PR Power Hours

Fast, Focused and Always on Fridays!
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PR Power Hours broadcast 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 you with an interactive forum for learning best practices from top experts in school communication.

Registration for each of these PR Power Hours is only $50 per registered attendee for NSPRA members. For non-NSPRA members, it is $80 per registered attendee.

Registrants to individual PR Power Hours will receive the audio file for an additional fee of just $10.

Register for five or more Power Hours and receive access to the audio file of each program you purchase for no additional fee.

Register for each Power Hour below or download the Power Hour flyer and return it to NSPRA.


Power Hour Schedule for 2016-2017


September 23, 2016 - Noon Eastern Time

What To Do When "It Hits the Fan"

Effective communication will assist you in getting through a crisis in your school community. And when done professionally, it will also protect one of your system’s most precious characteristics, its credibility. Whether big or seemingly small, any crisis can damage your district’s well-being. Social media and built-in community networks easily spread their messages to fan the flames of even a small incident.

Today, concerns for school safety are stronger than ever. The challenges are real and we need to be prepared for any negative occurrence in our schools. This session will help you fine-tune your crisis planning steps with the assistance of two veteran school communication professionals. They will draw from their collective experience and also pull highly relevant information from NSPRA’s new 4th edition of The Complete Crisis Communication Management Manual for Schools.  

Kaufman   McHugh

Panelists: Rick Kaufman, APR, executive director, community relations & emergency management, Bloomington (Minn.) Public Schools; and Terri McHugh, APR, community relations director, School District 54, Schaumburg, Ill.


Moderator: Athena Vadnais, APR, director, communications and community engagement, Gresham-Barlow School District, Gresham, Ore., and NSPRA Northwest Region vice president

Exchange Page (Access limited to this Power Hour's registrants)

October 14, 2016 - Noon Eastern Time

Gender Inclusiveness: Traversing the Intersection of the Law and Practice

Every student has the right to attend school in a safe and supportive setting, regardless of gender. This is supported by a number of legal protections at the federal, state and local level. Yet some of the most unsettling challenges parents, families and schools encounter involve grappling with the legal issues around raising and schooling gender-expansive or transgender children. How can we effectively take the law into consideration while implementing gender inclusive practices in our schools that respect gender diversity, support struggling parents and educate our publics? This program will help your district traverse the intersection of law and practice by outlining some of the challenges, sharing some legal principles to keep in mind and offering tips for informal advocacy to safeguard the rights of all students to be affirmed and supported for who they are.


Panelists: Joel Baum, senior director, professional development and family services, Gender Spectrum, San Leandro, Calif.; and Asaf Orr, Esq., Transgender Youth Project staff attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights, San Francisco, Calif.


Moderator: Trent Allen, APR, senior director, community relations, San Juan Unified School District, Carmichael, Calif., and NSPRA Southwest Region vice president

Exchange Page (Access limited to this Power Hour's registrants)

November 4, 2016 - Noon Eastern Time

Using Political Campaign Tactics to Influence Others to Action

Prepping your superintendent for a last-minute media interview on a controversial issue and need to frame the message in five minutes? Meeting with an influential parent or community leader that you need to get on your district’s side? In this webinar, you’ll learn some basic concepts used in advocacy, organizing and political campaigns that can be applied in a variety of situations when addressing controversial issues. Learn how to use a message box to frame issues in oppositional situations and more.


Presenter: Pat Mogge, director, community engagement & outreach, High School District 214, Arlington Heights, Ill.


Host: Jason Gaston, APR, coordinator, public/media relations, Hoover (Ala.) City Schools and NSPRA Southeast Region vice president

Exchange Page (Access limited to this Power Hour's registrants)

December 9, 2016 - Noon Eastern Time

Website Accessibility for All: Practical Strategies for Meeting Compliance Requirements 

As an essential communication tool, our publics rely on websites to provide key information about our schools and the business of the district. A new challenge now looms in meeting federal requirements – and for some districts addressing U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights complaints – to ensure that district and school websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. This program will provide some insight along with practical steps and strategies for sharing online content in ways that meet these requirements.

Scheckton   Tower

Panelists: Jessica Scheckton, assistant director, communications and public relations, Capital Region BOCES, Albany, N.Y; and Jean Tower, director, media and digital learning, Needham (Mass.) Public Schools


Moderator: Terry Locke, director, community relations, Chandler (Ariz.) Unified School District

Exchange Page (Access limited to this Power Hour's registrants)

January 13, 2017 - Noon Eastern Time

Creating a Positive School Board Culture of Leaders and Ambassadors 

Local school boards play a key leadership role in their districts; not only in the realm of school governance but also as ambassadors, advocates and stewards of maintaining a positive climate across the district. But creating this kind of leadership culture can be challenging when board members come to the table with different experiences, agendas and levels of understanding about district operations. Learn how you can educate, engage and inspire citizens to become educated district leaders and ambassadors by creating structured opportunities designed to develop a strong pipeline of future board members.

