Public Communications Workshop 2017






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Coffee, snacks, lunch included • Cost: $180 members / $195 non-members     .65 CEUs requested

8:00-8:30: Registration

8:30-8:40: Introduction


8:40-9:40: Communications Strategy: A Peer Conversation About Strategy-On-The-Go

Jessica Stanton, Stanton Global Communications; Alex Cousins, Tualatin Valley Water District

Does your agency have a communications strategy? Why do you need one? As communicators, we juggle a lot of balls and coordinate many different efforts. But are these disparate activities under the guidance of an overarching strategic communications plan? Let’s explore why strategy (or rather ‘strategy-on-the-go’) just might be the most effective tool in your communications arsenal. Join us for engaging conversation about how to develop a communications road map to take your organization to the next level.

9:45-10:45: Communicating  on  Emotionally-Charged Topics

Marcos Lopez, Tetra Tech

How do you build trust in your organization while answering hostile questions? Communicating timely and accurate information in crisis situations makes the difference between a well-informed public and confusion. Learn about: 1) Timing of information, 2) Prioritizing Information, 3) Emotional Level of Communication, and 4) Quantity of Information. You’ll receive templates and tools to assist in several categories of crisis and emotional situations that will prepare you for the unexpected.

10:45-10:55: 10-Minute Break

10:55-11:55: Aligning Student Programs with STEM and Science Standards

Megan Hanson, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services; Ely O’Connor, Clean Water Services

Understand how supporting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) curriculum can make your education program stronger and more relevant to teachers. Learn how to make valuable connections with teachers and other science education resources in your community. We will share examples of successful school-based education programs, ideas for getting started, and how to tap into community resources. You’ll also learn how to incorporate environmental science career education into your programs.

11:55-12:30: Lunch

12:30-1:30: Graphic Design Crash Course

Stephanie Malham, Best Coast Design Co.

You know good design when you see it, but what goes into creating it? Learn how to think like a designer in this interactive presentation. You will learn the elements and principles of design, how to organize your canvas, and create your own designs. You will leave with a solid foundation of graphic design knowledge to begin to build your own creative materials.

1:35-2:35: Tell Your Story (Or Someone Else Will)

Brian Balla and Jaymee Cuti, Portland Water Bureau; Felicia Heaton, Portland Bureau of Emergency Management

Tell your story or someone else will and you will spend the rest of the day cleaning up the mess. News breaks faster than ever and many media outlets would rather be first than right. We’ll use real-life scenarios to demonstrate how to get in front of your story and leverage social media to keep control of your message. We’ll discuss how to package your stories that respect reporters’demanding deadlines by anticipating their needs. Find out how platforms like Facebook and Twitter support your efforts to tell your story quickly and accurately.

2:35-2:50: 15-Minute Break

2:50-3:50: Storytelling Through Video

Dave Weich, Sheepscot Creative

Text, photography and infographics each have a rightful place in communications work, but none give you as much control over your audience’s interpretation of a message as a well-constructed video. We’ll review guidelines and address core questions to ensure you get the best return on your team’s investment. How can storytelling serve an organization’s objectives? What kind of stories are best suited to video? And how can you know when you should enlist a professional or whether can you tackle the job on your own? No matter your budget, storytelling through video can help deliver your message with impact.

3:55-4:25: 30 Ideas in 30 Minutes

Karen DeBaker, Clean Water Services; Dave Weich, Sheepscot Creative; Alex Cousins, Tualatin Valley Water District

Seasoned communicators share their fabulous ideas in round-robin fashion to help you engage, motivate and reassure your community. Grab your pen or your smart phone. These snappy, out-of-the-box outreach tips are yours to beg for, borrow and steal.


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Questions: [email protected]