Agenda at a Glance — Day One
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
8:35 am–8:45 am PT
8:45 am–9:30 am PT
You don’t have to have a popular sports, food or entertainment brand to be successful on social media: You can also effectively relay important information, change perceptions and provide customer care no matter your industry. David Johnston, head of social media for the U.S. Department of Defense will share how better storytelling can help you shed negative sentiment, forge connections with followers, and boost awareness for your brand.
- How to develop a brand voice that resonates with your audience
- Ways to balance information security and transparency
- Where to find unique content for your brand
- Why customer care should be a part of your strategy
9:30 am–9:45 am PT
9:45 am–10:30 am PT
We are in a day and age where text messaging is second nature and the primary communication channel most people use in their daily lives. In the midst of both a pandemic and presidential election year, there was a lot for cities to communicate, services to make people aware of, and immense challenges to connect with citizens.
The usual tactics of calling and door-to-door canvassing proved very challenging in the time of a global health crisis. So how do cities and services get connected? How do you get your messages heard and engaged? You use the channel of the moment!
Join in the momentous wave of leveraging text messaging as a way to quickly engage with people at scale, conveniently mobilize action, create a conversation thread, and connect people with the resources and services they need. Peer-to-peer (P2P) text messaging is a powerful tool for teams of any size.
Join our talk as we unpack the way New York City, which has roughly 9 million citizens, leveraged P2P texting to communicate about things like COVID-19 vaccinations, enrollment in health insurance, home support, and voter registration.
10:30 am–11:15 am PT
The common refrain of “don’t feed the trolls” among social media managers is rooted in good intentions but leads to missed opportunities and builds barriers between you and your audiences. Social media is social for a reason, and embracing the comment section – with strategy, honesty and humor – will help you grow engagement, your audience, and most importantly, your relationship with the people you serve.
- Discerning true trolls from concerned residents
- Creating opportunities from negativity while assessing risk
- First Amendment considerations
- Handling vitriol and negativity with empathy and resilience
- Developing brand advocates
11:15 am–11:45 pm PT
11:45 am–12:30 pm PT
Dark suits, sunglasses, and no-nonsense demeanors— that’s what most people envision when they think of the FBI. In reality, most FBI agents and support staff are kind, humorous, and steadfast public servants with unique backgrounds and incredible stories. FBI Public Affairs Officers seek to share these stories of the FBI within our communities but are frequently thwarted by popular movies, TV shows, and long-standing public misconceptions.
In this session, we will share a few tips on how law enforcement agencies can:
- Begin to change the perception the public has regarding law enforcement in their community
- Humanize both armed law enforcement and civilian support employees on social media
- Publicize threats and share successes through agency-specific communication campaigns
- Employ humor and exciting stories from their department to highlight future careers
12:30 pm–1:15 pm PT
The GBI public affairs office consists of a two-woman team handling media relations and legislative affairs for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the criminal investigative agency for the state. The summer of 2020 proved to be the busiest and most challenging yet: In May 2020, a cellphone video from a South Georgia incident that occurred in February went viral, leading to demonstrations and inquiries from the media and the public from around the world. Later that month, events in Minneapolis sparked civil unrest worldwide, including Georgia. During the height of these protests, another incident occurred in Atlanta that led to even further unrest…all during a global pandemic.
This presentation will illustrate how a small communications team can utilize multiple social media platforms to message to a worldwide audience. Mrs. Miles will also emphasize the importance of communicating on a daily basis during the height of a national event. The significance of a good command staff structure will also be illustrated, as well as how social listening and affordable communications tools come into play.
1:15pm - 1:25pm PT
1:25pm - 2:10pm PT
Your opportunity to build an online community through Facebook has never been stronger. Come learn about some of the latest tools, tips, and best practices that can help foster community through conversation, curation, and creating seamless experiences. Whether you’re already using Facebook or considering it, you’ll leave this session with insights on how your agency can interact with your community, using Messenger, going Live, engaging with other Pages, exploring Groups, and more.
2:10 pm PT
Agenda at a Glance — Day Two
Thursday, May 13, 2021
8:20 am–8:30 am PT
8:30 am–9:15 am PT
9:15 am–9:30 am PT
9:30 am–10:30 am PT
Government agencies can leverage social media to share (sometimes critically) important information with their communities. With the plethora of social media channels and content formats available, finding creative ways to get that content out that will engage and inform can be challenging - but it's also an incredible opportunity to share your agency's work in unique formats.
This diverse panel will discuss:
- Unique ways to reach your audience (Facebook Live, telephone town halls, Reels, AMA-style Q&A’s, Stories, and more)
- Exploring new and emerging features and identify if they’re a good fit for your agency
- Leveraging strong visuals to engage audiences
- Creating evergreen content and customizing content for specific platforms/audiences
- How to balance staying relevant with social media trends while keeping it professional and aligned with your agency’s brand
Emily Allen Lucht
Director of Communications
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
Senior Public Information Officer + Social Media Manager
City of San Diego
Digital Media Director
Office of U.S. Senator Thom Tillis
Public Information Officer
Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office
National Social Media Manager
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
10:30 am–11:15 am PT
In this session, attendees will learn strategies for integrating social media into larger communications plans and strategies, making a case for social media to be included early in the planning process, and integrating messaging, branding, and other aspects of a campaign so that social media doesn’t miss a beat.
