Medialink Professional Development Workshops
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Medialink Professional Development Workshops

In a series of nation-wide workshops, Medialink presents expert information and case studies to PR professionals.

Paul Holmes

  Medialink is the global leader in providing comprehensive and compelling multi-media communication solutions and services for corporations seeking to communicate news through television, radio, print and the Internet.  Medialink employees have many years of experience in the PR industry and work under the principle that sharing knowledge helps the industry grow and reach for new goals.  In a series of nation-wide workshops, Medialink presents this expert information and case studies to PR professionals.  These workshops are scheduled twice a year at nine different locations around the country and are available at no cost to the participants.   They cover such hot topics as webcasting, multi-tiered projects, and On-line PR news and attract top-tier speakers from industry leading companies such as Redherring.com, Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, MSNBC.com, Earthlink, CNN Interactive, Concert, and leading public relations firms.
 
CHALLENGES/OBSTACLES:
 
Medialink and industry experts break down complicated and technical information for easy digestion by PR professionals who attend the workshops.  Case studies are also presented to illustrate and give examples of work completed.  PR professionals who have worked with Medialink present these studies.  Scheduling workshop time to fit with the speakers’ schedules is often difficult.  But since most of the panelists find it a great honor to be showcased, a happy medium is usually found.
 
Furthermore, the volume of work in the PR industry is oftentimes overwhelming.  We do not restrict or invitations or RSVP numbers, nor do we charge a fee for the workshops.  Because of that, we have to plan appropriately for those inevitable professionals who are unable to attend due to late-breaking work.
 
RESEARCH, PLANNING, AND OBJECTIVES:
 
Medialink has been an industry innovator for over 14 years.  We have many industry firsts (first to establish VNR standards formally accepted by the broadcast news industry, first to create Medialink/AP Express Newswire, first to use Nielsen’s Sigma television tracking system, first to stream video on the Internet; etc.) and exclusives (Newstream.com, TeleTrax™, NewsIQ, digital delivery to network affiliates, etc.).  When choosing a theme for the nation-wide workshop campaign, we first look internally for experts and subject matter.
 
Planning for the workshops take the same detail-oriented approach as with any other large-scale event.  Not only on a logistical level, but also for industry notification, content, and press materials. 
 
Throughout the planning process, our goals and objectives are reinforced:
· Present a knowledgeable expert and creditable case studies to PR professionals on a new topic or pressing issue
· Position Medialink associates as experts in their particular field
· Showcase services that can help PR professionals do their jobs more effectively and efficiently
· Make available Medialink resources for further inquiry and reference
· Give attendees more knowledge about the PR industry and topic discussed, which will make them more valuable to their company, and also their clients.
 
STRATEGY:
 
Themes for the workshops center on new PR trends, emerging technologies or services, and new applications for established practices.  Because of Medialink’s relationships with a diverse array of partners ranging form the broadcast networks and the Associated Press to Internet leaders like Northern Light Technology, Medialink often is on top of new developments important to PR professionals and their clients. 
 
Obtaining dynamic speakers is made easier by the strong relationship Medialink has with clients.  Projects showcased are of the highest quality and is a chance for speakers to present their successful work to a group of PR peers.  Attendees come to hear the details of the high-profile success stories to get the “inside scoop” on how it happened.
 
EXECUTION:
 
The workshops take an extraordinary amount of organization and coordination.  A dedicated team of Medialink’s US Marketing orchestrates these events from conception through end.  These workshops were developed to be a forum to facilitate communication.  First, the moderator welcomes and orients the group with “big picture” information and data.  Then, our expert speaks on the intricacies of the topic and provides in-depth data.  The 2 or 3 case study professionals then show examples of their work and how the topic was applied.  Following the presentations, there is a Q&A session where attendees can ask more detailed questions to any one of the panelists.
 
All nine workshops follow the same format, but with different speakers and presentations.  While the theme is usually a topic of importance within the industry, each workshop is able to localize their subject matter and focus on regional issues, as well.
 
RESULTS AND EVALUATION:
 
Although there is not a direct correlation between marketing and sales, Medialink has enjoyed favorable returns on these workshop investments. 
 
Each attendee is asked to fill out an evaluation sheet where they are able to rate and comment on the program, speakers, and content.  The majority (54%) of people surveyed said that the workshop met or exceeded their expectations.  Medialink experts are overwhelmingly ranked as excellent presenters.
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