Hullender   Jones

Panelists: Deanne Hullender, public relations & marketing officer; and Ellen Jones, president, Board of Trustees, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD, Bedford, Texas


Moderator: Julie Thannum, APR, assistant superintendent, Board & Community Relations, Carroll ISD, Southlake, Texas and NSPRA president

Exchange Page (Access is limited to this Power Hour's registrants)

February 10, 2017 - Noon Eastern Time

Harnessing Technology to Communicate with Diverse Audiences

In districts serving diverse cultural and language groups, standard communication channels are not always effective for engaging all families. Immigrants may not read in their native languages; some ethnic groups rely on word-of-mouth networks; some lack trust in the school system; families in poverty may not have access to the internet at home. Learn how one school district harnessed the power of technology for sophisticated, innovative, two-way communication to reach all families and the community as a whole. Find out how you can use mobile apps, e-flyers, redesigned newsletters, different engagement platforms, and the human touch to increase overall community involvement and student success.


Panelists: Susan Enfield, Ed.D., superintendent, and Catherine Carbone Rogers, chief communications officer, Highline Public Schools, Burien, Wash.


Moderator: Stephen Nichols, APR, education communication consultant, Sacramento, Calif., and NSPRA vice president, Diversity Engagement

Exchange Page (Access is limited to this Power Hour's registrants.)

March 17, 2017 - Noon Eastern Time

Employee Engagement During Difficult Times

Maintaining a high quality workforce is a critical challenge for public education. But decades of public scrutiny and criticism, combined with increased expectations to do more with less in pursuit of unrealistic goals, have taken a toll on the collective psyche of our employees. How can we turn it around? Learn practical solutions for improving employee morale from members of NSPRA’s Employee Engagement and School Culture Team.

Swiecichowski   Airey

Panelists: Janet Swiecichowski, APR, director of public relations, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn. and NSPRA Employee Engagement Project Team chair;  and Danielle Airey, director of public relations, Peoria Unified School District, Glendale, Ariz.


Moderator: Karen Kleinz, APR, associate director, NSPRA

Exchange Page (Access limited to this Power Hour's registrants)

April 21, 2017 - Noon Eastern Time

Managing Social Media Firestorms 

Proactive communication planning today includes a strong focus on crisis communication and management, with comprehensive plans, staff training, media relations protocols and prep for numerous scenarios. If there’s a weak link in the plan, it’s likely to be in the area of social media. When an incident or comment triggers a social media firestorm (from the unexpectedly annoying to a major disruption) are you prepared to manage the fallout and douse the flames? Learn how to establish a social media action plan along with tactics for when or when not to engage and take action, de-escalate commentary and keep your social media platforms working for you.


Panelists: Tom DeLapp, APR, president, Communication Resources for Schools, Rocklin, Calif., and NSPRA president-elect; and Kristin Magette, APR, director, communications, Eudora (Kan.) Schools 


Moderator: Shane Haggerty, director, marketing and technology, Tolles Career & Technical Center, Plain City, Ohio, and NSPRA vice president at-Large for Communication Technology and Innovation

Exchange Page (Access limited to Power Hour's registrants)

May 19, 2017 - Noon Eastern Time

Now’s the Time: Plan to Win Next Year’s Fiscal Referendum

If you are looking for the winning edge in your next bond or budget election, then this session will give you the insight you need to chart the course to a finance election victory. Learn from two leaders that have been successful in their districts by following the blueprint their research data provided to plan and implement a winning campaign. As you plan your next steps, you will learn specific approaches to improve your chances on election night. You will also learn what not to do so you don’t shoot yourself in the foot as Election Day nears. In addition to crafting strategic tactics, find out how today’s social media and messaging can play an effective role in bringing out the “yes” vote for your measure. Now is the time to start planning for next year’s election and this session will help you do just that.


Panelists: Christopher Williams, director of communication & operations, Davis School District, Farmington, Utah, and Erica Chandler, community relations director, Affton (Mo.) School District


Moderator: Chris Tennill, APR, chief communications officer, School District of Clayton, Mo.; and NSPRA South Central Region vice president

Exchange Page (Access limited to Power Hour's registrants)