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NAGC Communications School

About the NAGC Communications School

2018 Communications School

The NAGC Communications School will be held June 19-21, 2018 at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village in Ft. Myers, Florida.

For Hotel Reservations

  • Go online to book at the conference rate, or call 1-800-937-8461 and reference “NAGC Communications School” to book your guest room at the $100 attendee rate + tax.
  • Hotel reservation deadline: This rate is available until May 24, 2018, or until the NAGC room block is sold out, whichever occurs first.

Additional hotels:

Hampton Inn & Suites

Cape Coral/Fort Myers Area, FL
Address: 619 SE 47th Terrace, Cape Coral, FL 33904
Phone: (239) 540-1050

Holiday Inn Express

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Area
Address: 1538 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Cape Coral, FL 33904
Phone: (239) 542-2121

Dolphin Key Resort

Address: 1502 Miramar St, Cape Coral, FL 33904
Phone: (239) 945-0060

About the NAGC Communications School

The Communications School is the only event of its kind that provides invaluable networking opportunities and practical educational sessions to help government communicators increase their skills. The coveted NAGC Government Communicator of the Year Award is presented during the Communications School and honors an individual who has brought forth government’s message with a high standard of professionalism and ethics.

Who Should Attend

Federal, state, and local government communicators, including contractors who direct and facilitate government communications – editors, writers, graphic artists, webmasters, video professionals, broadcasters, photographers, information specialists and agency spokespersons.


Welcome to the 2017 NAGC Communication School

Welcome to St. Louis and the 2017 NAGC Communication School. This year’s school promises to be another great opportunity for NAGC members to receive training in a variety of communication-related topics and to spend time networking.

President Kathryn Stokes

National Association of Government Communicators 2017 Communications School Agenda

Speakers from 2017 NAGC Communications School 

Download Speaker Presentations (members-only)

  • Communication Planning: Defining Success and Setting Goals – Christopher O’Neil
  • Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) Bootcamp – Laura Kirkpatrick
  • How to Contain Crises in Today’s Viral World – Andrew Gilman
  • How to Develop Persuasive Messages with Science of Storytelling – Wendy Wagner-Smith
  • Welcoming Remarks by NAGC President Kathryn Stokes
  • Reimagining the Arch: Working with Multiple Agencies to Communicate a Monumental Transformation – Ryan McClure
  • “Fail-Proof” Media Coverage – Kesha Whitaker
  • Case Study: The Gatlinburg Fires – Dana Soehn/Marci Claude/Perrin Anderson
  • Seven Ways to Explain Complex Ideas to the General Public – Michael Pina
  • The Internet is Magic (And Other Crazy Things We Believe About It) – B.J. Mendelson
  • Social Media Stories: How to Communicate Government Information in the Land of Emojis – Jessica Milcetich
  • Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) – Laura Kirkpatrick/Ann Knabe
  • Using Social Media and Other Communication Tools to Pass a Public Safety Sales Tax – Sharon Watson
  • Using Protocol to Brand Your Agency – Cheryl Chambers/Kathleen “Kathy” Zona
  • Plain and Simple: Plain Language Concepts and Techniques for Government Communicators – Wendy Wagner-Smith
  • Communication, for a Change: Helping Your Leaders Talk About Change – Blythe Campbell
    Uprising: A City Divided – Mark Basnight
  • Monitor, Analyze, Engage: Your New Blueprint for Benchmarking Data in the Public Sector – Ben Kessler
  • What’s Your Story? Best Practices for Engaging with Media in Good Times and Bad – Jennifer Miller
  • Implementing Culturally and Linguistically Relevant Communication to Diverse – Leslie Quiroz/Kelley Elliot
  • Reaching Your Next Summit: Seven Vertical Lessons and One Essential Question for Leading with Impact – Manley Feinberg
  • Communicators Communicating: Break Down Silos to Work More Effectively – Bethany Hornbeck/Christian DeLeon
  • Community Branding that Works – Ben Muldrow
  • What Now? Connecting with the Media and the Community Post-Ferguson – Vera Culley
  • Balancing Your Personal and Professional Brands Online – Mike Koehler
  • The Role of Government Communicators and Transition in Government – Christopher O’Neil/John Verrico
  • The Media Today….and For At Least the Next Two Weeks! – Dennis Kendall/Chris Regnier/Kent Boyd

Previous Years

2016 Communications School

2015 Communications School

2014 Communications School

OMB Releases New Conference Guidance for Federal Agencies

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently provided federal agencies with updated guidance on the attendance of federal agency employees at conferences and related travel expenses. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) partnered with other associations to draft a protocol, much of which was adopted by the OBM, including best practices such as keeping hotel costs within government per diem rates and ensuring that social events held in conjunction with a conference aren’t lavish or excessive. According to ASAE, “OMB recognized the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provided some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses. While the memo said that sequestration budget cuts will likely result in reduced government participation in conferences and travel, OMB stressed that federal agencies should not interpret any recent Administration guidance as a moratorium on travel or conference attendance.”