2020 Annual Conference

Pre-Recorded Conference Presentations

Breakout Session Details

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  • 2020 Pre-Recorded Breakout Session Details

These speakers generously agreed to participate via pre-recorded sessions. We thank them for their generosity of spirit and support of ACE 2020!

All registrants will receive the recording links prior to the start of the conference.

Audience Level | B- Beginner, A- Advanced, M- Mixed

Session Type | SS - Sharing Session: A lecture-type presentation focused on providing practical experience the presenter has gained in a specific situation(s) or as it relates to a new idea or concept. This session provides one or two key lessons learned for participants to take home and apply or think about. HS - How-to Session: A lecture-type presentation where most of the time is focused on providing participants specific details on how to begin, further develop, or master a specific skill or tool. This session provides a process or task list to participants to use on this topic when they return home.  AS - Application Session: A combination of lecture and audience participation, which could include collaborative discussion/problem solving or hands-on experience in using or applying a topic, tool, or concept of interest.



What’s Hot, What’s Not When Engaging Followers on Extension Facebook Platforms       

M, SS    

Kenna Kesler and Kelsey Hall, Utah State University            

What makes Utah State University’s Extension Sustainability Facebook page ranked 5th overall in likes for the university? Join us for a session highlighting key findings from a case study of USU Extension Sustainability’s Facebook page to share examples of how to increase overall audience engagement through powerful messaging and visuals. Learn to build community and start conversations about hot topics, such as land, air, food, energy, and water. Prepare to walk away with tips and tricks you can start implementing in your own Extension Facebook communications.

On the Campaign Trail: Developing Social Media Campaigns

M, HS   

Justin Miller, Auburn University, Katie Nichols, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Maggie Lawrence, Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Let's hit the campaign trail. Social media campaigns are extremely useful tools in today's industry. Whether you are trying to raise money or raise awareness, these campaigns can help an organization further extend their audiences. In this session, we will take a look into the different types of social media campaigns and how to develop them. You will learn how to create SMART objectives and transform them into reality to generate measurable results sure to please your administration. We will also look at some of the more successful social media campaigns from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and have a group discussion on how you can develop campaigns for your organization.


Becoming an Extension News Service: Telling Your Great Stories Instead of Passing Them on to the Media and Hoping for the Best         

M, SS    

Chris Branam, Oregon State University

"Newsroom employment across the United States continues to decline, driven primarily by job losses at newspapers. According to a recent study, from 2008 to 2018, newsroom employment in the U.S. dropped by 25%.

What isn’t going away are the great stories about cooperative extension and agricultural research that university communications offices traditionally pass on to the media through news releases or tips. How can we continue to get our stories out into the public without having to rely on the media to do it? The news team in Oregon State University’s Extension and Experiment Station Communications office has a potential solution.

This past fall, we launched an initiative to write and publish more stories to our website instead of pitching them to the media and hoping for coverage. We’re strategically tagging and sharing the stories to increase the potential that they be seen by the thousands of visitors to our site and followers on our social media accounts, potentially growing our audience.

 In this session, we will share our workflow, our successes, our challenges, and our ultimate goal: to operate as an Oregon State University Extension news service."

The Quest for National Media Coverage: Case Studies and Strategies for Success

M, SS    

Samantha Murray, Ruth Borger & Tory Moore, University of Florida/IFAS  

Going after national media coverage can often feel like an epic journey. But the twists and turns, setbacks and victories are all worth it when it means national exposure for your program or faculty member. This session will present recent adventures in national media relations with outlets such as NPR, the Washington Post and CBS. Attendees will gain strategies for initiating and managing national media coverage of agricultural and natural resources programs and experts.

MARKETING TRACK                                                                         

Marketing Planning for Local Extension Centers – Getting Your Statewide Team on Board              

M, HS   

Julie Hayworth-Perman & Justin Moore, NC State Extension           

Time- and budget-deprived Extension agents and staff at local centers often promote programs at the last minute rather than taking a strategic approach to marketing their Extension brand and services. While states may have a high-level marketing plan, when it comes to marketing Extension, many find that no one plan meets the diverse needs of every county. Having faced this challenge in North Carolina, NC State Extension staff have developed a “do-it-yourself” process to guide local centers as they develop their own plans, while encouraging alignment with state level goals. In this session, we will explore the process and materials developed by NC State Extension marketing communications team members, with the goal of inspiring participants to work with their local centers to prioritize and improve marketing efforts. Participants will leave with planning materials that they can adapt and use in their own state, along with do’s and don’ts to help successfully introduce the process at the local level.

