New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) logo

The NYSPRA 2020 Annual Conference has been canceled. Read more here

Please note the NYSPRA Executive Board meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16, 2020, has also been canceled.

Sunday: March 15, 2020

10 a.m.

Registration Opens

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

APR Prep Workshop *Space is limited.*

Thinking about earning your Accreditation in Public Relations? In the process of getting your APR? Join NYSPRA President Adrienne Leon, APR, and your NYSPRA colleagues to have your questions answered about the process and jump into learning. We’ll offer a mock panel presentation, test-taking strategies and more! 

MonDAY: March 16, 2020

9 a.m. 

Registration Opens

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Exhibits Open

10 a.m.-12 p.m. 

NYSPRA Board Meeting

1-2:30 p.m. General Session

From Tactician to Strategist – Earn the Communications Role a Spot at the Leadership Table

Kelly Avants, APR, National School Public Relations Association President

Often, public relations professionals find themselves in constant reactive, rather than proactive, mode battling blazes that could have been avoided. Reputation management, crisis response, employee relations and other critical decisions all benefit from early communication planning; planning that starts at the highest level of organizational leadership.

2:45-4:45 p.m.

PR Ethics

Jodie Orzechowski, APR, Program Manager, Capital Region BOCES Communications Service

Whether you're advising your superintendent or facing a tough personal decision in your school PR role, sometimes the "go with your gut" choice leaves you feeling torn over the right path forward. In this session, we'll look at our obligation to ethical conduct, face some ethical dilemmas and move away from the mere belief that being ethical is important, toward an all-encompassing view in which ethics shapes and even determines the moral dimensions of our personal and professional lives.

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Ed Law 2-D: What is it and what can you expect?

Dr. Michael J. Doughty, Assistant Superintendent, Northeastern Regional Information Center

New York’s Education Law 2-D promises to strengthen student data privacy requirements and will forever change the way schools deal with personally identifiable information. Learn more about what the law is, what it isn’t, and what schools and BOCES across the state can expect to change as the new regulations roll out. This session will also outline resources that have been made available to help schools and BOCES as they work to communicate what the new regulations mean to both internal and external audiences.

4-5 p.m.

Get Behind the Wheel: Using Social Media Analytics to Drive Your Communications

Kelly C. Gaggin, APR, Assistant Teaching Professor at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

Christy LeRoy, analytics manager, The Digital Hyve

Social media analytics provide excellent strategic insights for your overall communications strategy - when you know how to use them! Attendees will learn best practices in leveraging data gleaned from social media analytics in order to create effective content and strategy for school audiences. Topics covered: analytics tools available, understanding the data, PESO model for PR, data as a driver of effective content and strategy, identifying influencers. Session designed to be inclusive for all levels of experience, budget allocations and PR staff sizes

5:30 p.m.

Happy Hour

6:30 p.m.

NYSPRA Dinner: Recognition and Celebration

TuesDAY: March 17, 2020

7:45 a.m.

Registration & Exhibits Open

8-8:45 a.m.

Breakfast & President's Welcome: State of the Chapter

9-11 a.m. KEYNOTE Session

Understanding & Communicating in LGBTQ Topics 

Lyndon Cudlitz

With 18 years in social justice education and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identified individuals, Lyndon Cudlitz provides training and technical assistance for healthcare providers, educational institutions, businesses, organizations, government agencies, and LGBTQ+ groups. Lyndon's background also includes services for survivors of violence, Deaf services, 10 years as a firefighter/EMT, and founding & directing youth leadership camps in Maine, New York and Missouri. Lyndon currently volunteers with an NYC-based LGBTQ rock climbing organization and can often be found scaling rock faces across the country.

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Share Your Awesome: Increase engagement through powerful speech writing and storytelling

Carla Pereira, APR, Communications Director, Peel district School Board

It's 10 a.m. and you've been tasked by your superintendent to write them a speech for a community fundraiser that's happening tomorrow. Where do you start? In this session, participants will learn five key steps to effective speech writing. They'll also learn key presentation skills they can use or pass along to individuals in their districts who engage in public speaking. Participants will also walk away with strategies to navigate contentious topics in a public forum, and how to increase engagement and empower communities through powerful speech writing and storytelling.

11:15-12:15 p.m.

Drive an Effective PR Content Strategy - Holistically!

Scott Salotto, Director of Communications and Governmental Relations

Bridget Clark, Communications Specialist, Rockland BOCES

In 2020, school districts and BOCES all across New York State (and the nation) must compete for the attention of those stakeholders who matter. Learn a big-picture, all-channels-inclusive method of communicating that reaches key audiences and supports storytelling. Position your schools for success while breaking through a noisy and cluttered ecosystem!

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Lunch and Networking

1:45-2:45 p.m.

Tiny House = Big Rewards: Reaping the PR Benefits by Putting Partnerships to Work

Maribeth Macica, Senior Public Information Specialist, WSWHE BOCES

By developing partnerships, your public relations goals can be amplified. WSWHE BOCES, in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Northern Saratoga, and the Saratoga-Warren-Washington Workforce Development System, created an amazing partnership with the Saratoga Builders Association to build a Tiny House. The yearlong project which engaged the community with its trendy theme, was an excellent vehicle to highlight CTE and Adult Education programs, and build long lasting relationships with industry and community leaders. This workshop will delve into the public relations strategies and tactics used to peak interest, maintain awareness and sustain partnerships. The model can easily be applied to your next PR venture.

1:45-2:45 p.m.

Bond Referendum Marketing: How to Stand Out in a Turbulent News Cycle

Jake Mendlinger, Director of Public Relations, ZE Creative Communications

ZE Creative Communications will present a comprehensive look at all facets of integrated communications as they pertain to a school district holding a bond referendum. Topics covered will include mobilizing community members and groups, producing high-quality print collateral such as newsletters and posters, launching dedicated bond referendum websites, working with local advocates, navigating a marketing campaign through distractions such as elections, and more. ZECC will present multiple strategies on how to analyze data such as voter rolls and residential demographics to engage the community, ensure an active voter base, dispel misconception, and bring as many people to the polls as possible.


Several registration options are available for members and non-members. Early bird registration is open until Feb. 1, 2020.

Thank you to our sponsors!


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