The National School Public Relations Association kicked off its 55th annual seminar today in the nation’s capital, home of George Bush and humidity. But heck — this is a great place for a conference. I’m a jaded New Yorker, so I was pleasantly surprised when I caught a cab ride from Union Station to the hotel with the friendliest cabbie I’ve ever met. What a decent fellow — we talked about the differences between the Capital Fourth and the Macy’s Fireworks display. A far cry from the screeching, hair-raising New York cab ride I experienced just the other night. I found myself praying for the safety of the subway and digging my nails into the vinyl upholstery.
Back to NSPRA, where we attended the Opening Reception and caught up with fellow school PR folks. I was delighted to finally meet NSPRA Senior Associate Carol Mowen, APR, who discovered my blog post about NSPRA and is quite the web whiz herself. She’s giving a tour of the organization’s new website on Wednesday, in case you’re here at the conference this week. If you haven’t discovered the new NSPRA site, check it out at the same web address — www.nspra.org. Carol and I spoke for a few minutes about blogs, wikis, websites, social bookmarking and social networking sites. It was fun to speak with someone whose eyes don’t glaze over when the talk turns to netspeak.
The New York contingent already had its first surreal moment when it was approached during the reception by a couple of actors portraying ultra-conservative author Anne Coulter and former Democratic prez hopeful Hillary Clinton. Wasn’t it Coulter who recently said she’d rather support Hillary than McCain? You had to see the male actor playing Ms. Coulter. Someone took a photo of him next to none other than Vicki Presser of the Scarsdale schools — and I’ve posted it here.
Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to a keynote by Wendy Puriefoy, president of the Public Education Network and a nationally recognized expert on school reform and civil society. I’m also going to cruise as many workshops as possible, but particularly Tim Carroll’s workshop, “Byte into Technology to Energize Your PR Efforts, and Gary Marx’s “Five Forces…That Will Profoundly Impact Our Future.”