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Encore! Webinar Miniseries

Did you miss the 2017 Communications School? Or a great Communications School presentation? Then join us for Encore!
NAGC hosted more than three-dozen fantastic presenters at our 2017 Communications School. Six of them are coming back for encore performances of their top-rated sessions. NAGC’s Encore! webinar miniseries kicks off during our July 19 Webinar Wednesday and continues the first Friday of the month, August–November, 1–2 p.m. ET. Were you unable to make the Communications School? Did you hear about a great presentation after it ended? Then here’s your chance to take in some (more!) of the outstanding content our presenters offered. Registration is now open. Members attend at no cost. Non-members join in for $49, with the option to apply the fee to a one-year NAGC membership within two weeks of the event.

“Fail-Proof” Media Coverage

Friday, August 4, 2017, 1-2 pm ET

Speaker: Kesha Whitaker View Ms. Whitaker’s Bio

We live in a 24-hour news cycle world, where reporters are harried and working on multiple stories every day. Time is of the essence, and if your story idea is sitting in an inbox with hundreds of others, how will it get noticed? Government communicators have to stay ahead of the game to reach busy journalists who thrive on urgency. Make your pitches irresistible to journalists by becoming an information architect. Through research and shaping the story for consumers, you can make it easier for journalists to give your organization coverage. This session will feature strategies for packaging stories, case studies and video feedback from print and broadcast media professionals on what catches their eye when looking for a great story.

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Using Social Media and Other Communication Tools to Pass a Public Safety Sales Tax

Friday, September 1, 2017, 1-2 pm ET

Speaker: Sharon Watson, Director of Public Affairs, Johnson County, Kan. View Ms. Watson’s Bio

Anytime a tax is necessary, government communicators face a major challenge! Let Sharon teach you how her county used social media and other communications tools to educate the residents about a public safety sales tax ballot initiative to fund a new courthouse and coroner facility.

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Uprising: A City Divided

Friday, October 6, 2017, 1-2 pm ET

Speaker: Mark Basnight, Senior Public Affairs Training Specialist, Argonne National Laboratory, Public Affairs Academy View Mr. Basnight’s Bio

In the wake of an officer involved shooting, the city of Charlotte (N.C.) was thrust into the national spotlight after the unexpected and unanticipated uprise of civil unrest. The dramatic events of Sept. 20 – 24 left one dead, several injured, hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage, and a city divided until the release of information exposing the facts and truth of the police investigation were reluctantly released. Mark will tell us the lessons learned from this extraordinary situation that might be critical to other government communicators in the future.

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Implementing Culturally and Linguistically Relevant Communication to Diverse Audiences

Friday, November 3, 2017, 1-2 pm ET

Speaker: Leslie Quiroz, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health View Ms. Quiroz’s Bio
Speaker: Kelley Elliot, Writer-Editor, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health View Ms. Elliot’s Bio

Communicating with diverse audiences is a huge challenge for government communicators. Leslie and Kelley will describe best practices developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to ensure culturally and linguistically appropriate communications to diverse audiences. Learn how the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health (National CLAS Standards) can be embedded in your communications strategies. Leslie and Kelley will also discuss the importance of delivering information in a culturally and linguistically appropriate way and explain how their agency tailors information and outreach activities for various audiences.

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Kesha Whitaker

Kesha R. Whitaker is Manager of Public and Media Relations for the Shelby County Trustee’s Office. Kesha oversees communications for the largest county treasury office in the state of Tennessee. She develops strategic messaging and marketing campaigns for major community initiatives and manages all internal and external communications, media relations, social media, and event coordination, as well as providing support for community outreach and special initiatives.

Kesha also has worked for U.S. Bobsled team, the U.S. Olympic Committee and the New Jersey General Assembly. Whitaker was a journalist at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, a Senior Public Information Assistant for the Ivy League Conference in Princeton, N.J., and Director of Media Relations for the Atlantic Sun Conference in Macon, Ga.

Kesha is a graduate of the University of Memphis where she earned a bachelor’s in journalism with a concentration in public relations. She was recently named one of the Top 40 Under 40 by the Memphis Business Journal.

Sharon Watson

Sharon Watson is the Public Affairs and Communications Director for Johnson County, Kan., the largest county in the state. She is the spokesperson and oversees all external and internal communications. Sharon also manages the county’s Joint Information Center during emergencies.

Previously, Sharon served as Public Affairs Director for the Kansas Adjutant General’s Department which includes Kansas National Guard, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (2006 to 2015). Before that, she was Communications Director for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for five years. She also was a broadcast journalist for more than 10 years.

Sharon has a bachelor’s degree from William Jewell College with a double major in communications and public relations and a master’s degree in homeland security from the Naval Post Graduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security in Monterey, Calif.

Mark Basnight

Mark Basnight is an Emergency Management Communication Analyst for Argonne National Laboratory’s Public Affairs Science and Technology (PAST) Fusion Center. He is responsible for assisting government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and private sector groups with plans, training, exercises and support materials for media and public affairs before, during, and after a crisis or emergency. He is a former Public Information Officer for the Charlotte (N.C.) Fire Department.

Basnight is a founding member and a past chair for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Virtual Social Media Working Group. He served as a Lead Public Information Officer during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and had a significant role in planning, coordinating and implementing the Joint Information Center for Charlotte- Mecklenburg. Mark is an alumnus of the inaugural Federal Emergency Management Agency 389 Masters Public Information Officer Course and an adjunct instructor for the National Emergency Training Center – Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Md.

Leslie Quiroz

Leslie Quiroz is a Public Affairs Specialist at the Division of Information and Education of the HHS Office of Minority Health. She is the Spanish-language content lead overseeing the development and implementation of health observances for the people the agency serves. A skilled cross-cultural communicator, Leslie has experience in advertising, public and media relations, journalism, social marketing, and social media.

Before joining HHS, Leslie served as a communications consultant for almost 13 years in the private sector. She started her career in her native Puerto Rico, as writer in the newsroom of El Nuevo Día, the main newspaper of the island.

Leslie earned a Bachelor of Arts in public communication from the University of Puerto Rico, a Master of Arts in organizational communication from the University of Colorado, and a professional certificate in translation from New York University. In 2015, she published her memoir Victorious: My Story as a Cancer Survivor.

Kelley Elliott

Kelley Elliott is the lead messaging strategist and writer for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health. She is responsible for leading development of communications plans and key editorial products, including those that support National Minority Health Month.

Kelley’s previous work at a Washington, D.C.-based public relations firm included leading campaigns for award- winning public relations programs on behalf of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Kelley began her career at Merck & Co., Inc., where she developed her passion for improving the lives of patients and reducing health disparities. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in Communication Management from Temple University.