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ACE Annual Conference 2023 | June 11 – 13, 2023 

Renaissance Asheville Downtown Hotel

Asheville, NC

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2023

(Optional) Pre-Conference Writing Workshop | 10:00 am – 12:00 pm details here

Learning Community Media Relations & Writing | 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Learning Community Electronic Media & Photography | 3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Learning Community Leadership & Management | 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Learning Community Diversity & Accessibility | 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm

Opening Reception & Academic & Research Posters | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

During the welcome reception, researchers will interact with members of the ACE Community as they present their innovative and relevant research via a poster visual aid.

MONDAY, JUNE 12, 2023

Continental Breakfast | 7:00 am - 7:45 am

Welcome and Introductions | 7:45 am - 8:00 am

Keynote Speaker | 8:00 am – 8:45 am

Sheril Kirshenbaum | Sheril Kirshenbaum is a scientist and author working to enhance public understanding of science and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public.


Academic & Research Paper Session | 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

The ACE Academic and Research paper session will highlight innovative and relevant research related to pressing issues within the food, agricultural, and environmental sectors. The peer-reviewed research presented during this session will focus on providing a brief overview of the research and associated findings and encourages discussion and questions related to the research with the researchers and attendees through round-table format discussions. The research paper sessions will be interactive and allow presenters and attendees to engage in rich discussion and create connections to benefit communication academicians and practitioners.

Learning Community Publishing & Graphic Design | 9:00 am – 9:45 am

Professional Development Breakout Sessions | 9:00 am – 9:45 am - Choose One

Strategic Communication and Marketing Plans & Reporting: Work in Progress

Presenters: Jennifer Alexander, Jerry Grasso, Stacey Stearns

Approaching communications and marketing work with a strategic focus helps prioritize major projects, guide ongoing tactics and inform day-to-day decisions. Articulating these elements in the form of a communications and marketing plan, aligning that plan with organizational goals and establishing appropriate metrics and indicators: • Provides for accountability. • Supports data-informed decisions. • Enhances visibility, understanding and support of this work among leadership and other key partners and stakeholders. In this session, panelists will share their approaches to establishing, implementing and evaluating strategic communication and marketing plans. Discussion will focus on successful practices, sticking points and next steps—all in the context of getting the most out of the tools and resources you have available. Come prepared to share your experience to help build the culture and practice of using strategic, data-informed approaches across ACE member organizations.

You Don’t Have To Post It To Prove It: How to Prevent Social Media Fatigue

Presenter: Audrey King

Is social media your full time job? Do you spend your days trying to hack the algorithm and craft the perfect posts to elevate your organization? Do you find yourself mentally exhausted and overwhelmed? In this session, we will discuss how to navigate the world of social media, both professionally and personally, without letting it take over your life. From staying up to date on latest trends to creating space in your life for social media silence, this session will reveal ways to actually thrive, protect your mental health, and remind you that you don’t have to post it to prove it.

Wading into the Virtual Reality Waters: Three Options for Online VR Creation

Presenters: Jamie Loizzo, Gabriel Spandau, Caroline Barnett

Virtual Reality (VR) is an exciting and innovative way to immerse audiences in agricultural and natural resources (ANR) environments for science outreach and engagement. Research has shown VR can impact attitudes, perceptions, learning, and behavior intentions. Communications professionals should consider adding VR to their strategic efforts aimed at increasing interaction with and connection to critical ANR issues to increase science literacy for science-based decision-making about the world around us. VR can also promote an understanding of how science works and connect audiences to related careers. From mobile to high-end gear and approaches, there are several options for creating VR tours. In this session, the faculty and graduate student presenters from the University of Florida will showcase three ways they have developed online VR tours featuring (ANR) labs and landscapes for a variety of audiences: 1) Google Streetview images of a campus community farm and garden created in a college course, 2) VR tour of an estuary ecosystem for middle schools students, and 3) a high-end immersive VR visits to a research centers studying invasive and aquatic plants and coastal ecosystems for online audiences and a research grant project. Featured hardware and software will include Google Streetview (mobile), Ricoh Theta (handheld camera) and Theasys (tour editor), and the Matterport camera and stitching software.

