The saying goes "New Year, New You," right?

Well, that applies to communications strategies, too!


With each new calendar year brings a welcome opportunity to reflect, reset and revisit best practices and trends to tackle the year ahead, make your brand stand out and keep your seat at the table. 

And as relieved as we all may be that 2020 is in the rearview mirror, the unprecedented year surfaced some key learnings. It also elevated every PR professional to the level of strategic consultant and crisis comms expert that organizations will need to lean on in 2021 and beyond.  

Cision is always striving to bring you the latest and greatest thought leadership, so buckle up for our latest webinar series, Best Practices for Communicators in 2021, a six-week event series featuring a stellar lineup of best-in-class communicators discussing best practices and strategies on our most requested topics.

Session details (click to expand)

We’re kicking off our Best Practices for Communicators in 2021 series with a crucial conversation. 

Each year brings new challenges for journalists as the media landscape continues to evolve into an increasingly fluid digital ecosystem of competing platforms and outlets. And the events of 2020 didn’t make it any easier.

Shrinking newsrooms, accessibility of social networks and influencers, new tech, and (dis)trust are just a few of the issues our friends in the media face.  So how can you make their job easier?  

Join us for this can’t-miss conversation on what journalists want.... with juicy details straight from the journalists' mouths! We’ll dig into: 

  • Flipping the script on your media relations strategy
  • Doing your homework on the journalist and outlet you are pitching
  • Tangible tips for crafting better pitches
  • Building meaningful relationships with the media

Speakers include:

  • Nicole Schuman, Senior Editor, PRNews
  • Mike Cronin, Reporter, Austin Business Journal
  • Lex Harvey, Reporter, Toronto Star
  • Kristen Sala, Sr. Director, Media Research, Cision

Communicators wear many hats – among them, Chief Storyteller – and we all know content is still most definitely king! 

Taking your audience on a journey that helps them resonate with your brand, take an action and – better yet – become an advocate is no easy task. Yet it is attainable with great content, brand stories and reaching your audience on the right channels at the right time. 

Join us for part two of Best Practices for Communicators in 2021 to dig into how leading brands are creating content that is driving action. We'll dig into:

  • The modern era of the press release
  • The power of multimedia and virtual media tours
  • Creating integrated PR and marketing campaigns driven by content
  • Tangible tips for creating actionable content

Speakers include:

  • Tony Morain, VP of Communications, Direct Relief
  • Kelly Brockmeier, Director of PR & Social Media, Wounded Warrior Project
  • Vicki Valdez Hafenstein, Associate PR Manager, Kohler Co.
  • Glenn Frates, VP of US Distribution, Cision

2020 proved that what your brand does, or doesn't do, makes a difference to your audience. Trust is crucial to your brand's success. Moreover, trust affects corporate reputation, which is paramount to the bottom line. 

Do you have the data that shows how your messaging and actions are resonating with and influencing your audience?

This session features powerhouse speakers from Georgia-Pacific, Canopy Growth Corporation, and Edelman. We'll discuss: 

  • Results from the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer
  • Insights and real-time data monitoring
  • Media and social monitoring
  • Importance of managing corporate reputation
Speakers include:
  • Eric Abercrombie, Media Relations & External Communications Lead, Georgia-Pacific
  • Jennifer White, Director of Communications, Canopy Growth Corporation
  • Brandon Parrott-Sheffer, Senior Vice President, Edelman
  • Cam Steed, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cision

25% of PR pros are unable to measure earned media impact.  

Old-school PR metrics are out. Earned media attribution, true readership, and real-world action are metrics that earn you a "seat at the table," enable you to get more budget, and make PR a proactive part of the business strategy conversation.

In part four of Best Practices for Communicators in 2021, we’ll examine how leading brands are flipping the switch on metrics and creating world class measurement programs that are showing true business results. We'll dig into:

  • Powerful new metrics for communicators
  • Setting measurable objectives and KPIs
  • Proving ROI through sales, efficiency and cost savings
  • How proving ROI lands a bigger budget and more headcount
Speakers include:
  • Karen Clyne, Head of Global Communications, BlackBerry
  • Stacey Miller, Senior Director of Communications, Auto Care Association
  • Jessica Andrews, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Cision

If it didn't happen on social, did it even happen? 

Social media has grown at an average rate of 12.5% year-over-year since 2015. 

Pre-pandemic, it was important for brands to invest in building and nurturing an online community, but now it’s even more essential that they interact and communicate around key issues and company priorities. On a fundamental level, being social has changed. 

In week five of Best Practices for Communicators in 2021, we’ll examine best practices for one of the fastest-growing and evolving marketing channels to drive engagement and business results.  In this session, we’ll dig into: 

  • Digital trends for 2021
  • How brands are using social channels for CSR, crisis communications and thought leadership 
  • Leveraging employees as social brand ambassadors
  • Best practices for social media management
Speakers include:
  • Candice Beck, Senior Manager of Social & Digital Marketing, Chipotle
  • Fabienne Daigle, Global Social Media, Cirque Du Soleil Entertainment Group
  • Dino Kuckovic, Director of Community & Events,

Paid, owned and earned: three powerful media engines that should be working together, yet often are siloed. Does this sound familiar? 

If you answered yes – and even if you didn’t – this session is for you.  The industry has come a long way not only in mindset but in technology that allows for true integration; however, the opportunities to work smarter together are endless. 

In the final session of Best Practices for Communicators in 2021, we examine the key earned media holds to unlocking greater success for paid and owned counterparts by:

  • Understanding earned audiences
  • Demonstrate how earned media drives business KPIs
  • Retargeting earned media audience with paid
  • Why integrated campaigns drive better, more measurable outcomes 

Speakers include:

  • Ali Gerakaris, Director of Communications and PR, ALG
  • Anna Maria Addesso, Marketing Director, Email/ Content Strategy/ Research , ALG
  • Kristen Reitzell, Vice President of Public Relations, Jackson Family Wines
  • Jeffrey Vanderby, Director of Product Marketing, Cision

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