• Shel_Holtz.jpgDigital innovation -- and especially generative artificial intelligence -- continues to transform the communication landscape. Synthetic media is the latest groundbreaking tool to emerge that presents communicators with both immense potential and significant risks. 

    This session explores the dynamic world of synthetic media, focusing on its pivotal role in modern communication strategies. Synthetic media, including AI-generated text, deepfakes, and virtual influencers, offer communicators novel ways to engage with diverse audiences, but it also presents unique challenges that must be carefully navigated.

    As communicators in a global landscape, understanding and employing synthetic media can revolutionize how we connect with our audiences. This session delves into how synthetic media can be harnessed to create highly personalized and impactful content, tailored to specific audience segments and even individuals. However, it also underscores the ethical considerations and the importance of maintaining transparency and trust in the age of AI-generated content, as well as the need for vigilance and plans to address synthetic media developed by others that target your organization and its people.

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    • Understanding Synthetic Media: Gain insights into what synthetic media is and its various forms, including AI-generated content, deepfakes, and virtual influencers.
    • Benefits for Communicators: Learn how synthetic media can be integrated into communication strategies to create more engaging, personalized content that resonates with different audience personas.
    • Ethical Considerations and Trust: Explore the ethical implications of using synthetic media, including the importance of transparency and maintaining audience trust in an age where authenticity is often questioned.
    • Risk Management: Understand the potential risks associated with synthetic media, such as misinformation, and how to mitigate these risks in your communication strategy.
    • Practical Applications: Discover real-world examples of synthetic media being used effectively in communication strategies, and how these techniques can be adapted for your organization.
    • Future Outlook: Take a look at the future potential of synthetic media in communication and the evolving landscape of digital media technologies.

    About Shel Holtz

    Shel Holtz, SCMP, ABC, IABC Fellow, is senior director of communications at Webcor, a commercial general contractor and builder in California. In addition to integrating technology into communications strategies, his expertise includes strategic communications planning, change management, organizational culture/employee experience, business initiatives, and communications research. Before joining Webcor in 2017, he consulted independently for more than 20 years as principal of Holtz Communication + Technology. Earlier in his career, Shel was director of corporate communications for Allergan and Mattel and spent time at two global human resources consulting firms. His first job in the organizational communication field was with ARCO in Los Angeles as an internal communications representative. He has written six communication-themed books and is co-host of the first and longest-running communication-focused podcast, “For Immediate Release,” which debuted in early January 2005. He is a regular speaker globally on topics surrounding the application of online technology to strategic communication. He is a Fellow of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), a Senior Fellow of the Conference Board’s Marketing and Communication Center, and a Founding Research Fellow of the Team Workflow Institute. An IABC member for more than 45 years, Shel spent six years on the International Executive Board and was president of IABC/Los Angeles.


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  • SH_headshot_600px.jpegWhether you’re responsible for the full spectrum of communications functions or exclusively focused on internal audiences, there’s no doubt you’re managing an incredibly challenging landscape. Audiences are inundated with information coming from all directions and there are myriad ways to consume it.

    And all the while, some of our most crucial stakeholders – our employees – are increasingly disengaged.

    When we distill the dynamics at play, several trends surface that can help us as communicators to have a positive influence as valued, solution-oriented thought partners.

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    It’s all about actively studying the members of our organizations, their preferences and challenges and their different perspectives and experiences. It’s about embracing the tools that can help us strike a balance between keeping employees informed and flooding them with so much information they tune out. We must strive to get our messages to employees in a consistent manner with nuance for it to resonate well. We’ve got to refine the way we help today’s deskless workers stay connected to the company’s goals and purpose. We also have to design ways to equip people managers with the skills and methods they need to represent the organization to the employees and employees to the organization.

    If you’re lucky, you’ve got a great team of communicators helping your organization and its leaders navigate this reality.

    Let’s get together in Philly and talk about how!  

    Key takeaways:

    1. Learn how prioritizing and personalizing can help employees take note of, digest and act on important information.
    2. Discover how you can manage the demands on communicators by tapping into tools to help accelerate your work.
    3. Target the unique needs of deskless remote workers and people managers who are often overlooked and under-indexed.
    4. Equip your organization to balance speaking with both unification and nuance.
    5. Explore how the simple act of listening to employees can impact communications and business success.

    About Stacey Hajdak, APR

    Stacey brings 30 years of experience leading the communications function in corporate roles and teaming up with clients in agency roles.

    In-house, she has been responsible for driving the full spectrum of strategic planning and implementation of executive communications, brand positioning, internal communications and employee engagement, customer communications, reputation management, media relations, as well as issue and crisis communications.

    Stacey taps this deep experience and perspective for her work serving clients at Ruder Finn. Stacey serves on the leadership team of the newly formed rf.engage Americas, the agency’s Global Center of Excellence for Strategic Internal Communications.

    She maintains her APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) designation and earned her master’s in communication management from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School. Stacey served for 15 years as an officer in the United States Army Reserve, including several active-duty tours, among them, as a company commander in Iraq. Pushups will be optional!

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  • 20201004_k-partners_asphoto_0790-16_2.jpegWhat lessons are learned on the golf course about being an inspiring leader and living a fulfilling life?  

    Whether you play or know golf devotees, this presentation will shed new light on the allure of the game and the synergistic relationship to our lives. 

