Longwood University (June 5-6, 2017)


Monday, June 5, 2017 — Preconference

2:30 pm

Preconference Workshop: How to be a Noisebreaker, Not a Noisemaker

Ms. Dalton has spoken to executives, entrepreneurs, and CEOs on how to develop messaging and a reputation strategy that positions them more effectively as influencers. Developing a personal brand is a critical investment that most people forget to think about in their day to day work. In this interactive session, Ms. Dalton will outline three key reasons why a personal brand is important. She will work with attendees on figuring out their own personal brand and what makes each of them unique. Once attendees have identified how they are different, Ms. Dalton will share insights on how to build your reputation and then how to leverage it.

Jen Dalton has 15 years' experience in brand strategy. In 2012, she launched BrandMirror, becoming a certified master personal brand strategist. In 2016, Jen published The Intentional Entrepreneur, a bestselling book that shares her process for building your personal brand to grow your impact and business. She has spoken to and coached thousands of individuals and entrepreneurs about how to stand out. She is an international speaker, working with the Navy, the State Department, GE, IBM, Capital One, 1776, and more.

5:30 pm

Informal Gathering

Join us for drinks and dinner before the conference!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 — Conference

8 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9 am

Keynote: From Rescue to Revival: Reframing the Story of Sweet Briar College

In March 2015, the role of Sweet Briar's communications office became messenger for the college closing. Then, as alumnae battled to save their college, the staff had to continue to advocate for the closing even as they rooted for Saving Sweet Briar to prevail. When the college was saved six weeks before classes started and the new administration received keys to a mostly shuttered institution, the communications imperative suddenly changed.

Joelle Ziemian brought to Sweet Briar nearly 30 years of strategic communications experience in the corporate, nonprofit, international development, and government sectors.

She spent seven years at Lipman Hearne, a full-service communications firm serving the nonprofit space. There she partnered with colleges, universities, and foundations to deepen brand awareness and attract media attention. International clients included Qatar's Supreme Education Council and the Supreme Council of Information, Communication and Technology. She led a U.S. State Department communications project for the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity and a USAID effort for Mongolia's Ministry of Fuel and Energy.

Joelle began her career as a TV reporter in York, PA before moving to the Pennsylvania Senate as a press secretary. A press secretary role for a Pennsylvania Member of Congress took her to Washington, DC. She later moved to the U.S. Department of Energy and then to the private sector where she lobbied and served public affairs clients. She also worked for one year in Romania helping NGOs get their message out in what was then a new democracy.

10:30 am

Networking and snack break

10:45 am

Concurrent Sessions
Communicating the Value of Higher Education in Virginia

Download slides (13.3 MB PPTX)

Greg Weatherford, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

Campaign Communications That Work!

Your institution has a great story to tell, but how do you tell it in such a way that entices donors to take out their checkbooks? We will hear from panelists from the University of Virginia Alumni Association, the College of William & Mary and Blue Ridge Community College about their successful campaign communications, and lessons learned.

Download T.J. Zepp's slides (1.2 MB PDF)

Download Sally Jane Conner's slides (289 KB PPTX)

T.J. Zepp, a Clemson University Class of 2012 graduate, started his career working for marketing communications companies in the Washington D.C Metro Area. Primarily, he worked to create and execute strategic marketing campaigns while maintaining and developing key relationships with the numerous association clients in the area. In 2014, T.J. transitioned into the higher education marketing space. After accepting the position of Associate Director of Marketing at the University of Virginia Alumni Association, he now resides in Charlottesville, VA. T.J. has expertise in communications, marketing, sales, development, design, and social media.

Sally Jane Conner has more than 20 years' experience in philanthropy, specializing in all aspects of fundraising for the annual campaign as well as special events. Most recently she was involved in the successful completion of BRCC's third major gifts campaign. She is past president and current treasurer of the Shenandoah Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Sally Jane holds an MBA from Eastern Mennonite University and a bachelor's degree from Bridgewater College.

Jake Perez joined William & Mary in September 2013 and is leading university-wide marketing efforts focused on brand engagement by delivering coordinated, compelling content to target audiences. Prior to joining William & Mary, Jake served as a vice president and account director for The Martin Agency, where he led a multi-partner technology special projects program focused on loyalty, customer conversion and behavior change for Walmart. Jake holds a B.S. in mass communications from James Madison University. He is the father of two daughters and serves on the boards of Here For The Girls, Inc., a Williamsburg-based breast cancer nonprofit that supports young women diagnosed with breast cancer, and the William & Mary Chapter of Camp Kesem, a national nonprofit that supports children of parents affected by cancer.

Communicating Research

Institutions can have many different goals in mind when encouraging researchers to communicate about the work they do. As communicators, how do we reconcile the sometimes conflicting motivations of these varied stakeholders and audiences? This interactive session will explore a number of strategies and approaches to working with faculty members and writers to help tell stories about research results as well as the scientific process that underpins this new knowledge.

