2014 Communications Conference for Senior Professionals

2014 Communications Conference

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 to Thursday, March 20, 2014
Washington, D.C.

This conference is designed especially for senior public relations and marketing professionals at schools that are members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

About the Conference

Agent for Change: The Communicator of 2014: We can‘t stop change but we can be agents for change. The savvy communications professional knows that whether we’re dealing with institutional change or the need to transition to new marketing and public relations techniques, that it is better to lead change than to be led by it.

Schedule top

Tuesday, March 18

8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

9:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Leading Fast: Successful Change for Your Brand
Students’ decision journeys have forever changed. Now, nearly every student and university partner your brand wants to engage with is digitally enabled and socially connected. This new decision process forces marketers to transform how they market and to become change agents within their organizations. Whether you’re stepping into a new role or want to shake up the status quo, this discussion will teach you six elements of leading a marketing transformation initiative, including:
  • How to get support for your change initiative
  • Why building relationships is crucial to your success and how to forge cross-functional alliances
  • How to use target audience insight to inform your strategy and align your team’s execution
Join John Ellett for a transformative discussion on your brand and your career.
Speaker: John Ellett, author of The CMO Manifesto: A 100-Day Action Plan for Marketing Change Agents and Forbes CMO Network contributor

10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

10:45 a.m. - Noon
Take Your Brand to the Top: How the University of Oregon became a #NationalBrand
The University of Oregon is one of the most visible athletic departments in the country and a true national brand. This presentation will cover the social media strategies used by the University of Oregon in their quest to become THE National Brand in college athletics. From the launch of the QuackCave, the first social media command center in college athletics, to using social media to help shape messaging, learn some of the practices Oregon uses on a daily basis.

Presenter: Craig Pintens, S‎enior Associate Athletic Director/Marketing & Public Relations, University of Oregon

Noon - 1:00 p.m.

1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Effective Communications When Your Leader Changes
Change in campus leadership is an occurrence every higher education communications professional deals with, and sometimes too frequently. Effective communications to the campus community and to all stakeholders is paramount to ensuring a smooth leadership transition. This session will delve into the key issues that arise from the moment the current leader decides to depart, through the transition with the interim leader, and into the tenure of the new president/chancellor. What are the key do's and don'ts in a transition, the special pressures a communications staff feels, and how to work with the departing, interim, and new leader to ensure that their respective needs, and those of the institution, are best met.

Presenters: Former University of Wisconsin System President Kevin Reilly; Doug Mell, UW-Stout Executive Director of Communications and External Relations; and Paul Kincaid, Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President for University Relations, Missouri State University.
2:15 p.m.

2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Internal Communications During Transitions—Navigating Vulnerabilities and Opportunities
Many colleges and universities across the country are in the midst of transformations—through mergers or acquisitions, consolidations or reengineering, or as a result of leadership changes. All of these transitions present opportunities and vulnerabilities for institutions to enhance their brand, reinforce their strengths and build community. This presentation will share internal communications considerations for periods of change including ideas for crafting messaging, addressing internal audience questions, and planning the timing of campus communications.

Presenters: David Brond, Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Georgia Regents University and Teresa Valerio Parrot, Principal of TVP Communications.

4:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 19

8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Moderated roundtable discussions & breakfast
  1. Social Media: What Works, What Doesn’t
  2. Establishing Relationships with Key Leaders on Your Campus
  3. You’re Not Alone: Tips for Finding Colleague Support Within Your University System
  4. Crisis Management Case Study at Western Washington University
  5. Integrated Marketing/Branding – Sharing best practices
  6. Working With State and National Media for Major Campus Events

9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. 
Marketing in the Participation Age: A Guide to Motivating People to Join, Share, Take Part, Connect, and Engage!
Daina Middleton believes marketing and advertising is experiencing a transformational change, and as a consequence the tools, processes and language marketers employ today need to evolve. These topics are the focus of her recently published book titled Marketing in the Participation Age: A Guide to Motivating People to Join, Share, Take Part, Connect and Engage. Participants will learn how and why the environment has changed, the previously unknown Participation Way formula for getting customers to interact with your brand, and the five values required for this new "nurturist" approach to marketing to thrive.

Presenter: Daina Middleton, author and global CEO of Performics, one of the largest global performance agencies

10:45 a.m. - 11 a.m.

11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
Leadership in Times of Change and Adversity: Serving as Stewards of Our Culture
Organizational life at a university is both exhilarating and difficult. It’s hard to bless those who curse us. It’s hard to befriend those who trespass against us. And yet, in organizational life, there’s power and joy in everyday, ordinary practices — if we choose to practice them. If people hunger for meaning, for purpose in life, the question for all of us as organizational leaders is: How do our environments reflect our presence (and that of others) in it? We are all responsible for creating the types of environments that allow people to flourish.

The facilitators in this session will share thoughts, observations, and practices that have changed their (and other individuals’) ways of navigating organizational life. The lessons learned from these interaction patterns speak of leadership roles within higher education. Moreover, they speak about learning, leadership and the human condition.

Speakers: Thomas Rios, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Brent Bilodeau, Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

1:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
LinkedIn: Re-defining Access to Data, Amplifying Messaging, Changing the Way You Communicate
Take a deep dive into LinkedIn as a tool to aggregate audience, target market, communicate, engage alumni and learn how it offers strategic data you can use for annual planning, lead generation, amplification of message and development of social media ambassadors for your institution. Learn about LinkedIn's Alumni Tool, University Pages and much more, aimed at helping Higher Education harness the power of connectivity to alumni and students on the platform.

Presenter: John Hill, Higher Education Evangelist at LinkedIn

2:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

2:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 
Crafting a New Campus Identity: Merging Communication and Technology
IT and Communications as one? At most campuses, these departments do not share a common culture, communications style or leadership. California State University Channel Islands has combined the Communication and IT departments in a single division, resulting in rapid progress in building a strong identity and utilization of social media, the web, and mobile communication.
Whether or not it's feasible on your campus to combine these two areas, this session describes the benefits of working more closely together.

Presenter: A. Michael Berman, Vice President for Communication and Technology, California State University Channel Islands

Fees top

AASCU Members:
Registration fee - $525
Early registration (Before March 5, 2014) - $499

Registration fee - $625
Early registration (Before March 5, 2014) - $599


The conference will be held at the AASCU office building, 1307 New York Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Registration Information top

How to Register
Please select among the two options below:

  • OPTION 1:
    Online Registration
    NOTE: Please click this LOGIN HELP if you have trouble using the online registration form.

  • OPTION 2:
    Register via the downloadable registration form, to be mailed or faxed in.
    Download Form (pdf)

Accommodations top

The Henley Park Hotel - Washington
926 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 638-5200

Reservations must be made by Monday, February 24, 2014 in order to guarantee the group rate of $239 per night.

Please reference AASCU Communications Workshop when making reservations. Guests may contact the reservations department at 202-414-0503 or 1-800-222-8474 or reserve online at www.henleypark.com and enter the code AASCUCW.

Optional Activities top

Thursday, March 20

Media visits
Visits to media outlets covering higher education and national news will be scheduled the morning of March 20, 2014. This is an optional activity and conference registrants will receive more information about the process for participation after they register. There is no additional registration fee required.

Cancellation & Refund Policytop

Cancellations received in writing by noon, March 6, 2014 will be fully refunded. After March 6, 2014 a $150 cancellation fee will be charged and deducted from all refunds. Cancellations received after March 13, 2014 forfeit the entire registration fee.