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CNN's Soledad O'Brien to Deliver Opening Keynote Address at PRSA 2011 International Conference

July 29, 2011


O'Brien will open the Conference with the presentation, "Diversity: On TV, Behind the Scenes and In Our Lives."   O'Brien produced the recent documentaries "Almighty Debt," which explores the role of the black church in helping African Americans survive the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and "Latino in America," a wide-ranging look at Latinos living in this country and how they're reshaping America and how America is reshaping them.   She is committed to spotlighting the issues and challenges faced by diverse groups. In 2008, she reported for "Black in America," revealing the state of Black America 40 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In 2010, the National Association of Black Journalists named O'Brien the Journalist of the Year.  

O'Brien recently released her critically-acclaimed memoir, "The Next Big Story: My Journey through the Land of Possibilities," recounting key reporting experiences and how her upbringing influenced those moments.   "For more than two decades, Soledad O'Brien has been a standard-bearer for increasing diversity in TV journalism," said Rosanna M. Fiske, PRSA chair and CEO.

"She will inspire many with her insight into how diversity in the media reflects our cultural and professional lives, a fitting theme for this year's Conference."   O'Brien joins other keynote speakers at the International Conference, including Peter Diamandis,CEO of X Prize Foundation, and Chris Brogan, social media consultant and president of Human Business Works.  

"Peter Diamandis and Chris Brogan epitomize inspiration," said Fiske. "Diamandis has given hope to many who have dreamed of one day flying through space by leading the X PRIZE Foundation for the achievement of personal spaceflight. Likewise, Chris Brogan inspires many business leaders to rethink how they engage with their customers and other stakeholders through his New York Times bestseller "Trust Agents," and his prolific and insightful blogging."   

As CEO of the nonprofit X Prize Foundation, Diamandis is committed to designing and launching large incentive prizes to drive radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. Citing anecdotes from X PRIZE competitions in exploration, life sciences, energy, environment, education and global development, Diamandis shares stories of innovations that are changing the way we think, work, and educate future generations. He also reveals how organizations can incentivize breakthroughs for new products and strategies and reinvent their industries. Following O'Brien's keynote speech, Diamandis will speak about innovations and breakthroughs through inspiration.  

Brogan, president of Human Business Works, will address the Tuesday, Oct. 18, General Session on "The Changing Role of the Trust Agent." Human Business Works is an online education and community company for small business and solo entrepreneurs. One of his first projects entails helping nonprofits learn how to grow their capabilities.  Brogan is a New York Times bestselling co-author of "Trust Agents," and a featured monthly columnist at Entrepreneur Magazine.  

The theme of this year's PRSA International Conference, "Imagine. Create. Inspire: Envisioning the Future of Public Relations," speaks to the new opportunities that today's technological advances are creating for public relations professionals, and invites practitioners to join together in imagining the ways in which those changes will impact the profession's future.   Conference participants can take advantage of discounted hotel rates in Orlando. PRSA also offers a $200 saver rate when you register by Aug. 26.  

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 112 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 14Professional 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.

Diane Gomez
(212) 460-1437