Learning Community Marketing | 10:00 am – 10:45 am

Professional Development Breakout Sessions | 10:00 am – 10:45 am – Choose One 

Beyond the Translation: Developing Strategies and Adapting Content to Engage Non-English Speaking Audiences

Presenters: Lourdes Mederos, Luz Bahder

According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau report, 21.6% of people in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. That's 1 in every 5 adults. The pandemic highlighted the critical gaps in information and outreach about the coronavirus to families and businesses where English isn’t their first or preferred language. Lessons were learned from that pivotal event. When developing a multicultural communication strategy, what are the best practices to consider when targeting non-English speakers who prefer or need to receive your content in their language? Is it as simple as just translating messaging for the content to be accepted? How do you promote engagement from this target population? To create meaningful connections, communicators must take extra steps to ensure that content does not get lost in translation. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Communications Department has made significant strides in expanding efforts to reach the Spanish-speaking community in Florida and beyond. We are sharing more Spanish-language content via multiple communication strategies and channels, providing our Spanish-speaking community members with access to science-based solutions and how these are relevant to their lives. This session will provide communicators of all levels of expertise a case study of lessons learned from the expansion, offer five critical steps to creating a model for improving outreach, and understand the true meaning of transcreating for relevance to your target population.

Bringing Real. Life. Solutions. to Life Online: A Digital Learning Hub

Presenters: April Massengill, Lisa Stearns, Tammy McKinley

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture creates and delivers Real. Life. Solutions. to its clientele. The organization, which is home to an agricultural college, a veterinary college, and Extension and AgResearch entities, offers a host of learning opportunities ranging from publications to podcasts to news items. With so much information, how can you effectively display the expertise of such a large organization? Enter an online information and learning hub, concepted in-house, planned through extensive research and testing, and developed in-house through a phased approach. It addresses a common predicament that other universities probably have: centralizing resources, addressing accessibility needs, updating technology, and providing a service to the community. This session will provide marketing, communications, and information technology expertise for a broad audience detailing the build and how the UT Institute of Agriculture is elevating its faculty and staff expertise while serving the information needs of today’s learners.

Acing Your Presentations: Tips and Tricks for Creating Engaging, Interactive, and Accessible Presentations

Presenters: Lori Greiner, Latasha Ford, DaraMonifah Cooper

Have you noticed that presentations have gotten pretty sophisticated over the past couple of years? Have you ever attended a virtual meeting and watched the presenter do something cool and wondered how they did that? Or maybe you have been a presenter and you were asked about captions or transcripts and you had no idea how to make them happen. Let’s face it, a simple PowerPoint presentation doesn’t cut it anymore. During this session, learn how you can upgrade your virtual and/or in-person presentation skills to connect with your audience using the latest software and engagement tools. Best practices will be shared as well as tips for ensuring your presentation is accessible to all.

Learning Community Social Media | 11:00 am – 11:45 am

Professional Development Breakout Sessions |11:00 am – 11:45am – Choose One 

Executing a Communicating Workshop Series

Presenter: Jamie Brumfield

Once a month, the CALS Communications team hosts a workshop for all CALS departmental and unit communicators and communications enthusiasts. These sessions focus on best practices, tips and tools to ensure we are on-brand and effective in telling our college’s story. During these hour-long workshops, we provide the latest practical guidance on various communications topics fostering growth and skills development for staff of the college looking to grow their communications skills. These sessions support successful communications with staff, faculty, on-campus and in county offices. We’ll talk through designing, organizing and executing the workshop series. All audiences welcome.

The Planning Stage of Website Migration: Discussing How to Eat the Elephant

Presenter: Annabelle Lang

Website migration can be a daunting task and challenging to decide where to begin. But you don't have to be a professional web designer to create a dynamic, user-focused website. In this session, participants will learn what to consider in the planning stage of site migration. Participants will be guided through the steps involved in planning the migration. We will address how to conduct a site audit, gain buy-in with internal stakeholders, and discuss ways to restructure the website with the end-user experience in mind. Participants do not have to have a background in web design or anticipate a website migration to take away key strategies to implement within their organizations.

Managing Extension Publications as Scholarly Output using OJS

Presenter: Diana Hagan, Heidy Ramirez

The writing and peer-reviewing of Extension publications can be a significant component of academic output for Extension faculty. That makes efficient workflow, effective reporting, and appropriate recognition for their work on publications essential support for their role as Extension scholars. UF/IFAS uses Open Journal System (OJS) journal management software to support this work. We have been managing the publishing process using OJS for seven years. For the last five years, we have also been publishing a journal article version of each publication for use in CVs, references lists, etc., with archives extending back to 2002. This presentation will discuss our implementation of OJS, the benefits we’ve experienced, and challenges we’ve encountered. It will provide useful insight to people using OJS or considering OJS—or other similar platforms such as ScholasticaHQ—for peer review, for publishing, or for both. It should also be of interest to anyone concerned with effective peer-review of published content.