Don't skip discovery: How marketing communicators can help uncover programming needs


Ruth Inman, Oklahoma State University

Often, communications and marketing teams are approached by clients with a specific request. And often – especially if we've worked with the client before, believe we understand their needs or simply because we are too busy – we skip the project discovery process. While jumping straight into developing a strategy or producing deliverables can help your clients achieve their perceived goals and objectives, thoughtful project discovery can help useful for program development. This session will draw upon examples of how marketing communications project discovery has helped Extension specialists at Oklahoma State University uncover programming needs.

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

M, SS    

Justin Moore, NC State Extension 

"Despite broad-ranging marketing and a digital-first focus, communications teams sometimes struggle to engage audiences beyond the “traditional” Extension demo: 55+, white and rural. We proudly serve all North Carolinians, but our state, like many others, is changing. Rapid growth and population shifts revolve around urban centers, where Extension’s presence is often less pronounced.

 Sound familiar? 

 In this session, we’ll review our web video series, Homegrown, that was launched to connect with younger, diverse, urban-centric audiences in authentic, meaningful ways. The series tackles timely issues with practical, science-backed tips and info from Extension experts, offering “everyday solutions for everyday lives.” 

Homegrown has shown tremendous promise resonating with millennial families. In sharing our experiences, we aim to provide a blueprint for other states 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 content development and production processes, program guidelines, marketing efforts and metrics.

Join us and discover how NC State Extension leverages existing resources within a vertical marketing system to deliver a lifestyle-themed series that engages those elusive millennials, helping ensure our relevance for years to come.



Into the K-12 Classroom: Strategies for Reaching Learners            

M, SS    

Barbara Chamberlin, New Mexico State University

With our games, animations, apps and virtual labs, we've found specific strategies work best for designing for the classroom, supporting teachers, and reaching learners. We'll share the products we've created, demo the support videos and companion curricula, and give our top recommendations on blending classroom needs with our desired learning objectives.


Managing Extension Websites with Limited Resources    

M, SS    

Michael Bergland-Riese & Anne Holz, University of Nebraska–Lincoln         

"With limited resources and people, how do you manage numerous Extension websites? Using a very strategic mindset, Nebraska Extension has developed a web strategy to manage 75+ sites with only a handful of web professionals. By using a shared framework, templates, and training, Nebraska Extension has created a system where faculty and staff are encouraged to manage their websites. 

 During this session, we will discuss:

  Using a framework for a consistent, cohesive website design that’s easy to navigate and adheres to brand standards.

  Key components of a county website content strategy.

  Website auditing for HTML errors, Web accessibility concerns, and ways to fix it.

  Tools and training to make web pages easier to build.

  Shared governance and university web developers network that allows for the sharing of knowledge and resources across the University.

  Future plans on improving consistency and shareability of content between sites."

The Extension web (r)evolution: Lessons and solutions from the front lines

M, SS, AS              

Jennifer Alexander, Oregon State University, Michael Bergland-Riese, Nebraska Extension, Mary Wirth, Penn State Extension, Stacey Stearns, UConn Extension

"Several ACE member institutions are in the midst of significant web overhauls, CRM system adoption processes and rethinking the associated communication strategies. If you’re not yet, you’re probably at least thinking about it. 

 Each initiative is at a different place in the implementation and adoption process. Common best practices and innovative approaches are emerging. Panelists will briefly share their overall strategy, a key success story and a pain point they are working to resolve. Discussion will focus on ideas for how we can best support our collective goals across the land grant and Extension system. The session will include audience discussion and Q&A. 

Leave with insights for planning your next steps and connections with others who have “been there, done that” or are at a similar place in their journey.   


Tailoring Crisis Communication Training for Underserved Farmers of Leafy Greens in California's Santa Maria Valley  

M, SS    

Karen Cannon, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo                         

This session will describe the progress to date of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional USDA-funded food safety outreach project designed to address challenges faced by underserved and socially disadvantaged farmers of leafy greens in California’s Santa Maria Valley. Upon implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act, farms meeting the USDA’s definition of small and very small (those earning a three-year average of between $25,000 and $250,000) were given extra time to comply with the law. However, this group of farmers faces significant challenges in complying with FSMA. Our faculty team has designed a set of training and planning sessions to meet the needs of this target group, one of which focuses on crisis communication. Crisis communication training and planning are often available only to groups and businesses that have the money to hire an outside organization to deliver such programming. However, as we have seen recently, food safety concerns related to leafy greens are on the rise. The session will briefly outline the latest in crisis communication planning and preparation and report on the first round of training for this 2-year project, sharing insights that may help others to extend this work in the future.

