Looking for a few good speakers

by John Verrico, NAGC Director of Professional Development

NAGC recently put out a Call for
for the 2013 Communications School. Even at this early stage of
planning, the School program is shaping up to be amazing. The theme for the
2013 School is “Government
Communicators: Engaging Citizens in Democracy”
and promises to touch on
some of the most significant issues we face.
As government communicators, we are
focused on helping our agencies reach our widely varied publics. We all know
that geographic dispersion, cultural differences, socio-economic disparities,
language barriers, and accessibility issues make it more challenging to reach
some segments of the public than others. We also know that people only tend to
pay attention to sources of information that they trust. In most cases,
government agencies are not necessarily considered a trusted source, adding to
the many communication barriers we face.
will be a major focus of the 2013 Communications School – reaching these varied
segments of our publics. And not only reaching them, but truly engaging them to
interact with us.

The program planning committee – a wonderful
volunteer group of our peers from among the NAGC membership across the country –
has envisioned that the School’s program be divided into three primary tracks: Outreach, Engagement and Professional
Among other topics, the Outreach track would feature sessions on reaching
underserved audiences, understanding generational and cultural differences, and
making government information accessible.

In the Engagement
track, we’re working to coordinate sessions on leveraging community resources, enabling
grass roots communications, dealing with e
nvironmental justice issues, and
interacting with our publics online.

The Professional Development track will
focus on things like advancing your government career, surviving the approval
chain, explaining negative press to your boss, leading change, and a variety of
specific skills-focused sessions.

Since these
topics are not unique to government communicators here in the United States, we’re
reaching out to our international partners to share what they are doing. We
hope to have some participants from the newly formed South Eastern European
Government Communicators forum who are working to establish open and
transparent government in that region. We’re also looking at a session proposal
from our neighbors in Canada about a successful video campaign.

So, do you know
any good speakers to join this program? Have you encountered any experts in
outreach or engagement that you’d recommend? Do you have a success story, best
practice or a nightmare of a case study that you’d like to share?

Visit the NAGC Website to download a Speaker
. Pass around the
Call for
to coworkers and professional affiliates.

We hope to see you at the 2013 NAGC Communications School at the Sheraton
Pentagon City Hotel, Arlington, VA, April 16-19, 2013.

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