Lunch and Hermance Speaker | 12:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Named in memory of 1992 ACE President Gary Hermance, this speaker represents Hermance's character and personality with creativity, innovation, determination, humor, or inspiration.        

Dr. Jolene Erlacher | Jolene has a doctorate in education and leadership and has done extensive research on generational trends. She has worked in education and non-profit contexts for two decades. Jolene is a certified IPSAT coach and church consultant. 

Academic & Research Paper Session | 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm 

Professional Development Breakout Sessions |2:00 pm - 2:45 pm – Choose One 

Surviving the High-Profile Project: Stories from OSU Ag Honors

Presenters: Craig Woods, Mandy Gross

The purpose of the session is to show the tips and tricks used to make the annual Ag Honors banquet a memorable experience for the participants yet manageable. The annual event is a celebration of Ag Champion and Distinguished Alumni award recipients, with the highlight being a 3-minute bio video for each Honoree. Six to 11 individuals receive the award, often from all over the country, with materials created in 3 to 5 months. Workshop attendees see the process from the initial nominations to the finished product. Craig Woods, Video Production Manager, and Mandy Gross, Senior Manager of Strategic Communications and Special Projects, work with Honorees to tell their stories in news releases and videos. This requires coordinating with professors, administrators, and the university foundation. The productions are also used in social media and other outlets. These individuals are usually large donors or industry leaders. Creating a polished presentation where recipients feel appreciated is the primary goal. This session is for intermediate-level video producers and project managers.

Good Communications Practices Start at the Top - A Conversation with Virginia Cooperative Extension Director Mike Gutter Presenters: Max Esterhuizen, Mike Gutter

How do you create a culture of communications? Start at the top. Virginia Cooperative Extension Director Mike Gutter embraces communications and the role it can play in helping an organization reach its strategic goals. He's prolific on Twitter, is starting a blog, a newsletter, and an open forum Zoom meeting, all to help move his organization forward. In this session, Dr. Gutter has a 1-1 Q/A discussion with his communications team on why he thinks strong communications matters, how to implement it, and how to get your leadership to embrace communications.

Social Media Analytics and Strategy: Using Social Media Analytics to Inform Social Media Strategy

Presenter: Kelsey Armstrong

The phrase “numbers don’t lie” applies not only to finances but also to the communications industry. Analytics, specifically social media analytics, can provide insight into the success of a department’s social media presence and assist in identifying aspects that can lead to content achieving social goals. This session will provide insight into how social media analytics can be used to guide the development of social media strategy and set KPI benchmarks from the experiences of departments at Elon University and North Carolina A&T State University. The session will also provide insight into how different social media metrics can be applied to strategy. The learning outcomes of this session include: Identifying how specific social media metrics can help achieve specific outcomes Understanding what social media metrics mean Learning how to calculate social media metrics Attendees will also learn about resources and tools that can assist in locating and calculating social media metrics. This session’s experience level is intermediate to advanced.

Writing Groups: How the Lone Wolf Becomes a Pack

Presenters: Lesa Vold, Stacey Stearns, Julie Stricker

There is power in teamwork, but sometimes is hard to assemble the team. Are you a lone wolf when it comes to writing and editing in your unit? Maybe you are not the sole writer, but you are the only person covering your beat. Would it just be nice to pull on the expertise of your colleagues now and then? Maybe you need to carve out time in your schedule where you are actually accountable for nothing but writing! All these things are possible with a thing called a writing group. You can form one locally, or join a new one with ACE colleagues. The goals of this session are: 1) introduce the concept of writing groups 2) discuss formats and various objectives covered by writing groups, and 3) interactively access the desire of participants to use this type of professional development tool either at the local or national level. This session can help the beginner, intermediate or advanced writer. Come investigate what your future might look like running with the pack.

Professional Development Breakout Sessions | 3:00 pm - 3:45 pm – Choose One 

Natural Disaster Communication

Presenters: Samantha Murray, Abby Lillpop, Angie Lindsey

If a natural disaster hit your state tomorrow, would you be ready to communicate about it? From hurricanes to wildfires to blizzards, natural disasters impact the industries and communities served by land grant universities. When disaster strikes, our task is not only to share timely information to help communities weather the impacts; it is also an opportunity to highlight the value of our institution, its people and expertise. This session will share strategies and tactics for proactively communicating about disasters with the public and key audiences. The session will cover how to develop a disaster plan, the do’s and don’ts of talking about disasters, as well as tips for content coordination and centralized messaging. Presenters will also share lessons learned from recent hurricanes in Florida and how to reassess and improve your disaster communication plan. This session is appropriate for communicators of all levels and specializations.

