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Webinar Wednesdays

It will recharge your batteries and give you fresh ideas, new perspectives, and solutions to the unique problems we face as government communicators. Presentations are held the third Wednesday of each month, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET. Members attend for free. Non-members pay a $49 fee, applicable to a year’s membership within two weeks of the event.

Gotta miss a webinar? Not to worry. Presentations are recorded and archived in the NAGC Members Area.

And . . . we are always looking for Webinar Wednesday speakers. Are you expert in a hot topic that will rev up our membership? Got tips and tricks we can use in our day-to-day work? Know someone who would make a fantastic presenter? Let us know! We’ll be in touch!>

What Happened When I Stopped Trying to Sound Smart (and Other Revelations from the 2018 Communicator of the Year)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern
Lt. Donnie Brzuska, 2018 NAGC Communicator of the Year

We often we forget that communication can – and should – be simple (even in this rapidly changing and increasingly unpredictable information environment.)

Government communicators spend too much of time striving to align messages, advancing narratives, and shaping the strategic environment (add whatever business and political buzz words you like here). But you can change it and get off the hamster wheel.

Plan now to join us now for our last Wednesday webinar before the 2019 Communications School!

On May 15, Lt. Donnie Brzuska, 2018 NAGC Communicator of the Year, will teach you practical and simple steps to improve your communication program today!

Spend an hour with Lt. Brzuska learning with humor and grace how his perspectives and methods have changed as he has grown as a communicator and “stopped trying to sound smart.”

He’ll share his own personal revelations that have shaped his perspective on communication:

  • What happened when I stopped trying to sound smart and just started doing
  • F#$% — It may have four letters and start with “f,” but “fail” is not a dirty word!
  • Crawl, walk, walk a little faster, run (and start all over): Observations in managing up
  • The Four Ps of successful communication (and not the marketing ones)


Lt. Donnie Brzuska is the Social Media Officer for the Commandant and Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard. In this role, Brzuska manages the digital presence of the service chief and vice service chief. He also advises on brand management, communication strategy, digital and traditional media integration, and service policy.

Before he was assigned to the Commandant, Brzuska served as the Public Affairs Officer for Coast Guard Pacific Area, where he managed Coast Guard outreach initiatives for much of the world.

In 2018, Brzuska was awarded the coveted designation as government “Communicator of the Year” by the National Association of Government Communicators. He is the second Coast Guard servicemember to earn this distinction. He is also the recipient of seven JOC Alex Haley Awards for excellence in Coast Guard Public Affairs.

Lt. Brzuska began as a deck seaman and worked his way through the enlisted ranks before accepting a direct commission to lieutenant in 2014 to serve as a Coast Guard public affairs officer. He is both a proud chief petty officer and chief warrant officer.

Brzuska holds a bachelor’s in communication from the City University of Seattle and master’s in public relations from Webster University.

A native of Panama City Beach, Florida, Brzuska is married to the former Milisa Martinez. They have three children, Braedon, Sander, and Everly

Recent Webinar Wednesday Presentations

The following speakers recently participated in NAGC’s Webinar Wednesdays series. Recordings of their presentations and the discussions that followed are available on demand in the Members Area of, as are all of our Webinar Wednesday and Encore! archives. Check them out!

Rocking the Boat: How Solar Power, Water, and STEM Combine in a SoCal Messaging Coup

Wednesday, April 17, 2019, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern
Sue Simms, External Affairs Group Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

For three days each year, hundreds of Southern California high school students compete in Solar Cup, a challenge that requires them to delve deeply in math, science, engineering—and water conservation. And that’s the beauty of one of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s most successful outreach programs.

This don’t-miss webinar will show you how to support the community, get young people involved, and create a synergy that allows you to spread your message and reach one of the hardest-to-reach age groups.

By supporting the race, held at one of Metropolitan’s water reservoirs, the agency capitalizes on teens’ natural bent to share with their friends through social media and gets the message of water conservation to one of the most difficult-to-reach audiences.

As part of the competition, teams produce short Instagram stories showing why there is an ongoing need for long-term water conservation in Southern California.

Metropolitan shares the best messages through its social media accounts. And students also spread the word via their schools’ and their own social media accounts.

It’s hands-on learning at every turn.

Solar Cup is the nation’s largest solar-powered boat competition. With technical and financial help from Metropolitan and its member agencies, the students spend months building solar-powered boats, learning everything they can to make them as fast as possible.

Not only does the race attract residents and media from across the region, the program has provided countless students with a launching pad into careers in engineering, science and natural resource management.


Sue Simms serves as External Affairs Group Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where she is responsible for Metropolitan’s communications, media, legislative, community relations and business innovation programs.

Previously Sue worked for several state agencies, including the California Water Commission, Department of Water Resources, Environmental Protection Agency and Governor’s Office. She also served as a White House intern.

Stand Down to Stand Out: How to Whisper and Still Be Heard in Today’s World of Screaming Social Media

Wednesday, March 20, 2019, 1:00-2:00 p.m. Eastern
SJ Brown, Chief of Public Affairs, Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida
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Through trial, error, and LOTS of painstaking research, government communications expert SJ Brown has come to three simple conclusions about the world of marketing today.

First, age really does matter when it comes to communication.

Second, there are so many people speaking in so many different styles on social media that many, many messages simply get lost.

Third, sometimes silence is golden.

In NAGC’s March Webinar Wednesday, SJ will talk about how government communicators like her can get their messages across, even when everyone around them is shouting.

She’ll answer four key questions:

  • How can we get noticed by whispering in a social media world that screams?
  • Do different generations listen and communicate differently?
  • Why does “keeping up with the Joneses” rarely work for government and non-profit communicators?
  • Are traditional marketing tactics making a comeback?


SJ Brown has spent the last 8 years studying various styles and concepts of government communication, like generational trending, age-group ROI, and non-profit marketing budgets. She has been in government communication for more than 20 years as a Department of Defense marketing and public affairs professional. She has experience in county, city, and corporate public relations, as well, and she has won multiple awards for her marketing and writing work, including Department of Defense writing awards, MarCom awards, and a Hermes Communication Award.

SJ was trained in digital media marketing at New York University. She continues to learn something new about her career field every single day.