11:15 am–11:45 am PT
11:45 am–12:30 pm PT
Has Social Media become less about social and more about media? Social media has changed and evolved over the last decade, but how does this impact our role as government social media communicators? How can we build trust with the rise of incivility online?
In this session, learn how the role of social media has shifted and evolved, and understand what the audience response is to your content. You will learn how to manage incivility and hate on your online channels and how to set your organization up for success with the evolution of social media.
12:30 pm–1:15 pm PT
There are many nuances to brand voice across social channels: When is it okay (and NOT okay) to be funny? How can you create a brand voice that uniquely represents your agency? What are some key guidelines for keeping your brand voice consistent across channels? What does it mean to use a conversational, casual tone with your audience while also getting out the critical info they need to know? How should brand voice be adapted to today’s climate?
This panel will address these questions and more, diving into how brand voice and brand engagement go hand-in-hand, and how good content and timely responses are the key to building trust.
1:15 pm PT
Agenda at a Glance — On-Demand
You have unlimited access to these talks — watch when and where you want!
Even if you only have a smartphone, you can create great video for social media. Ronda Scholting, PIO for West Metro Fire Rescue (Colorado) has some tips on the tools and techniques to help you gain more followers and engagement.
Small agencies have even smaller teams with limited budgets. Maybe you’re a one-person show; charged with responding to media calls and designing flyers, AND posting to Facebook. But, how can you possibly write news releases, attend press conferences, reply to thousands of comments and finally have something creative to tweet on Twitter? You’re probably thinking there aren’t enough hours in the day…
With a few tools, a plan, and a little creativity, you (or your team) can consistently put out creative content without reinventing the wheel. A strategic social media manager works smarter, not harder.
You’ll leave this presentation with the following knowledge:
- Equipment every small team should have in their arsenal
- Must-have social tools designed to make your job easier
- How to repurpose content for various platforms
- and more!
Who this talk is for: Agency or department employees responsible for content creation or planning; public information officers or other communication leads whose role involves the development of engaging social posts/photos/videos.
Working in public information, public affairs, or communications today is completely different than it was even five years ago. In a day in age when “citizen journalists” carry a computer and video camera in their pocket, news breaks on social media within seconds of it happening. While this information sharing means we now know more than ever, it also makes getting misinformation or rumors under control extremely difficult.
This session will cover case studies of what happens when tweets go viral for all the wrong reasons and traditional news media use social media to report on their stories, instead of checking first with the communications lead or another credible source.
Attendees from this session will come away with:
- Steps you can take to get control of a story when it breaks on social media
- Suggestions on how to best use different social listening tools
- Ideas on how to manage the 24-hour social media news cycle – either solo or as part of a team
- A sample checklist to use when responding to a crisis on social media
You know your content needs to be accessible, but do you know how to make it happen? In this presentation, you'll learn how to create, test, and save time when creating social media content that is accessible to your entire community. Attendees can participate and follow the content creation process step-by-step using their devices in real-time in order to post accessible messages and images for most social media platforms. Attendees will leave this session with an understanding of how to post accessible digital content, tips to minimize the process, and ways to test messaging.
Don’t report on your social media successes using data? You should be. Not only do key performance indicators (KPIs) tell you what challenges and opportunities exist, they also give your organization’s leadership an objective measure of success. These measures can be used to advocate for anything from resource requests to strategic course corrections.
Join me for the session: Social Media Analytics & Measurement for Government Agencies — Leveraging Insight to Improve Your Online Presence. We’ll talk about what works and what doesn’t in using analytics to drive strategy.
At the end of the session you will learn to:
- Identify your organization’s KPIs
- Create monthly and quarterly reports
- Use data to advocate for increased resources
It is no longer practical to be a one-person show in the field of Communications/Social Media. Social Media professionals are becoming more recognized for the value they bring to government agencies. As the need increases for their services, it becomes imperative that we not only professionalize the job duties but also create a team within the organization to be able to keep up with the demand.
This training will teach you how to create internal support and value for the work that you do. It will also address how to effectively communicate your need to create a team of professionals for your organization to your executive management.
- The importance of having a team of professionals
- How to build a team
- How to receive buy-in from executive management
Available upon request: Example Communications Plan
32% of the US population listens to a podcast at least once a month. More than half of podcast listeners do so while they are multi-tasking -- from driving to doing the dishes to working out and beyond. This captive audience offers your agency an opportunity to dive deep into topics that may otherwise be difficult to convey via social media.
Podcasting is easier than it seems! You'll learn how to get started with everything from the equipment to the challenges of telling stories via sound to actually getting it out into the world.