    During this presentation, Karen Kaufman a prominent executive coach and golf enthusiast, will share her experiences on the golf course and the lessons she learned that have infused her leadership and her clients' leadership.

    You'll learn:

    • Insights into the link between impressions, relationships & leadership.
    • The Ten Principals of Making a Good Impression on and off the golf course.
    • Ideas to improve your golf game and better understand the golfers in your life. 

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    About Karen Kaufman

    FullSizeRender.JPGKaren Kaufman is the co-founding principal and president of The Kaufman Partnership, Ltd., established in Philadelphia in 1986.

    Karen Kaufman is a prominent executive coach and consultant to global organizations. She has dedicated her career to accelerating the leadership performance and impact of executives and their talented teams. With her expertise and experience in Organizational Dynamics and Impression and Relationship Management, she brings her keen observation and listening skills to ask illuminating questions and elevate the success of her clients and their companies.  

    Karen earned her MSOD in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Business Administration from Jefferson University. She is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program.

    As a golf enthusiast, Kaufman brings her curiosity and humor to golf and explores the potential synergies and dynamic relationships between being an effective leader, proficient in golf, and living a joyful life.

    During her presentation, Karen will provide magical nuggets to sharpen your professional intelligence and generate a renewed enthusiasm for your goals. 

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  • Photo-Stephen_Dupont__Low_Res.jpgU.S. presidential election, landmark trials, food shortages, record EV sales, loneliness, reproductive rights, decluttering surge, silver tsunami, domestic migration, child labor, dechurching, demand for older workers, record snow and heat, Bitcoin ETFs, dropping interest rates, climate gentrification....

    As professional communicators, what trends and events should you have on your radar screen for the coming year? Scanning the horizon for potential changes and events can help communications professionals better anticipate and plan their internal, external and leadership communications.

    In this IABC Philadelphia learning event, public relations pro and professional futurist Stephen Dupont, APR, Fellow PRSA, offers his Future Watch webinar. He will wire you in about potential trends and events to watch in the coming year. Applying a futurist mindset, Dupont will discuss how to scan for signals of change, how to prepare for game-changing events, and how the action you take today matters in achieving the future you (and your organization) want tomorrow.

    By the end of this webinar, participants will:

    • Learn about trends and events that will inform their work
    • Learn how to think like a futurist and learn how to start to scanning for potential change/disruption
    • Learn how to prepare for these changes and remain nimble in the coming months and years

    About Stephen DuPont

    Stephen Dupont, APR, Fellow PRSA, is vice president of public relations, Pocket Hercules, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also is a professional futurist and edits Compass, the international quarterly magazine published by the Association of Professional Futurists ( He writes and speaks frequently about the intersection between communications and foresight in organizations (corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, the military).

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  • Bonnie_Caver.jpgThe Edelman Trust Barometer shows us that trust is eroding in society and that we are more likely to trust business than other entities of authority. This position has also put stakeholder pressure on organizations to take stands on societal issues, where speaking out and silence can be reputational risks. The 2023 Global Communication Report conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations compares this time to maneuvering a Rubik’s Cube. Like solving a Rubik’s Cube, each move impacts somewhere else, and your actions can either build equity or erode trust. 

    Reputation is currency for an organization but achieving brand equity with all stakeholders that you can take to the bank requires a shift in thinking. This becomes even more challenging in a polarized environment where brands are trying to attract younger audiences, be responsive to social issues, and even become brand activists. Then, throw in the level of revolutionary change that organizations are undergoing; reputation must be architected, accelerated, maintained, and defended in real-time where stakeholder values and interests may either be in sync or vastly different.  

    This session will be interactive as we discuss the current global reputation trends and case studies, learn how to conduct a reputation risk assessment, and develop proof points for influencing leadership to prioritize reputation. At the end of the session, you’ll walk away with the tools you need to create a decision tree for guiding your leadership around taking a stand. Like the Rubik’s Cube, every move must align, and we’ll discuss the strategies that can put you on your way to solving this elusive puzzle. 

    About Bonnie Caver

    Bonnie Caver is the Founder and CEO of Reputation Lighthouse, a global branding, reputation, change management, and training consultancy with offices in Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas. The firm, which is 20 years old, focuses on leading companies to create, accelerate, and protect their corporate value. 

    Bonnie is a lifelong learner. She is a certified strategic change management professional (Kellogg School of Management), a certified crisis manager (Institute of Crisis Management), and one of few in the world to hold an advanced certification for reputation through the Reputation Institute (now the RepTrak Company). 

    She is a past chair of the global executive board for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She has served on the board director for the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, where she led the Global Alliance initiative #WorldPRCommsMonth, which celebrates and advocates for the public relations and communication profession globally. Bonnie currently serves on the board of directors for the Global Communication Certification Council (GCCC) and leads the IABC Change Management Special Interest Group, which has 1,300+ members. In addition, she is heavily involved in the global conversation around the ethical and responsible use of artificial intelligence in the public relations and communications profession and led the Global Alliance’s efforts in creating Ethical and Responsible AI Guidelines for the global profession. 

    Bonnie is passionate about the communication profession and the Global Standards that guide professionals. She has traveled the world to meet with business leaders and educators to advocate for the Global Standards for the Communication Profession and the use of ethical and responsible AI within the profession. She enjoys mentoring young communication professionals and speaks frequently on branding, reputation, M&A, the future of communication and business trends, change management, ethics, and thought leadership topics. 

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