FIU’s Global Strategic Communications Master’s Degree Program Hosted the First Ragan Conference Held in South Florida


FIU’s Global Strategic Communications master’s degree program served as the host of Ragan’s PR Measurement Conference earlier this month. This was the first time Ragan Communication held a conference in South Florida, and they worked closely with FIU’s GSC program to bring the essential topic of public relations measurement to a national audience of communication industry practitioners who were in attendance at the Biscayne Bay Campus, where the conference was held.

“Partnering with Ragan Communication allowed us to further emphasize to our students and stakeholders the importance of measurement and data-driven decision-making skills in the communication workforce,” said Maria Elena Villar, chair of the department of communication at FIU. “The communication industry is ever evolving, requiring proficiency in PR measurement as well as other evaluation tools to make practitioners more strategic and effective in achieving their communication goals.”

The two-day event started with pre-conference workshops, giving attendees a chance to meet with speakers in an informal setting. The workshops featured discussions about the importance of communication strategies, data mining and data visualization. The conference also featured national experts in PR measurement strategies, who discussed the importance of PR inputs, outputs, outtakes and outcomes and how to set a solid foundation for PR campaign measurement. The speakers represented Google Analytics, Spirit Airlines, IBM, and Muck Rack. Among the speakers were two FIU alumni, Rosanna Fiske, vice president of corporate communications at Wells Fargo and Britt Peemoller senior communications manager at Microsoft Latin America. A number of graduate students from the Global Strategic Communications master’s degree program attended the conference and had the opportunity interact with industry leaders such as Mark Ragan, CEO of Ragan Communications, Louis Gray from Google Analytics and Brandi Boatner from IBM. The conference was a great opportunity to gain essential practice in the field and network with fellow practitioners.

“Hosting this conference with Ragan gave local, regional and national communication industry practitioners the opportunity to network with their peers and industry experts against the backdrop of a higher education leader in FIU that educates the communication innovators of tomorrow through undergraduate and graduate programs in public relations and global strategic communication,” said Aileen Izquierdo, faculty member and director of FIU’s master’s degree in global strategic communications. “We look forward to future opportunities that allow us to engage with industry leaders and to bring these important topics to our students, faculty and community.”

Seen and Heard – GSC students share their views

“As an FIU graduate student in Global Strategic Communications, I found that the PR Measurement Conference was incredibly insightful. I learned about search engine optimization overviews, the importance of domain authority, the power of backlinks, and measuring online media metrics. This opportunity taught me new tools and methods that professionals are actively using! This conference revealed to me when companies struggle with analytics there are tools that can strengthen organizations’ weaknesses simply by utilizing software and innovate new strategies. I enjoyed this event most of all because the speakers were from different organizations and agencies, which gave me understanding to their strategy of measuring metrics. I would highly recommend this event!” -Jena Randone

“My experience with the PR Conference was great. The speakers were very knowledgeable, and I personally spoke with most of them and they provided professional advice that will positively serve me. I also asked most of them for their cards, which they gave without second thought – thus broadening my professional network. It was a great opportunity and I am very thankful” -Andrés Snitcovsky

“The PR Measurement Conference exceeded all my expectations in a great way. The content aligned with what we are learning in our GSC program, and it made me see PR measurement and data analysis from a new creative and fun perspective. All that, of course, without mentioning the incredible speakers from the leaders in the sector like Ragan, Google, Microsoft, TrendKite and others.” -Guilia Almeida

“I thought it was such an amazing opportunity, and I felt fortunate that the GSC program gave us the chance to take part in the conference! I loved all the speeches and points talked about during both days. In particular, Brandi Boatner from IBM and Rosanna Fiske from Wells Fargo were among the most engaging and relevant speakers, as they discussed important issues in a fun and direct way”  -Mayara Maciel

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