Last night I joined the tech group at PRSA for their networking dinner. We took a tour of GM’s OnStar headquarters, then hit Tom’s Oyster Bar for dinner (no oysters, though). It was around 30 people, and business cards were flying. I met up with Mike Smith who represents Craig Newmark (the founder of Craigslist was Sunday’s keynote speaker), Melissa Shapiro, PR manager at Mozilla, Joanne Petitto, director of PR and community affairs at Classmates.com, John Uppendahl of Uppendahl Communications in Washington, and Rich Teplitsky, VP of corporate comms at Gain Capital.
Two big topics of conversation were the tech offerings at the conference (some wanted to know which classes were advanced and which basic, so they didn’t have to sit through discussions on RSS feeds), and the speakers that wowed. Bob Lutz of GM was a clear favorite. Author Penelope Trunk set off a dispute when she continued to use the word “spin” as a positive attribute of PR in her Monday luncheon pep talk, and of course, everyone enjoyed the new Detroit mayor’s pronunciation of the association’s name. Ken Cockrel gave a great endorsement to the group Sunday morning, thanking them for choosing Detroit for the conference. However, he thanked “PR-ISSA,” several times, rather than PRSA.