Where Innovation and Funding Meet – Buzz from the 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit is always a great place for networking and an important moment to invigorate as an entrepreneur. This year’s event held in Atlanta was buzzing with topics, tips and tools for small business owners new and seasoned.

Here are a few highlights on my Storify story. http://sfy.co/f0bvK

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PR+ 2014 – Our First Conference

Lipscomb University hosted its very first public relations conference, PR+ 2014, on April 22. The successful event took place in the Ezell Center and included breakfast, two panel discussions, lunch, and a keynote speaker. Coordinated by dGE PR’s Aerial Ellis, the event had a turnout of 85 attendees made of professionals and students from all over the region. The day was filled with learning about how PR is used across different fields as well as great networking.

 The first panel discussion revolved around the topic of evolution strategies for some of Nashville’s most iconic brands featuring rockstar panelists were Bob Higgins, CEO of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner and Cannon; Michelle Lacewell, PR/Marketing director of Nashville Chamber of Commerce; Andrea Lindsey, senior VP at DVL PR & Advertising and David Reuter, VP of corporate communication at Nissan. dGE PR’s Perri duGard Owens was the moderator for the discussion and posed some great points for the guests to delve into. Each one had priceless input about gaining momentum for new brands and re-establishing relevance for existing brands.

 The next panel was focused on the future generation of PR. The young, vibrant, and distinguished speakers discussed ideas about the positive effects of cross-brand collaboration and what is next for the public relations industry in Nashville. The group was moderated by Meagan Rhodes from 12th and Broad and consisted of Jamal Hipps, CEO of MPYER Marketing & Advertising; Nicholas Holland, CEO of Populr.me; Marcia Masulla, co-creator of Nashville Fashion Week and senior marketing manager at Yelp Nashville; and Ryan Witherell, partner at Seigenthaler PR.

Lastly, the keynote speaker was stand-out Steve Buchanan who took the stage to talk about his hit TV show Nashville and how the PR industry related to his work with the Opry Entertainment group. The entire conference was highly interactive and received positive feedback from those who attended. Students from Kennesaw State, Austin Peay, and Belmont all mentioned how they enjoyed how the panelists were so accomplished, yet relatable. PR+ 2014 would not have been successful without the support of its sponsors PRSA, DVL, BWSC, Seigenthaler Public Relations, duGard Ellis Public Relations and Nissan along with its media sponsors Yelp and Google.

Artist Publicity: Is Your Music Ready for Media?

Public relations, music, non-profits, and my hometown Memphis are few of my favorite things. So I was excited to get an invite from Cameron Mann of the Memphis Music Foundation to facilitate a workshop on PR for local artists and industry insiders. Most times, artists aren’t sure how to approach PR from a strategy or representation standpoint. When should they implement a PR strategy? Who should they get to do it? How even?

With Memphis being such a great breeding ground for new artists, it created a perfect opportunity for the foundation to provide resources for those interested in the music industry from all aspects, especially PR. I headed down to the Bluff City and had a great time giving PR tips to the attendees.

Here’s the full presentation via Slideshare.


Memphis Means Music.
Music Means Business.
That’s the foundation’s tag and it’s true. You can’t think of Memphis without thinking of music. Building on that legacy, the Memphis Music Foundation has established a resource center as an interactive, living library and workspace that offers a dedicated staff, tools and resources to help area musicians and music professionals be successful in the ever-changing music industry. Visit the foundation’s website for more info.

For The Record

There’s no crying in politics. Tell that to newly elected Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH). Known for his emotional moments in Congress, Boehner cried during a recent 60 Minutes appearance. The politician’s consistent tear trigger seems to be the idea of ensuring that we all have a shot at the American dream. Whether it’s a passion for people or a reminder of humble beginnings, congressmen aren’t expected to choke up on camera. What media messages do Boehner’s display of emotion convey about our perception of politicians? Watch a few of his waterworks in a candid interview by Lesley Stahl.

(CBS/Washington Post)