June 2018 Conference

Thank you for joining us at Norfolk State University for our Summer 2018 conference.

Day 1
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Pre-Conference: Introduction to Design-Thinking

Design Thinking enables organizations to develop innovative solutions to organizational challenges through a human-centered framework. The processes used in d-thinking are creative and people-focused. Problems are reframed as opportunities and through d-thinking participants engage in customer/stakeholder inquiries, rapid idea development, prototyping and testing potential solutions, and developing the implementation process for the solution. Design Thinking works well for any organization, and especially for those facing ill-defined challenges, persistent problems of practice, and challenges that require organizational change and innovation. After you register, you will be asked to identify a challenge your institution is facing. Then, during this interactive 3-hour session, you will become acquainted with the principles of d-thinking by working in small groups with those who identified similar challenges. Warning: There will be some pre-reading homework!
Jay Scribner
Karen L. Sanzo
5:00 pm-7:00 pm

Networking/Happy Hour at Blue Moon Taphouse

Day 2
Friday, June 15, 2018
8:00 am - 9:00 am

Registration and continental breakfast – Student Center, Room 149, Norfolk State University

Keynote: Restoring trust in higher ed

Rising college costs have led to an explosion of student debt. Students, families, and employers alike are increasingly skeptical of the value and return on investment of the traditional college degree. Recent public opinion polling suggests that nearly half of Americans lack confidence in higher education. Against this backdrop, colleges and universities are under mounting pressure to reduce costs, increase access, and create new pathways to opportunity. Toscano will explore national trends in higher education, highlight innovative best practices at institutions and offer solutions as to how college and university leaders can create new solutions to increase access and affordability in an increasingly dynamic higher ed landscape. A former vice president at Tidewater Community College, he will offer firsthand insight into the unique role and potential of campus communicators to lead efforts to restore public trust in their institutions. Partners for College Affordability and Public Trust is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to improving higher education affordability, transparency and quality.  
James Toscano

We See the Future in You

Norfolk State University began its branding journey with strong commitment, an inspiring mission and a sense of opportunity. But the university also faced numerous strategic, creative and political challenges. We’ll begin our brand journey story at the end with the creative and results. Then, we we’ll go back, and walk you through the journey that got us there. We’ll share: How the University’s engagement process provided vital brand insights while building acceptance. How a combination of qualitative and quantitative data led to the creation of a distinctive brand position. How the creative words and images express the University’s distinctive promise. We’ll also share learnings – best practices as well as things we would improve – leaving ample time for discussion.
Chris Ritter
Regina Lightfoot
Deborah Fontaine

Print Isn’t Dead: Building an Overall Strategy

To print or not to print; that is the question. With apologies to the Bard, we know that print is still alive and well, but deciding when to print, and why, has become more of a strategic question for communicators and university budgets. Phil Walzer, Mike Bartolotta and Virginia Carter, all experienced in answering those questions and advocating for print as part of an overall communication strategy, will share their insights and stories. Bring your questions as well!
Michael Bartolotta
Phil Walzer

Ghostwriting: Juggling the Voices in Your Head

Writers are often told to “find their voice.” But what do you do when you have to find someone else’s? Personal content like speeches and op-eds for our executives can’t sound like they were written by someone else — especially if they have been. Remembering a few key tips can make the job much easier. Just focus on capturing your executive’s voice and writing content that really connects with your listeners. In this session you will learn: What questions to ask before you ever put words on the page; What makes crafting the spoken word different than the written word; How to grab your audience’s attention (and keep it); and How a tried-and-true speaking structure can make your life easier.
Vince Rhodes
12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Lunch – NSU Student Center, Room 149

Building a podcast for alumni and student engagement

Podcasts and audio storytelling are an untapped and minimally explored medium for engagement and cultivation in higher education. They’re also a great opportunity to tell engaging stories underneath the flag of the university while remaining focused on strategic objectives. Podcasts can provide a different approach to storytelling that parallels Alumni Magazines, or takes a completely different approach to sharing stories. At Longwood University, the Office of Alumni and Career Services worked for over 18 months to build and launch a new podcast called “Day After Graduation.” In this session, you will learn the process created to produce Longwood’s podcast including the nuts and bolts and suggestions for technology, lessons learned on how to engage alumni and find stories, and explore different avenues to gain listeners. Attendees will see the results from 10-episode Season 1 and Season 2 during this session.  
Ryan Catherwood

Social media for everyone: making your social media content accessible

Hopefully, by now, we’re all familiar enough with accessibility to know we need to make changes when it comes to what we are creating to accommodate everyone in our community. Those who work with web accessibility have WCAG 2.0 and 2.1, but for social media, no official guidelines exist. In this session, Erika Forsack will share ways to make your social media content accessible – despite the fact that most platforms haven’t caught up. You will learn how to use image descriptions, the pros and cons of open captioning versus closed captioning, the (few) built-in features and other tips to make sure your social media content is accessible to all.
Erika Forsack

VR and You: Virtually Promoting the University

Step into a virtual world and become immersed in digital environments allowing you to interact with faraway lands, undersea ecosystems, new creative spaces and even pivotal historic events. Shenandoah University’s Center for Immersive Learning with director J.J. Ruscella will introduce you to new ways of tapping into true human emotions through storytelling in virtual reality (VR).
J.J. Ruscella

Live! From your campus it’s….

Facebook Live (and other live video streaming) is a relatively new aspect of our social media platforms. The risks are high: a lot can go wrong. However, streaming events, whether student-related or messages from administrators and big university announcements, can lead to your organization’s most engaging, share-worthy and viewed content. This breakout session will be a rundown of practical tips for live video, addressing the obstacles and potential fears of going “live” and examples of Regent University’s live video content strategy.
Brett Tubbs

Presidential Transitions

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus coined the phrase “change is the only constant,” and managing communications in higher education is a great testament to that. The average tenure of college presidents has been on the decline over the last decade and is now only seven years. This panel will share their experiences, insights, and best practices for communications during presidential transitions. You’ll hear how stewarding the transition of and honoring a departing president is equally as important as facilitating the transition for the incoming president. The panelists will discuss media strategy, internal and external announcements, celebratory events, preparing incoming leadership on critical vs. urgent issues, and more.
Holly W. Walker
Brian Whitson
Joe Carpenter

How Are You Promoting Your Experts?

With perpetual deadlines, shrinking newsrooms, and the proliferation of social media, how do you break through the noise? Join Deanne Taenzer of Expert File, which helps reporters find faculty experts, and Eric Zack of The Conversation, which pairs faculty with editors who help draft and distribute commentary to mainstream media, to learn tips for gaining publicity for your faculty.
Deanne Taenzer
Eric Zack