Wednesday, May 2, 2012

NAGC Communications School Preview: Astronaut Mike Foreman, Carmageddon, Media Relations, Social Media, etc.

The upcoming NAGC Communications School will be my fifth in a row to attend and I am looking forward to the 2012 offering with great anticipation.  This year’s theme, “Government Communicators-Telling America’s Story”, exemplifies the responsibility and challenge we face each day.  As government communicators we must spread the word about the programs and services offered by our various organizations, and we are challenged to do so in as transparent manner as possible.  We strive to find the balance between information and information overload; and, we are confronted with ever expanding sources for information distribution.

All these challenges are being addressed at this year’s communications school.  Personally, I am looking forward to hearing our Communicator of the Year discuss her proactive approach to disseminating information to divert a potential traffic nightmare in one of the most traffic-centric cities in the U.S.  I wonder if she will touch on the latest information about ‘Carmageddon’: the baby-boom being attributed to the 500,000 people staying home for that weekend?

Our Media Panel promises to add to the government communicators’ arsenal of information for how to pitch your agency’s story to the media.  The break-out session on “Using Social Media Analytics for Government Operations and Policy” will help us understand how to leverage new technology to help in the decision-making process.

If that's not enough, we'll get to hear Astronaut Mike Foreman tell one of America’s greatest adventure stories — living and working in space. During two missions, he traveled more than 20 million miles in orbit and performed five space walks tethered to the shuttle by a cable. Mike will also be available to sign autographs during the President’s Reception.

The NAGC Communications School 2012 has something for every level of government communicator whether you are tasked with crisis communications, writing press releases or policy or just looking for ways to get your story out.  I hope you are looking forward to attending this year’s school as much as I am.

Submitted by Kathryn Stokes, Strategic Affairs Officer, Mississippi Department of Employment Security and Treasurer for the NAGC Board of Directors.

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