ISPRA 2020 Virtual Fall Conference

2020 Virtual Fall Conference


Click above to access your conference account and links to sessions. Materials recommended by speakers will be included in the conference news feed.

Attendees: Please check your email “junk” folder for notices from The emails will contain reminders about sessions and links to videos of past sessions.

2020 Virtual Fall Conference Details

Keynote – Oct. 28, 9 a.m.
ISPRA Keynote Todd Hunt presents, “Communication Bleeps and Blunders in Business”

You said one thing; your teacher, parent or community member heard something else. Nobody is wrong, but now everyone is confused—and you get to handle it! Laugh and learn as business humorist Todd Hunt shares important lessons wrapped in humor, demonstrating how school public relations professionals can communicate better and become more successful.

Session #1 – 11:00 a.m.
David and Goliath PR: Assembling your Communications from a Large Team to a One-person Office
Jim Cummings, APR, senior strategic consultant, CESO Communications
Whether you’re part of a communications team or juggling multiple tasks as a one-person school PR office, building an effective office is critical to your success. Jim Cummings, APR, spent the last 32 years working for school districts large and small in Arizona. He has built and directed large PR teams and has worked as a lone communicator. In this session, he will share with you how to organize school PR teams and the one-person office so the difference between David and Goliath is barely noticeable.

Session #2 – 2:00 p.m.
The Power of Digital Storytelling
Derek Duncan, APR, Digital Communications Coordinator at Parkway Schools in Saint Louis, MO.
In today’s mobile tech world, if you’re not tapping the power of digital storytelling, you are missing critical connections to your key audiences. This workshop will highlight the latest trends in video creation, walk through steps for developing video ideas that align with key messages, highlight storytelling and interview tips and more. Gain a better understanding of the power of digital storytelling to build and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders.

Session #3 – Oct. 29, 9:00 a.m.
Communicating to Stressed Audiences in Unpredictable Times
Bob Noyed, APR, vice president, CESO Communications
The impact of the pandemic on school districts has been and will continue to be profound. As communicators, we have been asked to create a communication pipeline for parents, staff and students that is reliable and predictable even though we are experiencing unpredictable times. In this session, we will share ideas on how to connect with our audiences through focused communications tactics while creating a sense of hope with our audiences.

Session #4 – 1:00 p.m.
Personal Wellness for Stressed People
Kristin Magette, APR, author, fmr. director of communications, Eudora School District, Eudora, KS
In a year that’s anything but normal, school PR has become more intense than ever. In 2019, the World Health Organization recognized occupational burnout as a serious condition. And the mission-driven, trauma-sensitive, consensus-building, pandemic-burdened, always-connected lifestyle of school PR puts your personal wellness at risk. But that doesn’t mean your job – or your wellbeing – is game-over. We will learn the factors that can increase the risks of toxic stress and burnout and explore simple strategies you can use right away. Leave with actionable ideas that will allow you to deliver the greatest value to your district, while staying well for yourself and your loved ones.

7:00 p.m.
ISPRA Virtual Social Hour
Hosted by ISPRA Board
Join us for an hour of decompressing, making connections and enjoying good company!

Session #5 – Oct. 30, 9:00 a.m.
Expanding Your Communications Team by Partnering with Your Staff
Brett Clark, APR, director of communications, Maine Township High School District, Park Ridge, Illinois; and senior strategic consultant, CESO Communications
The best way to make sure your parents and community are well informed is to first make sure your staff are well informed. Learn about the ways you can ensure staff are partners in school communications as well as the guidelines that all staff need to help them navigate communications pitfalls.

Session #6 – 1:00 p.m.
Media Relations and Legal Obligations
Andrew J. Bracken, attorney, education law practice area leader, Ahlers and Cooney, P.C.
Drew Bracken is back with practical legal tips for working with the media. An upfront and unapologetic supporter of protecting school districts.

2:30 p.m.
ISPRA Membership Business
Hosted by ISPRA Board
Members are welcome to stay for a chapter update, including upcoming opportunities to continue to grow with ISPRA!

Conference Registration – Open Now!
The 2020 ISPRA Virtual Fall Conference is a value for members at a reduced rate of $95. Non-member rate: $125. Members, be sure to enter your membership discount code: ISPRAmembers2020

Conference attendees will receive a welcome kit in the mail before the conference if registration is completed by Oct. 21. Late registration kits may arrive after the conference begins.

The ISPRA 2020 Virtual Fall Conference is hosted by RethinkEDU. If you do not receive a registration confirmation email from RethinkEDU in your inbox, please check your spam folder. Once you are registered, access your personal profile and conference sessions.

Questions? Email