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March 12, 2012

Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone and Pandora Founder Tim Westergren to Keynote the PRSA 2012 International Conference

NEW YORK (March 12, 2012) — Recognized by TIME Magazine in consecutive years as two of the “Most Influential People in the World,” Biz Stone and Tim Westergren will bring their expertise in building popular social Web systems to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.
Stone, co-founder of Twitter, will deliver the opening keynote presentation, “Open, Informed and Engaged: A Changing Communication Landscape.” As a progenitor of the early social Web, Stone became an Internet entrepreneur in 1999 and later went on to work for Google. He has published many articles, as well as two books chronicling and championing the democratization of information on the Web. In June 2011, Stone co-founded The Obvious Corporation to focus on building systems that help people work together to improve the world. He also is a founding director of ConvergeUS, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization designed to leverage the collective power of several institutions to accelerate positive social change.
Pandora founder and Chief Strategy Officer Westergren brought the popular personalized Internet radio service to market in 2000 with the Music Genome Project, a collaborative effort to “capture the essence of music at the fundamental level.” He is an award-winning composer and accomplished musician, with 20 years of experience in the music industry — spanning production, audio engineering, film scoring and live performance. In addition to guiding Pandora's overall strategy and vision, Westergren spends most of his time as Pandora's chief evangelist, traveling the country to connect with some of the tens of millions of people who listen to Pandora. He also works extensively with technology partners, distribution partners, advertisers and investors to help shape the future of Pandora and personalized radio.
“We are pleased to have the global business insight of such renowned entrepreneurs as Biz Stone and Tim Westergren as keynoters for the 2012 International Conference in San Francisco,” said Gerard F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA chair and CEO. “They have made significant advances in digital communication platforms, and San Francisco, with its tech base and proximity to Silicon Valley, is a fitting backdrop for their International Conference keynotes.”
The International Conference is considered the world’s foremost gathering of public relations and communications professionals. The event, which attracted more than 3,000 attendees from 25 countries last year, offers professional development sessions led by hundreds of experts and entrepreneurs in a variety of public relations disciplines.
The recognition that social media and technology are changing the way organizations communicate, and that public relations professionals must stay at the forefront of an ever evolving industry are reflected in the theme of this year’s International Conference. “The Future Starts Now” is a call to action for public relations professionals looking to revolutionize engagement across all channels, while connecting with the right influencers and industry leaders. At the same time, the theme symbolizes the vital and central role that the San Francisco Bay Area plays in world innovation.
Three notable leaders with significant contributions to the public relations industry were selected to co-chair the PRSA International Conference. They include Rob Flaherty, APR, Ketchum senior partner and president; Jack Martin, Hill+Knowlton Strategies global chairman and CEO; and Janet Tyler, APR, Airfoil Public Relations co-CEO and founder.
The Conference will be held at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, Oct. 13–16. Attendees can save $200 by registering for the 2012 International Conference by Aug. 24. Discounted hotel and travel rates are also available.
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.
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