PR Power Hours

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Fast, Focused and Always on Fridays!
PR Power Hours are live at Noon Eastern Time.
(11 a.m. Central, 10 a.m. Mountain, 9 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Alaska)

NSPRA’s PR Power Hours offer an economical and convenient way to continue your professional development. These webinars provide an interactive forum for learning best practices from top experts in school communication.

Registration for each PR Power Hour is only $59 for NSPRA members. For non-NSPRA members, it is $89 per registered attendee.

Register for five or more Power Hours and receive access to the audio file of each program you purchase for no additional fee. Registrants to individual PR Power Hours can purchase the audio file for an additional fee of just $10.

Missed a PR Power Hour? You can still purchase and listen to the entire recording for only $69 (members) and $99 (non-NSPRA members).

You can register online for the PR Power Hours using the links below or use the registration form.

2019-2020 PR Power Hour Series

September 27, 2019
Wellness in School PR: Why, How & Now.

School is just starting ... so why are you already overwhelmed? In May, the World Health Organization recognized occupational burnout as a serious condition. And the mission-driven, trauma-sensitive, consensus-building, always-connected lifestyle of school PR puts your personal wellness at risk. Join us to learn factors that can increase -- or decrease -- your risk of toxic stress and burnout. And learn strategies you can begin using right away to ensure you deliver the greatest value to your district -- while staying well for yourself and your loved ones.


Panelists: Kristin Magette, APR, marketing writer, Willdan Group, Inc. and author, The Social Media Imperative; Shawn McKillop, APR, manager of communications and community engagement, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, Hamilton, ON, Canada; and Heather Carter, chief of social work and attendance services, York Region District School Board, Aurora, ON, Canada

Moderator: Cathy Kedjidjian, APR, director, communications & strategic planning, Glenview (Ill.) School District 34 and NSPRA vice president at large for communication technology & innovation

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

October 11, 2019
Creating Big-Impact Videos on a Small Budget

Videos connect people to the stories of your schools, and with the sharing power of social media, their reach can extend well beyond the written word alone. Discover how to make videos with a big impact on your school community without straining your communications budget. The presenters will discuss how to find stories that advance your goals, pre-planning for great videos, scripted and unscripted shoots, filming and editing on a smartphone, the use of royalty free music and animation templates, creating closed captions and other elements of big-impact, small-budget video production.


Panelists: Samantha Fitzgerald, communications specialist, Park Hill School District, Kansas City, Mo.; and Paul Weller, media services coordinator, Central Indiana Educational Service Center, Indianapolis, Ind.

Moderator: Patrick Gallaway, communications director, New Albany-Plain (Ohio) Local Schools, and NSPRA Mideast Region vice president

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

November 15, 2019
Communicating Beyond Language Barriers in a Diverse School System

Today many of the school systems seeing growth in their student populations are finding it among families of non-English and non-native English speakers. The success of these students relies heavily on their families’ ability to understand how to work with schools to support their children’s education – and that understanding requires effective communications. Learn how two districts – one where a third of students are English language learners and another with a large Hispanic, migrant population – are working to strengthen district-family relationships through communication strategies aimed at engaging non-English and non-native English speakers.


Panelists: Helen Lloyd, APR, director of communications, Alexandria City (Va.) Public Schools, and 2019 NSPRA Gold Medallion winner; and Jessica Morgan, director of communications, Sunnyside (Wash.) School District

Moderator: Curtis Campbell, public information officer, Shoreline (Wash.) Public Schools, and NSPRA Northwest Region vice president

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

December 6, 2019
Recruiting and Keeping Great Teachers Through Effective Communication

Signs of unhappiness among current teachers are growing, and the demand for teachers – particularly those of English language learners or in STEM fields and special education – will far outpace the supply for the foreseeable future. Even if you can’t raise salaries, communications can raise interest in the profession and the appeal of your district as a place to work and live. Discover why communications is a vital element in teacher recruitment and satisfaction today, and explore the power of teaming up communications and human resources for more effective recruitment campaigns.


Panelists: Brian White, AASPA Region 5 representative and executive director of HR and operations, Auburn-Washburn USD 437, Topeka, Kan.; and Martin Weishaar, APR, director of communications, Auburn-Washburn USD 437, Topeka, Kan.