Raising Awareness about Land-grant Agricultural Research: An Update on the National Branding Strategy

Presenters: Erica Mirich, PIVOT Creative and Consulting and Bret Hess, Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors

Sponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities Experiment Station Committee on Organization and Policy (ESCOP) via funds provided by the Experiment Station Section (ESS)

The Experiment Station Section (ESS) represents the agricultural experiment stations and agricultural research programs affiliated with Land-grant universities in all the states and territories.  The Section has recently created a new branding strategy to increase awareness of the work and impact of America’s leading agricultural research enterprise. This session will share the latest developments of this strategy and how communicators can be involved in increasing awareness about the breadth, depth and impact of Land-grant agricultural research.

Extreme Makeover: Newsletter Edition

Presenter: Leighann Vinesett

In this workshop, gain valuable insight on how to refresh your organization's digital newsletters with interactive content strategies and visually appealing graphics. This session will focus on the step-by-step process of selecting, formatting and designing content for email marketing campaigns and will include firsthand accounts of how to transform an existing template, tips and tricks to use during the transition period, and the ways it could benefit your marketing campaign.

Developing and Launching Online Courses with Articulate 360 Creator Tools

Presenters: Phillip Stokes, Ricky Telg, Aly Morrison, Lauri Baker, Kevin Kent       

Articulate 360 is a suite of creator tools to build online learning courses. With its user-friendly and intuitive features, the platform is ideal for educators. These features include interactive activities and quizzes, plus easy-to-use design elements to create visually appealing courses. In this session, participants will learn how to build an engaging online course using Articulate 360 tools and hear insights from experienced educators. We will share real examples from published courses and walk through the basics of designing a course. By the end of the session, participants will gain knowledge on setting up an Articulate 360 account, building a course using creative tools, and exporting the course to multiple outputs. All levels are welcome to attend this session and you do not need any experience or knowledge in instructional design to join.

Member Meeting | 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Reception | 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Evening Event – Walking Scavenger Hunt| 6:00 pm

Warm up to our host city and your fellow ACE members on a walking scavenger hunt that tests your detective skills, your creativity and maybe even your taste buds. We’ll divide into teams, then set out on Asheville’s urban trail in search of clues to Asheville’s history, literature and architecture. Along the way, teams can enjoy the shops, art galleries, restaurants and the breweries that Beer City USA is known for. We’ll be tracking everyone’s adventures using a scavenger hunt app and prizes will be awarded. Get to know other ACE members through this fun activity. Teams will be formed Monday afternoon before the start of the hunt.

TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2023

Joe Marks Fun Run | 6:00 am 

Named in memory of 1987-88 ACE President Joe Marks

Continental Breakfast | 7:00 am – 7:45 am 

C&A and Honor Awards | 7:45 am – 9:45 am

Professional Development Breakout Sessions | 10:00 am - 10:45 am – Choose One

The Qualitative Research Paradigm in Agricultural Communications

Presenters: Karli Yarber, Jefferson Miller

Our session will focus on sparking disciplinary discussion about qualitative research and the associated expectations of it within our discipline. For this sharing session, we propose an integrated approach, in which we share our interpretations of the history, current context, personal research experiences, and contemporary foundational frameworks related to the qualitative paradigm in our discipline. Throughout the session, we will encourage a collaborative dialogue among presenters and attendees. Beginning with a review of the discipline’s history and current state of qualitative research, this presentation will include numerous discussion points, at which we will stop and ask the audience members to share their opinions on our interpretations. We will then share some of our own qualitative research experiences and invite participants to share theirs as well for the sake of identifying common issues across the discipline. Further, we will present literature from various qualitative research theorists and practitioners external to and within the agricultural communications discipline, in order to understand the how qualitative work in agricultural communications compares with bodies of research in other disciplines that have more fully embraced the qualitative paradigm (such as education and nursing). With discussions about traditional and new methodologies, theories, and expectations of rigor, we envision that this dialogue among researchers will be the first step in revising our accepted disciplinary standards. Ultimately, our goal is to provide impetus for change to help our discipline improve upon its efforts to conduct interpretivist research that is so important in the study of human communication.

