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Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR

Owner
Cat 5 Crisis Communications, Inc.

Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR’s "hands-on" experience running Joint Information Centers began with Super Bowl XXXIX, serving as lead spokesperson for the event's Safety and Security in a post 9-11 world, and she hasn't stopped since. Smith has participated in more than 20+ Incident or Unified Commands, ranging from hurricanes to internationally covered, high profile murder trials (2) during her tenure as the appointed press secretary to two elected Sheriffs in Florida.

A sought-after crisis/risk communications strategist and media trainer for C-Suite members and subject matter experts, Smith is enjoying life and work from her new home on the Mississippi Gulf Coast since relocating in 2018 from Florida, where she led the PIO unit at one of the nation’s largest law enforcement agencies, was a large health system PR/Marketing Director, and lobbied at the state level (physician self-referrals) and at the federal level (HIPAA and tort reform).

She has also served as the Community Relations Director for an industrial city with a strong employer base, but still battling to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in the areas of infrastructure; tourism; and economic growth. She is proud to serve on the Board of Directors for the Pascagoula Main Street association.

Today, she focuses on growing her consulting business helping clients (governments, agencies, and private corporations) with their integrated marketing/communications and public affairs programming including polishing PIO staffs' functionality and JIC skills; training spokespersons; developing social media performance matrices and social media policies; advising clients on their reputation management; and legislative/public policy strategies.

Smith serves on the Board and Executive Committee of PRSA's Public Affairs and Government Section, which she has twice chaired. She is the 2015 recipient of the Lloyd B. Dennis Distinguished Service Award in Public Affairs, PRSA’s highest honor for PAO’s and PIOs. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the nationally ranked PR program at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, where she served on their Advisory Board for several years. She is a graduate of FEMA’s Advanced PIO class and was accepted into the 2020 Master’s PIO cohort.

Lauri-Ellen Smith, APR’s Session(s):


2:20 pm–3:00 pm — Thursday, February 6, 2020

"Beyond A Seat At The Table" - Considerations for Social Media Managers and Strategists

We all know the "enemies" of good brand management - from nasty reviews on Glass Door to the YouTube video of a shameful company event filmed and uploaded by an employee or hater. As strategic social media in corporate America enters its second decade in the workplace, it's time to move past debates about which team "owns" social media to actually empowering every employee to become a vanguard of our brand and a curator of our content. What is the tipping point...when we are exhibiting too much "personality" on social or digital platforms? How does our SM content align with corporate values?

In this session we will take a look at some emerging best practices for how to organize, train and deploy your team; social media policies that focus on conduct and don't conflict with employees rights to express themselves under NLRB rulings and cases in the news; and how to grow brand disciples inside and outside the organization, who can be deployed effectively and quickly to address any negative or emerging issues that compromise your brand. And...when it makes sense to stand still and say NOTHING!

At the end of the session, you'll be ready to:

  • Revisit your social media policy and look for ways to expand your Ambassador program - inbound content and who curates or captures and packages the "stories"
  • Make sure Communications hasn't created the silos we detest. Marketing, Product Teams - We are a key part of Operations. It's important that as reputation managers we examine every access point and all online behavior - do we address sensitive/negative information with the same enthusiasm we show for uploading our crazy lip-synch music videos?
  • Is the organization approachable, responsive, and timely? Is your social media and web persona the same? Finding the "sweet spot" in your digital communications so you are both popular and a respected source of information. Learn matrices that help you understand if people follow and engage because you're clever or if you're a trusted "news" provider. What is really moving the needle on what people what to hear about from you and what matters most to the organization?

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