pitch media for story placements. Both chapters collaborate with PRSSA and campus SPJ students to engage student professionals in assisting and attending the event. The half-day event is structured with guest speaker, breakout panel sessions, lunch, and speed pitching.

This year, for the first time, the summit will be held at the Walter Cronkite School of
Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University’s downtown campus,
555 N. Central Ave., in the First Amendment Forum on the school’s second floor. Here
are the basics:

Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Parking: Free parking for the event can be found at the nearby garage structure, an ASU visitor lot to the immediate north of the Cronkite School building, and street parking.

Attendance: The event typically draws 25-30 media members and 75-100 PR professionals.

Food: Water and coffee will be available all day. A boxed lunch or buffet is served at noon.

Keynote: Former ABC 15 anchor Jodie Heisner is confirmed as the keynote speaker,
offering a 45-minute session on “Hit ‘em with your best shot” coaching on
elevator pitching.

The deal: You’d be seated on one of our media panels, arranged by type of medium, to tell of your deadlines and preferences in getting PR pitches. Then you get to critique
PR professionals who will toss you authentic, live, “speed pitches” (maximum
two minutes, OK, maybe three). If you like the pitch, take it, it’s yours to use to
develop a story! If you don’t, you get to tell the PR person why it wouldn’t work,
or wouldn’t work for you. They learn something and you get story ideas.

Panels: TV News, Community News, Business News, Magazines, TV/Radio Morning Shows, Radio News, Blogs/Online.

Get involved: Sign up today, or ask questions, by writing to Mark Scarp at You’ll be able to say you did something to improve the relationship between media and PR people. And after all, a rising tide raises all boats!

Don’t Miss the 7th Annual Publicity Summit

These days a journalist’s time is more precious than ever. Once again, we’re holding the one event that can result in less wasted time for both journalists and PR professionals: The 7th annual Publicity Summit.

What is the Publicity Summit?
The 7th annual Publicity Summit will bring journalists and public relations people together to share information and to offer better ways to pitch story ideas to journalists. Co-sponsored by the local chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Public Relations Society of America, this interactive half-day event is structured with a light breakfast and networking, followed by breakout panel sessions (for radio, television, online media and print), lunch and one-on-one speed pitching. An updated list of the media professionals in attendance is available on the Phoenix PRSA website.

Sounds great. When is it?
The summit will be 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6.

Where is the Publicity Summit?
We’re meeting in the Memorial Union at Arizona State University in Tempe. Visitor parking is free on Saturdays in the Apache Blvd Parking Garage.

How much does this workshop cost?
Advance registration is available for $100 for non-profits or PRSSA students, $125 for PRSA members and $150 for non-members. Walk-in rates are $105 for non-profits or PRSSA students, $130 for PRSA members and $155 for non-members. Note: RSVPs that are no-shows will be charged. Register at the Phoenix PRSA website.

Should I live-Tweet during the event?
Absolutely! Just remember to use the Twitter hashtag #PRPubSum.

I still have more questions.
No problem! Just email Virginia Anderson at or Alison Bailin at and they’ll help you out.