New York School Public Relations Association (NYSPRA) logo

SUNDAY: March 24, 2019

11 a.m.-12 p.m. 

NYSPRA Board Meeting

1-2 p.m.

A Video is Worth Thousands of Likes

Dresden Engle, Director, Dresden Public Relations

School communities can benefit from the power of video, creating an emotional connection while inspiring, educating and entertaining. Learn how to plan, storyboard, shoot video, interview, edit and share videos that have the potential to generate thousands of views.

Connecting the Dots – The School/Community Network

Martha Ryan, Public & School Liaison, DCMO BOCES

Engaging business and industry with your district can enhance resources and maximize efforts. Role play a successful enrichment event to learn how you can open doors in your community in ways that will promote internships, workforce experiences and other opportunities for students.

2:15-3:15 p.m.

The Art of Conversation: How Dialogue Helps Strengthen Relationships

Karen Nerney, Program Manager, Capital Region BOCES

Relationships that can be key to success for school PR professionals are often hampered by a lack of openness and transparency. Learn how to speak and be heard, and how to encourage others to do the same, to promote effective communication and teamwork, and strengthen relationships.

Storytelling Tools for School PR

Evelyn McCormack, Owner, Mack Digital Communications

Improve your digital storytelling and engage your digital audience by using the coolest online and mobile storytelling tools. Dress up your social media posts and your website, and showcase your best photos and videos using tools like the Adobe Spark suite, Rush, Canva and other apps.

2:15-4:15 p.m.

How to Build & Maintain Trust During Equity-Related Crises

Carla Pereira, Director of Communications and Community Relations, Peel District School Board

The work of school public relations is directly related to equity and we can all play a role in helping our districts build trust with diverse communities. In this two-hour, hands-on session, participants will work in groups to practice creating reactive communications plans that help build and maintain trust during an equity-related crisis.

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Become an Internet Bloodhound – Toolkit for Finding Anyone or Anything on the Internet

Megan Manson, Publication Specialist, Champlain Valley Educational Services

Learn tips and tricks to stay on top of evolving situations across multiple Internet sites and social media channels so you can provide insight to your administrators. Learn why a username is key, how to sniff out a digital footprint, how to track conversations through Facebook and how to become your team’s Jack Ryan.

Promoting Social Media with Video Storytelling

Paul Griser, Public Relations Assistant & Todd Shear, Graphic Design Specialist, Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation (CiTi)

Learn how to use video to engage your social media audiences while focusing on your district’s priorities. This hands-on session will focus on editing basics, why short videos are best and how videos are like pizza (even when they’re bad, they’re still good).

6-8 p.m.: Dinner/Keynote

Communicating and Leading for Equity

Susan Enfield, Ed.D, Superintendent, Highline Public Schools

Highline Public Schools in Burien, Washington, a culturally diverse urban district in the Seattle metropolitan area, serving nearly 20,000 students and their families, including a large immigrant population representing close to 100 languages. A former high school teacher, Dr. Enfield served as chief academic officer and then interim superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before joining Highline in 2012. She is also a vice president-at-large on the executive board of the National School Public Relations Association.

MONDAY: March 25, 2019

8-8:45 a.m.: Welcome & Breakfast 

9-10 a.m.

#BuildUpCTE: A Communications Playbook for Passing a Capital Project Referendum

Rebekah Grim, Manager of Communications and Print Services, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES

Through careful planning and a months-long communications program, the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES was able to pass a multi-million dollar bond for Career & Technical Education in a poor, rural community. Learn how to create a winning social media campaign, plan a strategic press roll-out and enhance community engagement to gather grassroots support that takes you from initial planning stages to the day of the vote.

Don’t Cover It. Bring It To Life

Steve King and Jodie Orzechowski, Program Managers, Capital Region BOCES

In 2019, a personalized approach to creating content is important. Learn how to provide your audiences with engaging, useful content that is honest and inspirational, and allows your followers to form a personal connection with your brand.

10:15-11:15 a.m.

Analyzing the Changing Demographics and Effectively Communicating on the Community’s Terms

Jake Mendlinger, Director of Public Relations & David Chauvin, Executive Vice President, Zimmerman/Edelson, Inc.

As demographics shift and millennials become parents, schools face significant challenges when choosing the best modes of communicating. Learn about the results of a comprehensive data study focusing on the ways differing groups of Long Island residents engage with school news and how to use the data to effectively address the generational divide.

Cooking up a Successful PR Professional/Superintendent Relationship

Deb Moyer, Public relations officer, & Dr. Lesli C. Myers-small, Superintendent, Brockport Central School District

Does your superintendent and communications team need some spicing up? Discover the secret ingredients to a successful PR/superintendent relationship by learning how to break down barriers, what a superintendent is really looking for, and tactics for carrying out new initiatives and solid communications plans.

11:30-12:30 p.m.: Lunch

12:45-1:45 p.m.

Lessons Learned: Our School Safety Odyssey in 2018

Samantha Bloem and Matt Leon, Public Information Specialists, Capital Region BOCES

School safety has become a nationwide topic of conversation and the number one priority for school districts. Using the experience of the Niskayuna Central School District, learn why continuous communication is key in a crisis event, the importance of debriefing, the importance of engaging the community, the mutual benefits of a strong relationship with law enforcement and why school safety must be an ongoing priority.

Working Smarter, Not Harder: Using an Editorial Calendar for Planning

Krystyna Baumgartner, Public Relations Specialist, Bay Shore School District

Using an editorial calendar can help to streamline the work of a school PR office that has to ensure a constant stream of content to engage audiences while covering multiple school buildings. Learn how to set up an editorial calendar, the benefits of scheduling PR content and how it can be used to track the stories that are being told.

2-3 p.m.

No End in Sight: School PR in a Toxic Environment

Scott Salotto, Director of Communications and Governmental Relations, Rockland BOCES

What happens when your school administrators become the target of politically-charged community factions seeking to undermine school leadership in a coordinated campaign? Learn how to utilize strategic communications, community relations and message framing to help maintain public trust and confidence in your district - or restore its reputation.

Session 2 TBA

3:15: BOCES Meeting


Thank you to the following organizations for their generous sponsorship of the NYSPRA conference!

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