Marketing to Millennials: How NC State is Engaging New Audiences with Video

Presenter: Justin Moore

Connecting communities with information drives the mission of land-grant universities. At NC State University, we launched a consumer-centric video series in 2018, called Homegrown, seeking to bridge the gap between research-based solutions on campus and a rapidly diversifying public. Our three-pronged approach to the series – In the Garden, In the Kitchen and On the Farm – covers a wide-array of topics where we leverage our Extension experts on campus and statewide to provide everyday answers for everyday problems. Through strategic video planning, inclusive feedback loops, targeted ad campaigns and more, we’ve learned and adopted new ways to attract viewers and grow an audience base. In sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire other states that are looking for ways to attract new audiences, elevate digital engagement and grow their brand. The session will utilize slides, handouts and videos to illustrate Homegrown's strategic framework — who we target, how and why — including production aspects and content development, program processes and guidelines, marketing efforts and results. Please join us as we share our learning experiences, successes and opportunities for improvement, as we continue to build a thriving digital resource for the people of North Carolina and beyond.

Listening for Liberation: Exploring the 6 Tenants of Active Listening that Lead to Authentic Community Building and Problem-Solving

Presenter: Melanie Battles

The goal of this session is to facilitate a brave space for participants to critically self-reflect on our capacity to lead effectively through liberatory listening. In a world of diversity and various perspectives, leadership must center an authentic framework that prioritizes meeting the needs of the team and those we are called to serve with purpose, compassion, curiosity, criticality, and healthy conflict (resolution). Participants will be able to identify areas of growth in their own listening and problem-solving capacities. Participants will be able to practice liberatory listening that leads to healthy conflict resolution that restores environments to productive spaces of harmony and liberation for those who are serving, as well as those who are being served. This work is intended for an audience of leaders and team leaders who are responsible for solving complex problems that are people-facing and have a need for a cyclical nature of listening, responding, and reflecting. Audience members range from beginner to intermediate in their understanding of the need for equitable spaces of being that result in equitable modes of problem-solving and service to human kind.

Reducing Risk in a Decentralized Social Media Environment 

Presenter: Chris Vivian

Try social media, they said. It’ll be easy, they said. So we did, and now we have hundreds of profiles! Social media platforms offer Extension agents, researchers, departments and leaders to increase outreach to a wide variety of audiences fairly easily. That said, it also opens the door to trolls, copyright infringement, misinformation and damage to brand reputation. All of this translates into RISK for your institution. In this session, we will talk about our approach to challenges such as branding, handling negative comments and managing decentralized social media. Participants will learn strategies, tools and ideas to mitigate risk online. This presentation is appropriate for anyone handling social media, but more importantly for thinking about it at the institution level.

Choosing the Right “How” for a Great “Wow”

Presenters: Sherry Hoyer, Chris Kick, Ann Robinson, Kirsten Romaguera

From proposal to dissemination and all points between, choosing the appropriate “how” for a news piece can help guide you to a “wow” result.

Our moderated panel discussion session focuses on decisions made during the life of a news article that shape its content, context and audience interest. Regardless of the extent of one’s writing experience, we anticipate panelists and attendees will gain insight and information.

As media and communications specialists, we deal in facts without bias, without opinion, without subjectivity. However, we know different audiences will respond differently to a straight news release than a feature story. Some want straight-to-the-point. Others may prefer a storytelling approach. Still others want to know even more and enjoy looking forward to “next in a series” articles.

How do we avoid a writing rut, while still providing knowledge to our readers? For science writers, how could we think differently about fact-checking, finding and addressing belief, and looking for new ways to say things better? Our panelists will share their individual experiences, expertise and concerns. We expect questions and conversation from session attendees, and look forward to adding new tips, tools and techniques to our repertoires.

Professional Development Breakout Sessions |11:00 am - 11:45 am – Choose One

Learning the Science Behind Research Communication

Presenter: Alisa Boswell-Gore

My current position as ag research communications coordinator was a start-up position that I have built from the ground up over the last 20 months. I would like to share the story of my journey in building OSU Ag Research communications with the goal that attendees will leave the session excited and inspired with fresh ideas on how to re-envision approaching their own research communications. I will outline a presentation in which I share valuable communication strategies for the world of ag research – the importance of building rapport, knowing your audience, having a mission, etc. – while sharing my own experiences with those strategies. My goal is that what I have learned and built in my first two years in this position will give others inspiration and knowledge in how to build their own tools and strategies for effective research communication.