Communications Before, During and After Disasters        

M, AS    

Becky Koch, North Dakota State University                          

After a brief introduction to emergency management principles and the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), we'll have an informal discussion of how communicators are -- or should be -- involved in disaster communications with our organizations. If you have ideas, resources, examples, etc. to share, please bring them. But if you haven't been involved in disaster communications, bring questions and possibilities. Participants will leave with ideas of how they can provide leadership for disaster communications in their organizations.


Be a Superhero: Effective Executive Speechwriting          

A, HS     

Chris Moran, University of Florida/ IFAS, Faith Peppers, University of Georgia, David Murray, National Speechwriters Association - Invited

Speeches can make or break an administrator. You can be the key to helping your administrators shine behind the podium. This session will help you learn the finer points of good speechwriting, how to weave your organization’s brand story into a speech, use a friendly audience to test new brand messages and initiatives, tailoring a speech for the audience, and how to effectively repurpose speeches across multiple platforms for efficiency and brand message consistency.

The Journal of Applied Communications: A valuable resource for all ACE members           

M, SS    

Lisa Lundy, University of Florida                

This session will hear from recent editors of the journal as they share relevant findings from recently published articles in the Journal of Applied Communications (JAC). Participants will hear about how the JAC's research and professional development articles can enhance their work. Participants will also learn about how to submit their own work to the JAC.

Let’s Talk GMOs: Creating Consistent Communication Messages

M, AS    

Stacey Stearns, UConn Extension, Cindy Tian, Professor - Biotechnology and UConn Stem Cell Institute, UConn Department of Animal Science, Bonnie Burr, Assistant Director & Department Head, UConn Extension"

"Backlashes against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) continue to gain momentum despite their benefits to the environment, producers and consumers. There is a gap between acceptance of GMOs by farmers/scientists and the consumers. GMO communication campaigns have failed to address consumer concerns. Conflicting information causes 80% of consumers surveyed to be confused and doubt their food choices. In a representative survey conducted by GMO Answers, 69% of consumers could not define GMOs, and support for GMOs in food products was only 32%.

 Misaligned messages from farmers, food labels, and friends further confuse consumers. Suspicion surrounding food technology continues to grow. Land-grant universities can play a role in communicating the science of GMOs to consumers and farmers. However, to maximize our impact our communication messages must be consistent.  

 Our group has created consistent messaging for scientists, communicators and farmers, to use surrounding GMOs. In this workshop, we’ll share tools for connecting bench science and social science on GMOs, and communication messages that will allow land-grant universities to become a proactive part of GMO communication with consumers and the media. Such consistent messages will help consumers make informed decisions; farmers share their story, and will positively impact the work of our scientific community."

How to make your CEO a national thought leader            

A, SS     

"Faith Peppers, University of Georgia, Chris Moran, University of Florida, Brian Meyer, Iowa State University"              

"There are many ways our deans, directors and VPs rise to prominence on the national stage. The really good ones understand the valuable role strategic communicators play in their success. Are you stepping up to the plate?

What you will learn in this session:

 • How to step into this vital role to lift your leader to the thought-leader spotlight.

 • How to identify and define critical national issues relevant to your organization and your leader’s area of expertise.

 • How to develop an administrative vision plan and communicate the vision effectively.

 • How to get your leaders on the radar for national media."

PUBLISHING GRAPHIC DESIGN TRACK                                                           

If the Walls Could Talk  

M, SS    

Bruce Depree, Auburn University, Janette Gyunn, Alabama Cooperative Extension 

In the life of institutions and agencies, missions and messages are sometimes lost. At Auburn University, the recent makeover of the Alabama Extension state headquarters presented communications staffers with the opportunity to refocus the company story in a fresh way. Faced with blank walls and an abundance of meeting rooms and common areas, we asked ourselves, What do we want our new building to say? Could words and pictures, colors and typestyles actually welcome and inspire the hundreds who walk through our halls each day? In our session, we will share the challenges of branding a building. Learn how Alabama Extension communicators and administrators came together as a cohesive team to create forward-focused messages; clean, high-impact graphics; informative digital signs; and reimagined work spaces—all with the goal of visual unity, programmatic themes, and a pleasing aesthetic. Session attendees will learn new ways to collaborate, create 'go beyond' branding, rethink and project company messages, display digital signage, affirm mission and impact statements, complement existing program themes, and gain a better understanding of graphic design.

 Ask yourself, What do your walls say?"

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