Conferences & Training
Annual Conference for Publications Professionals

Program

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Day 1, Monday, May 14

NOON-1:00 PM
Registration

1:00-2:00

Conference Welcome and Icebreakers

2:15-3:30
Creatives (Should) Run the World
Creatives are in a unique and powerful place —for they quite literally shape our future. Yet we often find our lives negatively impacted by a lack of creativity. Fear of change. Reluctance to try new things. Resistance to risk. Anti-creativity results in stagnation, or worse. Creativity is not a fringe talent or skill. It is a key ingredient to growth, evolution and advancement. How do we train ourselves and our teams to be more creative? How do we foster creativity at work? We must stop expecting creativity to be a spark of genius or something that functions like a machine, and start recognizing it for the critical human skill that it is. Our futures depend on it.

3:45-4:45
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • What Would Chip and Joanna Do? How a Redesign is Like an Episode of "Fixer Upper"
    The down-to-earth couple behind HGTV's hit series is known for transforming outdated homes into the showstoppers of Waco, Texas. What if we apply some of Chip and Jo's principles of redesigning homes to our own magazines? The staff of Terp at the University of Maryland recently completed its first redesign, and its process and experience, from sticking to a budget to busting down walls to taking risks might be relevant to your magazine—even if nobody's using shiplap.
  • Can I Ask You a Question?
    Interviewing a source or a subject for a story is more than just asking questions and recording the answers. If you are to unearth and gather the information that will prove vital to any story, you need to embrace both the science and the art of the process. This session offers up a basketful of helpful tips and advice on how to conduct the perfect interview.
  • Trends in Higher Ed Recruitment Marketing: An Avalanche of Options
    Beth Elzer has spent the past year visiting as many educational fairs as possible--both large and small --and of various audiences: undergrad, postgrad, business school, international focused, and specialized subject focused. Along the way, she has collected hundreds of current samples from all kinds of institutions: state, private, large, small, etc. She shares trends, best practice, insights and mistakes seen in this collection. Today's audience is being bombarded with options; examine how to make your institution's material memorable while staying true to your brand. She walks you through a case study of one of her recent projects in this area, offering her advice on how to navigate this challenging journey.

4:45-5:00
Day 1 Wrap-Up and Questions in Elective Session Groups

5:00-6:00
Networking Reception

6:00
Conference Adjourns for the Day

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Day 2, Tuesday, May 15

8:00-9:00 AM
Breakfast Roundtables

9:00-10:15 
Lighten Up and Get Real
Our institutions have high missions. One of the more effective ways to communicate importance of purpose is by being conversational. Counterintuitive? Pretty logical, actually. Risky? Not really. A hard sell to the boss? Sure, it is. So let's talk about how to make progress. The rewards are worth the effort, measured in the engagement of our constituents and their trust in the institution.

10:30-11:45 
Finding Your Voice
Each one of our institutions has a distinct voice, a personality that your constituents can recognize immediately. Identify your school's voice and learn how to bring that voice alive in the pages of your periodicals and multimedia efforts.

11:45 AM-1:15 PM
Lunch on your own

1:15-2:15 
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • Integrated Communications Strategy for Student Recruitment
    This session walks you through a case study that demonstrates how research became the basis for compelling work across many platforms—from a viewbook to a website.
  • The Art of Storytelling
    A wise now-retired editor once said: "Life is a narrative. From birth to death, from discovery to epiphany, we explain ourselves--along with the greatest ideas and the simplest of transactions-- through stories." This session examines just how to do that, delineating the difference between a story and a topic and offers guidance on how to craft a compelling narrative.
  • The Doctor Is In (repeats Friday at 10:30 AM) 
    It can sometimes feel like we work in a bubble -are we doing great work? Is this piece really hitting the target? Does this design push the envelope? If you have a project you'd like to get some unbiased opinions on, grab a couple copies and bring them to this one-on-one session with an expert to ask for their fresh pair of eyes to give it the once-over. You'll get the chance to hear what they think you are doing right --or how you could be doing it better. Or if you just need a shoulder to cry on and a pep talk for a challenging project, they are good for that too! Please note, this session is for personal consultations, so limited slots are available. You will have the chance to sign up on site.

2:30-3:45 
What's Right, What's Wrong: 25 Years of Alumni Magazines
Dale Keiger has been writing for, editing, and reading alumni magazines for 25 years. He has a few ideas about what works, what doesn't, and what ought to happen next.

4:00- 5:00 
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • The Kids Are (Always) Right: High School Student Focus Group
    How does your school's website or viewbook measure up with the high school crowd? Are prospective students truly swayed by pretty photos, student blogs and snazzy infographics? Let's face it: How much do you really know about the viewing/reading habits of a 17 year old? Our panel is here to help!
  • Strategic Thinking and Persuasive Writing
    We hear it all the time: strategic thinking. Take heart—some just call it thinking. Same with persuasive writing. Nothing magic about it—most writers set out to persuade in one way or another. There's a link between these two, so let's uncover it and demystify them. In the end we'll find an approach to solving any problem you'll encounter in your work, and to moving constituents and colleagues the way you'd like them to be moved.
  • Make It Great: A Practical Guide to Partnering with a Designer
    Truly great publications give form to a school's aspirations, capture the spirit of the institution, and—oh, right!—are wonderful to look at and read. This happens when a confident editorial voice and a strong, appropriate design are brought into alignment. It's a grand partnership, but how do you work with a designer to bring about a result that exceeds all expectations? No small task, but Rebecca Lindell, editor of Northwestern University's Weinberg Magazine (winner of a CASE Grand Gold award for magazine publishing improvement) and Rick Landesberg of Landesberg Design offer practical, useful and insightful takeaways for making the most out of the editor/designer partnership and the redesign process as a whole.

5:00-5:15 
Day 2 Wrap-up in Elective Session Groups

5:15 
Conference Adjourns for the Day
Dinner on your own

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Day 3, Wednesday, May 16

8:00-9:00 AM
Breakfast Roundtables

9:00-10:15 
Ten Ways to Improve Client Relations*
Admit it. Your clients make you crazy. But what if you are really the problem? Get 10 steps (that hopefully work) to improve the relationship. 

*outcome not guaranteed

10:30-11:30 
Elective Sessions (choose one)

  • The Doctor Is In
    It can sometimes feel like we work in a bubble -are we doing great work? Is this piece really hitting the target? Does this design push the envelope? If you have a project you'd like to get some unbiased opinions on, grab a couple copies and bring them to this one-on-one session with an expert to ask for their fresh pair of eyes to give it the once-over. You'll get the chance to hear what they think you are doing right --or how you could be doing it better. Or if you just need a shoulder to cry on and a pep talk for a challenging project, they are good for that too! Please note, this session is for personal consultations, so limited slots are available. You will have the chance to sign up on site.
  • Writing the Magazine Feature
    In this session, we deconstruct a magazine feature story, revealing the essential elements of feature writing. From there, we construct a writer's toolbox full of instruction and inspiration for you to use on your next feature assignment.
  • When You Are the Publications "Team"
    The maximum number of balls anyone has been able to juggle has been recorded as nine. Nonetheless, most publications professionals are expected to juggle many more items than that. Rebecca Lindell, associate director of content strategy at Northwestern's Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, shares some of the tips, tricks and strategies she's developed over more than 20 years in higher education, working more often than not as the sole or primary person responsible for multiple communication projects. 

11:30 AM-NOON
Conference Wrap-up and Final Questions

NOON
Conference Adjourns

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Day 1 Day 2 Day 3