CommCon’22 & Spotlight Awards

October 7, 2022

Oregon Zoo (Cascade Ballroom)


Welcome BAAACK!

It’s been a hell of a two years since we all gathered together. 

We’ve been in extensive crisis mode, cooped up in our homes, trying to work from a corner of our bedroom or kitchen – sometimes with kid and/or four-legged “helpers,” managing our own stress, all the while putting out communications that are empathetic and reassuring. 

But, we are nothing if not resilient. We are re-emerging to find that we have changed, our organizations have changed, how we work has changed. And our changed world will test our resilience. We are more fractured, yet more committed to equity. We are more connected online, yet more vulnerable to mental health challenges.  

Where do we go from here?

We need some new frames to make sense of our new reality. How can we inspire ourselves to think outside of the PR box, to view our world with a different lens? 

Mark Mohamadpour

To help us in that inquiry we called upon speakers who are outside of our PR tribe to share their insights, and asked our own tribe, Mark Mohammadpour of Chasing the Sun, to tie it all together for us throughout the day.

Steve Elkins

Our first speaker sets the tone for the day with his key message: you can do it! Steve Elkins is the man who – despite every imaginable obstacle – literally found the Lost City of the Monkey God deep in the rainforest jungles of Honduras. The story of his discovery is the subject of a best selling book, and a soon to be released National Geographic documentary. Steve, a journalist and videographer, will share how he “used PR skills” to bring a difficult government, skeptical scientists and cynical media outlets together to find and protect one of the most heralded archeological discoveries in our world today.

John Ott

As we disappeared into our homes, we got more isolated and fractured as a community and nation. How do we get back to listening to and understanding each other? Our second speaker John Ott, founder of the Center for Collective Wisdom, will teach us. John works with large communities to solve our nation’s most intractable problems: houselessness, mental illness and trauma. By getting people of every religious and political affiliation to sit down and hear one another, we can reach alignment on difficult subjects. This highly interactive hour will give you a new view of our world and your place in it.

Spotlight Awards and lunch, sponsored by Finn Partners,  will showcase our best PR campaigns and tactics from the year.

Let these campaigns inspire you – pick up new ideas – maybe you’ll be seeking an award for your work next year!

If you haven’t entered yet – do it now! Click for more information.

Serilda Summers-McGee

In the afternoon, we’ll hear from the HR side of things with Founder/CEO of Workplace Change Serilda Summers-McGee, who will challenge us to think about how we get our internal communications to match what our external communications are saying. Brands get in trouble when they don’t “walk the walk.” Communicating with the public – in particular historically disadvantaged communities – requires authenticity. Serilda counsels organizations in changing workplace culture to be more inclusive and welcoming to all people that the organization serves. In her dynamic and interactive presentation, you’ll be encouraged to think about how you communicate for your organization in new ways, resulting in new ideas for your current position and your career.

Closing CommCon, we will turn outward to take a look at three enterprising young influencers in social media today representing lifestyle, food and outdoors: Emily Greene (@foodiesnitch), Maynard Villa Flores (@maynardvillaflores) and Logan Reavis (@itsloganmarie). Where do they get their ideas? How do they work with brands? What are their challenges? Here’s your chance to get an inside look at how it all works, at the same time getting some ideas for your next social campaign.

And, then, it’s happy hour! Let’s celebrate one another and share ideas over a glass of your favorite beverage. 


So, what’s the bottom line? We’re all for nostalgia when it comes to the conference fee so we’ve kept the original 2019 CommCon rates, with a low early bird discount for members and nonmembers.  There is plenty of parking at the zoo – $8.00 for the entire day! Max also goes to the Zoo.

Early bird ticket rates end August 15 so don’t delay!

We can’t wait to see you in October!

Be sure to register now!

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