Data, Digital, and Diversity - The Evolution of the Communications Career

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Data, Digital, and Diversity - The Evolution of the Communications Career

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A Communications Week Webinar Sponsored by the PR Council

The public relations landscape has dramatically changed, and the pandemic, anti-racism movement, and political upheaval of the past 18 months have only accelerated the progress. Data and digital capabilities are at the heart of this transformation and savvy firms are delivering an array of solutions powered by data, digital and earned media to reach a multitude of stakeholders. The work, its intended targets, and the talent behind it have never been more diverse.

A strong and urgent push for diversity of all kinds is introducing this exciting profession to many who know little about it other than how it is portrayed in popular media. Participants in this webinar -- led by Steve Bauer of FleishmanHillard, Katie Creaser of ICR, Christa Conte of Hotwire Global and Tejas Totade of Ruder Finn -- will be introduced to real-life work that showcases the diversity inherent in public relations solutions today. Join to learn the hard and soft skills agencies prize and the creativity and learning opportunities that are attracting new talent.

About the Panelists:

Steve Bauer, SVP + Partner, Global Lead of Social + Innovation Practice, FleishmanHillard

Steve Bauer is one of the global leaders for FleishmanHillard’s Social & Innovation practice group. As a senior member of the Corporate Reputation group in St. Louis, Steve helps organizations as well as their executives, subject matter experts and employees achieve impactful business results using social media. With more than 22 years of PR agency experience, Steve’s areas of expertise include integrated marketing, social media strategy and governance, issues/crisis management, executive coaching and personal branding, content marketing and employee advocacy. Steve is one of the firm’s leading social media trainers and frequently conducts personal brand-building workshops, crisis preparation drills, executive social coaching sessions and ongoing executive thought leadership strategy/support for many of the firm’s top clients including AT&T, Emerson, Johnson & Johnson, and Western Union. He is a founding member and co-chair of the PR Council’s Digital and Social Media Community. Steve is also a founding member of the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL) Digital Media Marketing Advisory Board and currently chairs the UMSL Digital Board Curriculum Committee.

Christa Conte, SVP, Head of Digital Commerce, Hotwire Global

Christa Conte is SVP and head of Digital Commerce for Hotwire, based in the New York area. She shares her 16+ years of integrated communications experience leading Hotwire clients in the ecommerce/retail and adtech/martech industries – such as Facebook, Rakuten, Marketo, Groundtruth, NextRoll, and inRiver – through global campaign launches, rebrands, crises, pivots and more. Recognized by PRSA-NY as part of the 15 Under 35 inaugural class, Christa is experienced in aligning all strategic parts of a business to ensure a seamless and authentic approach to communicating with key internal and external audiences. Christa joined Hotwire in March 2012 as a key driver in the company’s entry into North America and has since built both her team and practice in New York extensively. Prior to Hotwire, she supported the launch and growth of Feintuch Communications, a boutique tech PR firm in New York, where she developed and executed high-level media, analyst and influencer campaigns, as well as crisis and brand management for B2B and B2C companies. Christa is co-chair for the PR Council’s Digital Community as well as a member of both PRSA-NY and New York Women in Communication, where she is active in the organizations’ mentorship programs. She regularly volunteers with the Pajama Program in New York and the Liberty Humane Society and has participated in several events supporting the Special Olympics and Susan G. Komen.

Katie Creaser, Senior Vice President, Technology PR , ICR

Katie Creaser is Senior Vice President, Technology PR at ICR where she specializes in emerging tech, cybersecurity and IT solutions/services. Katie is passionate about helping brands tell their story through a thoughtful, holistic and measurable corporate communications strategy.

During her 16-year PR career, Katie has managed communications campaigns that have earned accolades from PRSA, Hermes, PR News and BtoB Magazine/Ad Age, among others. She regularly speaks at industry conferences and events and her commentary has appeared in publications including Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Inc., PR News and PR Daily. In 2016, Katie was recognized by the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NY) as one of its 15 Under 35, an award highlighting the most promising young leaders working in communications in the New York metro area. She recently served on the PR Council’s PRC Next Board, comprised of 12 rising leaders tasked with bringing the perspective of the next generation to current industry challenges. Prior to joining ICR, Katie was senior vice president at Affect, a NYC-based PR agency specializing in B2B technology.(insert bio)

Tejas Totade, Chief Technology Officer, Ruder Finn

Tejas, Ruder Finn’s CTO, has over 15 years of experience delivering award-winning digital communications campaigns for brands from a wide variety of verticals, including healthcare, life sciences, technology, CPG and more. With a master’s degree in Computer Science and engineering background, Tejas leads the charge to identify, experiment with, and develop new strategic and data-informed options for Ruder Finn and its clients at the intersection of emerging technologies and the future of the communications industry.

Tejas and his team spearhead research and KPI measurement with a unique blend of best-in-class commercial analytics tools and methodologies. Tejas also leads Ruder Finn's TechLab that helps in the identification and piloting of new tools, particularly from early-stage start-ups along with developing and growing an active network of emerging technology partners for experimentation.

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The PR Council, established as the Council of Public Relations Firms in 1998, is the U.S. trade association representing America’s leading firms practicing publics relations. Its members are the premier global, mid-size, regional, and specialty firms across every discipline and practice area. The PR Council’s mission is to advocate for and advance the business of public relations firms by building the market and the value of firms as strategic business partners. For more information, visit

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