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About the NAGC Communications School

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.

The Best in Show Winner

Educational Programs (more than $50,000)
Solar Cup Competition

Metropolitan Water District of Southern CaliforniaSusan Sims, Julie Miller Kalbacher, Adrian Hightower, Brian Martz

2018 Communicator of the Year
Lieutenant Donnie Brzuska

Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Area

Speakers from 2018 NAGC Communications School

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) Bootcamp Part 1 & Part 2
Laura Kirkpatrick NAGC APR Liaison
Ann Knabe, APR+M, Dean of Students, Associate Professor, and Reserve Component Chair at National Defense University,
Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR, Professor of Public Relations, Director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies, San Diego State University

Alexa, Help Me Stop Smoking!
Josh DeLung, Sr. Manager, Experience and Content Strategy, ICF

Developing Communications Plans
Christopher O’Neil, Chief of Media Relations, National Transportation Safety Board

Ten Ways to Use Social Media for Branding and Marketing
Erik Deckers, President, Pro Blog Service

Using Social Media During a Crisis: Our Hurricane Irma Story
Jamie Johnson, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office
Michael Ryan, St. Johns County Government
Melissa Wissel, City of St Augustine
Jeremy Robshaw, St Johns Fire and Rescue

Executive Presence: Communication Techniques for Executives
Jennifer Miller, Rockford Gray

Planning for Disaster: A Crash Course in Crisis Communications
Lori Lawson, Digital Engagement Specialist, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

Twelve Ways to Improve Your Writing
Erik Deckers, President, Pro Blog Service

The Perfect Amount of Funny
Officer Drew Fennelly, Lawrence, Kansas Police Department

What’s Your Story? Best Practices for Engaging with Media in Good Times and Bad
Jennifer Miller, Rockford Gray

The Cake is a Lie: Making Portals Great Again
Josh DeLung, Sr. Manager, Experience and Content Strategy, ICF

How to Save Your Social Media Plan
Mike Koehler, Founder/Chief Strategist, Smirk New Media

The Art of Good Science Communication: Be Bold, Speak Clearly
Steven Sobieszczyk, Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey

State of Rebranding: Modernizing Your State’s Brand Identity
Laura Cederberg, Assistant Chief of Staff, Communications, Office of Governor Mark Dayton (MN);

Identifying and Addressing Communication Complexities (Why What You Say May Not Be What Your Audience Hears)
Mark Basnight, Emergency Management Communication Analyst, Public Affairs Science & Technology Fusion Cell;

Blood, Guts, and Glory – Employee Engagement at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service
Aaron Lavalle, Deputy Assistant Administrator, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Break Out of Your Cultural Comfort Zone to Communicate Globally
Annalisa Nash Fernandez, Intercultural Strategist

Managing the Rumor Mill
Kara Roberson, Communications Manager, City of Wentzville, Missouri

From Chaos to Collaboration: Changing the Way We Communicate with the Public
Larry Schooler, Senior Fellow, National Civic League

Using Nextdoor for Public Agencies
Erick Gill, Communications Director, St. Lucie County County, Florida

“The Kentucky READ Poster Project”: Influencing Hearts and Opinions
Carly Gill, Program Compliance Coordinator, KY Department for Libraries and Archives

How to Get Booked on the Speaker’s Circuit
Mike Pina, Program Manager, U.S. Department of Transportation

Science Communication in the Digital Age
Greg Leatherman, Managing Editor, ECO Magazine

Social Media, E-mail Marketing, and Website Content: Developing and Measuring Integrated Multi-Platform Messaging
Davika Rao, VP Account Services, O’Neill Communications
Jhai James, Communications Officer, Strategic Energy Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology

30 Great Ideas in 30 Minutes
John Verrico, Chief of Media Relations, Science & Technology Directorate, Department of Homeland Security

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.”