Lisa Van Pay, director of research communications, joined the George Washington University in 2012 to assist in highlighting university-wide research initiatives. Prior to this she spent four years at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs. At NSF, Lisa was involved in establishing a social media presence and other efforts to communicate science to broad audiences. Lisa holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Environmental Toxicology from the University of Wisconsin.

Dana Cruikshank is the director of communications for the Office of International Research, Education and Development at Virginia Tech. He has spent nearly two decades helping those in the engineering, basic science and healthcare communities communicate the complexity of their work to a variety of audiences. Dana holds a masters degree in organizational communications from Bowie State University and a Master of Public Health from Virginia Tech.

11:45 am

Lunch and networking

1:15 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Tips from the Inside: How to Get Your Pitches Picked Up

What's the first thing you should ask when you get asked to pitch some news? Will a catchy subject line make reporters more likely to open your email? What do they do all day? Should I ever use the phone? What should I do if they pass on my boss's key initiative? Learn tips and hear the inside scoop from a PR person embedded in the newsroom of The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Download slides (593 KB PPTX)

Ginnie Titterton is the senior public relations manager at The Chronicle of Higher Education, where she is responsible for external media relations, corporate PR strategy and internal communications. Prior to joining The Chronicle in 2014, Ginnie served in the public affairs office of the American Council on Education. She holds a bachelor's degree from the College of William & Mary and an MPA from George Mason University.

Student Takeovers of Social Media

Audience-generated content is some of the most authentic content you can share on your social media channels. In order to capture that content in higher ed, many colleges and universities have adopted the model of the student takeover. This approach comes with many questions: How do you start a student takeover? What guidelines do you put in place? What difficulties will you face? Learn from our three panelists from VCU, Tidewater Community College, and George Washington University, about their student takeover experiences and come with your own questions to ask during the Q&A.

Download Megan Schmidt's slides (6.3 MB PPTX)

Download Jane Gregorski's slides (715 KB PPTX)

Download Dan Lomask's slides (5.7 MB PPTX)

Megan Schmidt currently serves as a Social Media Strategist for Virginia Commonwealth University. Megan plans and creates content for the university-level social media sites, obsesses over social analytics, consults on university marketing projects and acts as a community strategist. She routinely offers guidance and training for the numerous social media administrators across the university and its academic medical center. As a self-identified "Early Millennial," her favorite platforms to manage are Snapchat and Instagram. Megan received her bachelor's degree in Public Relations from VCU in 2012. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Jane Gregorski is the social media coordinator for Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Va. She earned her undergraduate degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in Strategic Communication from American University.

Dan Lomask is a web editor at the George Washington University where he runs the university's official social media accounts. Before working in higher education, he developed and executed digital strategies for government and nonprofit organizations. Originally from Connecticut, Dan has a B.A. from Temple University.

Website Redesign Panel

The work of a digital communicator is never done! Learn how colleagues at Longwood University, Regent University, and Tidewater Community College have navigated the process of website redesign, from planning to execution.

Download Regina Lightfoot's slides (1.6 MB PDF)

2:15 pm

Networking and snack break

2:30 pm

Concurrent Sessions
Writing/Editing/Proofing for the Web

Do people really read the web differently? Are they searching differently for content on the web? How should we evaluate our web audience's needs when creating content? Should I still use the inverted pyramid style of writing? In a time when on the average over 140,000 new websites are popping up every day, we need to know how to connect with our web audience. Come learn from two web writing experts to ensure you are presenting your web content the right way.

Agatha Rule develops, writes, edits, and manages content for the Longwood University website. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Women's Studies from Hollins University, and a Master of Science in Corporate and Professional Communication from Radford University. Agatha joined Longwood's Marketing & Communications staff in 2016 after spending nearly a decade teaching multimedia journalism and public relations at a private college in Central Virginia.

Carolyn Conlon is a communications manager at Virginia Commonwealth University where she coordinates web, print, social media and other strategic communications for the Human Resources department. Prior to VCU, Carolyn was the assistant director of marketing at Reynolds Community College. She is originally from the Jersey Shore, where she received a bachelor's in communications from Monmouth University. She received her master's degree from University of Richmond.

Increasing Yield Through Customized Web Content

Do you want to know more about the intent of your prospective students and stealth applicants? What about how you can better influence prospects already in the admissions funnel? Or how you can reach new segments of prospective students with highly-tailored content? Jason Smith, founder of OHO Interactive, provides insights into customized content for web, email and social marketing to reach your enrollment goals.

Jason Smith has more than 20 years experience working at the intersection of digital strategy, data, and design. As the founder of OHO Interactive (www.oho.com), a Boston-based digital agency, he leads the higher education practice to create digital marketing strategies that drive conversion and revenue. His clients include: The College of the Holy Cross, Oberlin College, The Boston Conservatory, St. John's University, Norwich University, and Notre Dame of Maryland University. Twitter: @jason_smith