Rethinking Fellowships: The Application of a Fellowship Program in the Context of Agricultural Research and Extension Presenters: Ashley McLeod-Morin, Sandra Anderson, Sydney Honeycutt

UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (PIE Center) recently developed a fellowship program for graduate students at the University of Florida to provide specialized training in public opinion research and science communication. The students also have the opportunity to work on a diverse, interdisciplinary team that will prepare them for postgraduate endeavors. In this session, the PIE Center will share more information about the fellowship program, incentives offered to students, lessons learned, and why you might want to start a fellowship program at your institution.

Encouraging Communicators to Promote Quality of life Issues for Agricultural Producers, Educators and Communities

Presenters: Douglas H. Constance, Professor of Sociology, Sam Houston State University, Past Southern SARE Quality of Life Representative & DaraMonifah Cooper, Southern SARE Communication Specialist

Improving the Quality of Life (QOL) among agriculture producers, educators and communities is essential for this important industry sector. This session will share information, examples and educational resources on how communicators can encourage more consideration of QOL and social sustainability including Understanding and Measuring Social Sustainability.

Working in the Weeds: The Planning, Production, and Promotion of a Podcast on Invasive Plants

Presenters: Christine Krebs, Raychel Rabon

Science-based podcasts have increased in popularity across a variety of disciplines. At the same time, university Extension initiatives are evolving in response to society’s needs in our everchanging digital landscape. The UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (CAIP) has recently launched a podcast called Working in the Weeds (WITW). This podcast works to regularly connect the Center’s stakeholders with scientific information and stories about aquatic and invasive plants. In this session, the UF/IFAS CAIP communications team will share their experience 1) planning a podcast that serves as a form of Extension, 2) producing the episodes with faculty and guests from the field, and 3) promoting the content across the Center’s communication channels. Attend this session to hear more about scientific podcast production, discussion on current listener demographics and data, preliminary survey results, and recommendations for developing similar podcasts at land grant universities throughout the country. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission funded this project. Featured hardware and software include a portable RØDE soundboard, microphones, Adobe Audition editing software, and various project planning platforms for podcast promotion.

Communications, Marketing, and Outreach 101: For Institutes serving Multiple Universities

Presenter: Virginia Welsh, Breon Martin

Working for an Institute with multiple sub-awardees stretched across the country creates opportunities and challenges unique to serving just one location/university. When rolling out and building your brand and outreach strategies, you must consider how this lands with the affiliated schools, the media, the community, and external/funding partners. Remote work is mandatory to stay connected with your faculty, and accommodating both in-person and online opportunities is essential.

In this session, we discuss creating and laying out a brand, deciding upon and implementing social media tools that best fit your organization’s needs, discussing websites, highlighting strategies for engaging faculty, and finding your place among other institutes, universities, and the media (internal and external). With such a vast range of constituents, we also kept an eye on efforts to be diverse, inclusive, and equitable to the audiences we served and hoped to connect with in the future.

This session is helpful to any experience level seeking to establish or improve marketing and communications for an institute or unit that serves multiple campuses, depts. and faculty. Both presenters work with more than 20 universities and partners each, on a daily basis. We will also discuss how we grew our staff from through student interns, partnering with colleagues, seeking additional funding, and building tools for people to utilize themselves, in the absence of staff.

Conference Concludes 11:45 am (Lunch is on your own)

(Optional) Creating Regional Voices to Tell the Land-Grant Research Story: An Interactive Workshop for Communicators | 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

America’s land-grant agricultural experiment stations and research programs lead hundreds of innovative research projects producing relevant, life-changing impacts.  This workshop, designed especially for communicators, aims to support the creation of communication strategies for each of the five Experiment Station Section regions (Northeast, North Central, Southern, Western, and 1890 Institutions).

In this workshop, communicators will work to develop a clear roadmap for their unique regional voice that also supports a collective national strategy.  Through facilitated workshop activities and collaboration time, participants will be able to connect and coordinate with others from their regions and across the country.  Administrative leaders will also participate to share their vision and commitment to a coordinated communication effort.

All communicators are welcome to connect, engage, create, and be inspired by the promise and potential of illuminating America’s research story.

Sponsored by the five regional experiment station associations: Association of 1890 Research Directors (ARD), North Central Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NCRA), Northeastern Regional Association of State Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (NERA), Southern Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (SAAESD), and Western Association of Agricultural Experiment Station Directors (WAAESD).

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