Moderator: Mellissa Braham, associate director, NSPRA

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

January 17, 2020
Engaging Staff in Internal Communications

Ever wonder how incorrect information about your district spreads in your community? Uninformed district employees are often the cause. That’s why effective internal communications may be more important than you think. Successful communication is most common in schools with well-informed, effective educators and support staff. Learn how San Juan Unified School District overcame its internal communication issues. These presenters will share practices to communicate valuable information within a school system through tactics such as launching a new intranet, revamping newsletters and developing a new districtwide internal communication protocol.


Panelists: Raj Rai, communication coordinator, and Bret Van Blaricom, communication specialist II, San Juan (Calif.) Unified School District

Updated Moderator: Heidi Otero, director of communications, Arizona School Boards Association, Phoenix, Ariz., and NSPRA vice president for diversity engagement

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

February 7, 2020
Restorative Practices: Building Stakeholder Understanding and Support

Restorative practices are taking hold in an increasing number of school systems, according to federal data. The model offers a more equitable and educational strategy for discipline, but external and internal critics who see it as “soft” can trigger challenging conversations for school systems, particularly in relation to school safety. Learn how the presenters’ school systems are communicating about restorative practices in ways that build stakeholder understanding and support while also dispelling myths/biases about the strategy. Gain tips for using internal and external communication strategies to transform the philosophy of restorative practices into action in your school system.


Panelists: Akwi Nji, director of communications, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Community School District; Royal Gurley, Ed.D., assistant superintendent, Dinwiddie (Va.) County Public School; and Kristi Sandvik​, Ed.D., superintendent, Buckeye (Ariz.) Elementary School District

Updated Moderator: Lesley Bruinton, APR, public relations coordinator, Tuscaloosa City (Ala.) Schools, and NSPRA president-elect

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

April 24, 2020
The Pros of Podcasting: Connecting While on the Go

Almost everyone has access to their smart phones! Many of these devices are in the hands of your students, family members and staff. So why not reach your audiences by building an audio brand in your community? Podcasts are a great medium to be authentic and to connect with your audience on the go. Presenters Justin Dearing and Erin McCann will share the steps of launching a podcast for a school system. Learn the tips and tools you’ll want to consider before you start.


Panelists: Justin Dearing, assistant director of communications,  Carroll Independent School District, Southlake, Texas and Erin McCann, director of digital media and marketing, Allen (Texas) Independent School District

Moderator: Mychal Frost, director of marketing and communications, Rock Hill (S.C.) Schools, and NSPRA Southeast Region vice president

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

May 8, 2020
Building Trust, Community and Transparency with a DIGITAL State of the District Event

An annual “state of the district event” can help a school district build community, trust and transparency. In a world changed by COVID-19, trust, community and transparency has become even more critical for districts. A digital state of the district is an excellent platform to let families and the community know what comes next as you wind down the current school year and prepare to kick off a new school year next fall.

You can use this event to showcase your district’s accomplishments to families and the larger community in a fun, engaging way. Now more than ever, families and community want to hear how your district will move forward with educating their students. Learn some best practices on how to develop a plan for this event and hear other districts’ success stories. We will also talk about how to transfer what has typically been an in-person event to one that resonates online.


Panelists: Lesley Rogers, APR, senior VP of education, and Kahliah Laney, education communications manager, Strategies 360, Seattle, Wash.; and Shawn Batstone, assistant superintendent, Tumwater (Wash.) School District

Moderator: Peg Mannion, APR, community relations coordinator, Glenbard Township High School District 87, Glen Ellyn, Ill., and NSPRA North Central Region vice president

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Building a Team of Ambassadors to Tell Your Story

Who tells the story of your school system in the produce aisle, on the sports sidelines or at the weekend BBQ? If it’s usually the uninformed or the naysayers, then it’s time to build a team of ambassadors for your school system! Learn how to empower your staff and engage your community in becoming well-informed, enthusiastic and active ambassadors for your schools. Presenters Steve Edwards and Dr. David Sovine will discuss their district’s community engagement program to develop advocates, and presenter Terri McHugh, APR, will share practical ideas for engaging more staff as brand ambassadors.


Panelists: Terri McHugh, APR, executive director of community relations, Schaumburg (Ill.) School District 54; Steve Edwards, coordinator of policy and communications, Frederick County Public Schools, Winchester, Va.; and David Sovine, Ed.D., superintendent of schools, Frederick County Public Schools, Winchester, Va., and NSPRA vice president at large – superintendent of schools


Moderator: Joe Ferdani, APR, chief communications officer, Adams 12 (Colo.) Five Star Schools, and NSPRA Southwest Region vice president

Purchase Recording!

Qualified webinar attendees are eligible to receive one APR Renewal credit.

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