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Session Summaries


Lauren Cox

No Spin Zone: Transparency and Accountability in Government Communications

When the news cycle is 24/7, the world can be accessed with the click of a button, and trust in institutions is at an all-time low, being a professional communicator in government can be daunting. Now more than ever, a commitment to accuracy is critical to success.


Michael Suchecki

Playing with Fire: Digital Communications in Congress

In his talk “Playing with Fire,” congressional digital operative Michael Suchecki will walk through the three fundamental rules for success in digital communications and public relations in government.


Vincent Thompson

Crisis Communication in the Political Arena: Building and Protecting Reputation

Communication during a crisis is one of the key tools politicians, parties and governments can use to manage perceptions and reduce the impact of a crisis. Mr. Vincent Thompson will share his practical advice and strategies garnered over 30 years to help media professionals help clients build and protect their reputations.


Brendan McPhillips

The Power of Persuasion: Influencing Public Opinion in Politics

Techniques and strategies employed by campaigns to shape public opinion and influence political outcomes.

In today's polarized political landscape, persuading an electorate has never been more challenging. From calling voters and knocking on their doors, to TV ads and campaign rallies, what are the strategies and tactics that actually move voters' opinions and help deliver victories. Brendan has over a decade of experience managing political campaigns from city council to the presidential level. He will discuss campaign tactics and key decision points that he has encountered throughout his career that have made the difference between winning and losing.


Hira Shaikh

Intersectionality in Politics, Government, and Public Affairs

Navigating the Challenges of Communicating Across Multiple Identities

In the fast-paced world of politics and government, genuinely connecting genuinely with a diverse electorate is crucial. However, political leaders often struggle to strike the right tone or understand their constituents' complexities. Hira Shaikh brings a fresh perspective on the challenges and opportunities of bringing intersectionality to her roles in campaigns, government, and PR.  Attendees will learn about crafting inclusive messaging and navigating complex policy issues to respectfully engage diverse communities.


Dr. Heather LaMarre

International PR During the Time of Social Change: Building Trusted Partnerships through Corporate and Government Diplomacy

The future of corporate and government PR lies in strong ties with trusted partners. This talk will cover the current state of international corporate and government diplomacy and PR efforts, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing multinational organizations, international NGOs, and their government partners. We will also discuss the role of PR professionals in building strong ties with partners, how NGOs partner with multinationals and governments to build innovative CSR programs, and the role of U.S. government in facilitating these PR activities.


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