Counselors Academy in AshevilleI’m just back from Counselors Academy in Asheville, which is part of PRSA. The annual spring conference brings together agency leaders from the U.S. and Canada and, this year, there were about 120 of us.

Between riding the Blue Ridge Parkway, hitting mecca at Mast General (see photo), playing Sorry on a Saturday night with seven other PR pros, Club 461, dueling pianos, a 60s party, and crashing prom, we actually did quite a bit of work. The sessions that were of most interest were on social media, client engagement, business growth in a new economy, and creating a vision for your business.

Following are some nuggets of wisdom I found during my trip:

1. Agency leaders should create a vision that brings in all the senses to engage positive (anabolic) energy (Alan Cohen).

2. The easiest way to get a book published is to ask your peers to write one chapter each and compile them into something people want to read (Henry DeVries).

3. Culture, communication, and coaching should drive your business (Randy Hall).

4. You should sell social media ingredients instead of entrees (Jay Baer).

5. It’s important to hire for talent AND growth potential (Elise Mitchell).

6. Measure your social media efforts – work backward from what you are trying to make happen (Brian Solis).

7. Canadians are smarter than Americans at the English language as Dan Tisch proved when he beat all of us at Darryl Salerno’s English as a First Language.

If you have a few minutes to spare, read the tweet stream at #CAPRSA to find some additional nuggets.

If you run a PR agency and you don’t attend this conference, it’s a must. Mark your calendars for May 13-15, 20 2011 and we’ll see you in Vegas!

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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